The Road to a “Fair-Shared” Lagos


Can you imagine a Lagos where social, spatial, and environmental justice and digital equity can be achieved? This podcast drama helps paint that picture for us as we peer into the fictional world of Iyabeji, a local traditional medicine practitioner, as she reveals the potentials of a gender-sensitive and Fair-Shared Lagos City. 

Reading time: 3 minutes
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Listen to the full podcast here.

The way Lagos is envisioned, planned, designed and built today is predominantly shaped by patriarchial concepts and understanding of life. In addition, urban planning processes also follow an understanding of ‘functionality’ that is largely based on imported urban visions from Asia and the West, instead of responding directly to the needs of women in local communities and the informal sector by pragmatically supporting and complementing successful initiatives at the micro-level.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation Abuja office in cooperation with Fabulous Urban reflected in two virtual workshops with a wide range of women on whether a feminist approach to the city’s planning and design could be more efficient in finding answers to people’s needs; starting from the needs of women in low-income communities.  Based on the contributions and reflections, an urban planning framework was developed guided by the principles of “social, spatial and environmental justice as well as digital equity” rather than economic growth. Accessibility and affordability of services produced and managed in cooperation with the informal and traditional governance networks will be key for achieving “a Fair-Shared City” characterized by equity, diversity, participation, and respect for human rights.

In a next step, young female researchers and activists used the fair-shared city framework in field studies within selected low-income communities across several cities to analyse women’s access to quality health care and water. It enabled them to gain deeper insight into the daily practices on the ground, identify lapses and suggest pragmatic and affordable solutions.

Finally, a fictional story, authored by Immaculata Aba, paints a utopian picture of a Lagos city where social and digital equity can be achieved as we peer into the fictional world of Iyabegi, a traditional medicine practitioner, who reveals the potentials of a Fair Shared City that recognizes the value of women contribution to urban planning and development.  The story is also available as a podcast episode, produced in Nigerian Pidgin as an advocacy tool to inspire increased participation among local community women.

You can download the English version script here.