Water urbanism in Lagos: A case study of Makoko community




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


This research aims to establish water urbanism as an adaptable approach toward managing rapid urbanisation challenges in developing coastal cities. This study explores the growth of water urbanism in informal waterfront settlements as an ecological strategy that can be used to develop rich urbanism for coastal cities such as Lagos. Land reclamation techniques, primarily hydraulic sand-filling technology, are employed to create land in Lagos. Historically, land reclamation in Lagos has been utilised to accommodate the city's expanding population by recovering formerly inhospitable marshy or coastal territory. However, this prolonged acceptance has resulted in the elimination of creeks and wetlands throughout the city. While it has proven effective, artificial landscapes frequently require more upkeep than naturally occurring lands, and general degradation of the environment has resulted from poor maintenance.

As 70% of the population of Lagos resides in informal settlements, the study argues that informal settlements should be planned and designed as part of the city. As a result of focusing on concerns in Lagos's informal water settlements, we are closer to reducing the effects of rising urbanisation, boosting the city's efficiency, and addressing climate challenges simultaneously.

Learning from informal water settlements presents an opportunity to adopt sustainable urban practices that protect the environment and economic growth, enhance the quality of life through housing, and guarantee equitable land that includes the city's waters, better transportation networks, and essential infrastructure jobs. This study intends to illustrate the sustainability of informal water communities for the implementation of water urbanism, a sustainable technique for urban growth and climate action in Lagos.





Research Institute