Towards a Bottom Up Approach: A Chronological Discourse on Lagos' Urban Evolution
The city of Lagos, Nigeria, has experienced enormous change in its urban aesthetic governed by forces of colonisation, modernisation and globalisation. To meet the demands of its surging population, projected to be 27 million by 2025, the city administration has begun to implement the Lagos State Development Plan goals for 2012-2025 via the provision of infrastructure and public housing estates. As the government pursues an urban aesthetic that favours investments and appeals to global elites, opportunities to invent a truly ‘African Model Mega-City’ are missed. This dissertation will chronicle key aspects of Lagos’ urban evolution in order to emphasise the recurrent exclusion and inattention to the precise needs of residents and workers in the informal sector which constitute the vast majority of its urban poor. The essay advocates for the adoption of a bottom-up approach towards development in order to create urban environments that are contextually responsive, sustainable and supportive of local culture and economies.