Adversity is said to be the mother of invention but what happens when the road to invention imports hasty solutions? The effects of modernism and globalization, particularly in developing countries have been major topics of discussion for the past decade. This paper attempts to understand and identify the factors that have led to the growth of slums in Lagos, Nigeria, critically analyzing the role modernization has played in the urbanization of the city. It goes further to suggest a new approach towards urban renewal and planning for the urban poor in Lagos. The Makoko riverine slum on the Lagos Lagoon, serves as a point of reference for this analysis, making use of data gathered from field study, interviews and literary text. An identified shortcoming of the approaches generally employed in planning for the urban poor is that they primarily overlook the low economic capacity of the people. These initiatives pretentiously seek to beautify the city by replacing slums with more contemporary “modern” structures which are beyond the economic reach of the poor. There is therefore a call to rethink the notion that slums are worthless entities. Urban renewal in Lagos is invoked to critically consider the economic capacity of slums in developing urban planning solutions. It should seek to rejuvenate slum settlements by identifying and promoting the economic potentials within the community in order to create a more diverse, vibrant community.
|Keywords:||Theme: Urban and Extraurban Spaces, Urban Renewal, Modernism, Makoko, Lagos, Slums, Economy|
Graduate Student, Department of Architecture and Interior Design, School of Fine Arts, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA