A modern city is a centre of opportunities for all – rich and poor – to reach their highest potentials, that is governed in an inclusive, collaborative and sustainable manner. Prof. Taibat Lawanson from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Dr. Ademola Omoegun from the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos aimed at understanding how affected people cope with the effects of government interventions for replacing informality with formal structures and how Lagos fares in embracing creative and innovative strategies of inclusive development initiated and implemented by the affected people.
Informality pervades everyday life in most African cities, especially for the poor. These range from housing in informal settlements to employment in the informal economy, as well as urban adaptive practices embedded in informal social networks. Informality is essentially a reflection of self-help strategies by urban citizens to fill the gap, given the challenges of rapid urbanisation and severely limited capacity of governments to respond. In fact, AbdouMaliq Simone, one of the foremost thinkers on African urbanism states that roughly 75% of basic needs are provided informally in African cities, with processes of informalization expanding across discrete sectors and domains of urban life.