Innovation, creativity and financial power – Lagos has all the necessary ingredients for a thriving startup sector. Hackathons, boot camps and startup weeks regularly attract local and international participants. Ayodeji Rotinwa, a freelance journalist, asks himself whether these are signs for a healthy growth potential.
If taken as a country on its own, Lagos would be amongst the largest economies in Africa. It has been able to diversify its economy and to considerably reduce its dependence on oil allocations. But its potentials are still huge if it invested in skilled labour force, reduced its bureaucratic hurdles and adopted an inclusive development approach.
What makes Lagos ‘open’ as a city? How do we foster growth that is diverse, equitable, sustainable and inclusive? The Open City seeks to explore the issues raised by these questions by involving the very users and producers of that space in a multi-faceted conversation about their city.
All submissions will be accepted until 28 February, 2015. See here for full details on the project, including project ideas and guidelines for submissions.
A local government should be the closest government to the people but in Nigeria it only has minimal implementation power. This is the experience of the organization Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI). In their climate change training programmes and various initiatives aimed at building local adaptative capacity for climate change resilience at local government level, they realized that initiatives and planned actions are constrained and hampered by poor land use planning and lack of integration of climate change factors into development agendas. In a participatory research project in Amuwo Odofin Local Government they critically analyzed the scope of actions assigned to local governments compared to state governments on existing land use policies, regulations and laws and developed a participatory risk reduction and management blue print.
Alfa Beach used to be a popular weekend destination for Lagosians, until the ocean washed it away. It destroyed not just a beach, but also the local community’s livelihood and houses. The danger has not subsided: the sea is moving into the land at an alarming pace. How can the people of Okun Alfa cope, and will they be able to organise themselves?
In an effort at expanding the space for discussions on sustainable urban development in Lagos with specific interest on how the new development in Eko Atlantic City can be made to live up to its description as a city of the future, architect and writer Ayodele Arigbabu has created a narrative located in a fictionalized version of the new city, using the experiences of a young girl visiting the city on holiday as an opportunity to learn about the challenges cities face and possible ways of making cities more livable.
The Eko Atlantic project is portrayed by Lagos State Government and developers as a model of sustainability, climate change adaptation and economic growth. However, reconciling plans for economic development and environmental protection with the aim of achieving social justice for all requires more open debate and participatory planning.
Kunle Adeyemi, a Nigerian architect based in Amsterdam, was equally fascinated by the way of living of the Makoko community. He argues that Makoko and other water communities embody a unique synthesis of socio-political relations, economic networks, architecture and spatial presence that collectively push at the frontiers of urbanism. The “Floating School” which he developed and built in collaboration with the community opened an international debate on visionary forms of architecture to adapt to the challenges of flood and population growth
..a country where conflict has reduced because oil is no longer the main source of wealth- for- a- few, but where young people can access economic growth in different sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, manufacturing and transport. Marrying a farmer is fashionable as it provides security for a small family.
Floods, storms and ocean surges are becoming more frequent in the megacity of Lagos, but the 15 million citizens have no adequate climate change adaptation and emergency measures in place. The project “Mobilising Local Governments for Climate Action” by Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI) encourages local governments to develop the necessary adaptation projects for their specific communities. Although local governments should be in the best position to tailor the appropriate strategies, the project report points at institutional, technical and financial shortcomings which currently hinder efficient implementation.