The publication “Open City Lagos”, a cooperation with Nsibidi Institute Lagos and Fabulous Urban Zurich, intends to initiate a public reflection and discourse on the characteristics of an “open city” where the co-existence of different social groups and the richness of cultural diversity come together to foster growth that is diverse, equitable, creative, sustainable and inclusive.
From everyday encounters to planning considerations, Kingsley Iweka shares his reflections on the city of Lagos drawing from recent conversations at the Heinrich Boll and Nsibidi Institute’s Open City Lagos Brainstorming Brunch held in April 2015. As one of the project’s shortlisted candidates, he speaks within his personal capacity as a writer coming to terms with how the city accommodates the subjects of his prose.
Lagos is a dynamic, teeming city of over 15 million inhabitants and counting. Even with strained access to services and a housing stock far outpaced by the city’s growth, Lagos remains a magnet for those in other Nigerian states and neighboring West African countries. With an estimated 600,000 people added each year, openness appears to be a defining feature of Lagos. Yet the concept of openness encompasses more than just urban migration and the city’s ability to absorb this influx. It refers to inclusion in terms of the quality of social, economic and spatial conditions in the city.