Victoria Island, Lagos

Urban Planning Processes in Lagos (1st ed.)

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  • Urban Studies
  • Research
Lagos, Nigeria
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria

The yearlong research project "Urban Planning Processes in Lagos. Policies, Laws, Planning Instruments, Strategies and Actors of Urban Projects, Urban Development, and Urban Services in Africa's Largest City" was commissioned by the Heinrich Böll Foundation Nigeria.

Residents in Lagos are often stunned by developments in their city: new residential estates are springing up without tarred access roads and appropriate drainage canals for flood water. Riverine areas along the lagoon used as fishing ground for the local communities are converted into tank farms attracting hundreds of tankers crossing residential areas. The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has developed model city plans for all the local government areas in Lagos, but they are all too often ignored by economic and political interests. Instead, projects with immense negative social, ecological and economic consequences are imposed on residents and business owners. This study had a closer look at the areas of housing, slums and informal settlements, urban mobility and transportation, solid waste management and urban mega projects to examine the existing laws, instruments and policies and how they have been applied to the four analyzed case studies. For example the research teams discovered that the development plan for the Lekki Free Zone was designed by the Chinese investors based on Chinese urban planning laws before it was later included into the existing Lekki master plan. Another example is the slum regeneration process in Olaleye-Iponri community implemented in two phases. Yet, 31 years after the commencement, there has been no significant improvement for the community. A few housing units have recently been completed and are now sold to prices which are not affordable for the original residents. All the case study reports vigorously ask for the revival of the local government administrations in Lagos, which have been sidelined over the recent years for several reasons. The current top-down and ad-hoc approach will most likely fail in providing much needed infrastructure and a livable environment in times of a global increase in the influx into the cities.

Policies, laws, planning instruments, strategies and actors of urban projects, urban development, and urban services in Africa’s largest city.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Germany License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

Jointly published by:
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria
3rd Floor, Rukayyat Plaza
93, Obafemi Awolowo Way
Opposite Jabi Motor Park
Jabi District, Abuja, Nigeria
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Fabulous Urban
c/o Impact Hub Zürich
8005 Zürich, Switzerland
[email protected]

Editorial supervision: Monika Ummuna
Editor and lead researcher: Fabienne Hoelzel
Local researchers and co-authors: Kofo Adeleke, Ebere Akwuebu, Soji Apampa, Aro Ismaila, Lookman Oshodi, and Tao Salau
Field research: Adetonwa Rafiat, Michael Ogunwale, Olatoye Mayowa Seun, Unuigboje Richard Emeka, Damilola Keshinro, Olabisi Sheyi, Olowu Damilola, and Asaolu Damilolu
Research consultancy: Taibat Lawanson
Local experts and interview partner: Olugbenga Adebola, Debo Adejana, Bongo Adi and Megan Chapman
Cover photos: FABULOUS URBAN, Fabienne Hoelzel (front: Victoria Island, back: Mushin; Lagos)
Layout: FABULOUS URBAN, Fabienne Hoelzel
Printing: Flippage Design Services, Lagos
Printed in Nigeria (2016)

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