Open City Lagos

Open City Lagos is a conversation enacted across Lagos and with other cities, with a focus on the day-to-day experiences, grassroots initiatives and new opportunities for development and inclusion. As a project, it was designed as an attempt to re-discover the instances and mechanisms that encourage people from diverse social, ethnic and religious backgrounds to interact and to commonly make use of limited resources with the effect of increasing their personal and collective good. We hope to initiate a public reflection on how individuals and communities through their actions, complemented by government’s urban policies, can enforce these opportunities. To break the ice, we asked people across the city to identify and document such open moments, spaces and strategies in Lagos. Their responses, featured here in this publication, are vignettes of the city and of city fragments that depict what openness could be and where it can and does exist. But the research in Lagos has just started and is still at its infancy. We therefore invited scholars and practitioners from other cities to share similar instances from their city and to describe the processes of both citizens’ engagement and deliberate government interventions and their interactions to create, sustain and jeopardise opportunities for cultural and social exchange and innovation. Contributions from Cape Town and Dakar, Jakarta, Accra, Beirut, New Delhi, the UK and Berlin complement diverse experiences and reflections from Lagos.

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