Fair Shared City. Urban service delivery from a feminist perspectiveBack to Projects list
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Heinrich Böll Stiftung Abuja
- Adeposi Adeogun, Aro Ismaila, Fabienne Hoelzel
Today’s urban planning in Lagos and other Nigerian cities continues to follow an understanding of infrastructure supply and "functionality" through urban services that is largely based on imported planning visions from Asia and the West instead of responding directly to the needs of the local communities. In 2021, hbs and FABULOUS URBAN engaged with young female urbanists from Lagos and developed the “Fair Shared City” concept as a planning framework from a feminist perspective. Rather than being based in economic growth as the path for development, it recognizes the need for services and provisions that are affordable and accessible for all so that social, spatial and environmental justice and digital equity can be achieved. A characteristic of the framework is it’s co-governance through mutual learning, based on local socio-cultural values and well-rooted negotiation processes. The fair shared city concept considers women from low-income communities as the key actors in the absence of centralized government services. With their everyday practices and self-help strategies they provide urban services based on which their neighborhoods and communities function and develop.
This project intends to embark on an action-oriented research, which encourages women from a local community to identify the most useful practices, rooted in everyday life and self-help strategies for their community, which could be multiplied at city level. Through regular creative neighborhood labs, FABULOUS URBAN will assist the women in developing strategies for improving and upscaling these practices and in scrutinizing whether they will lead to increased social, spatial and environmental justice and digital equity. Also the value of affordability for all will remain a pre-condition. The women will also be engaged in reflections on how they can move into decision making positions at the various local institutions relevant for the community development.
The project’s long term outcome is a shift in perception of the achievements of low-income women in the provision of the city’s urban services, resulting in the recognition that parts of the city’s biggest problems (the lack of public infrastructure and urban services) are already being solved. By supporting the women with empowering formats like participatory community labs, resulting in documents like a "Neighborhood development guide" urban planners in practice and academia, agencies like Lasura and ultimately the government could be convinced that the active involvement of the low-income women is not a burden but part of the solution.