Learning from Lagos: How Cities Can Help Save Countries

Improvements in governance and quality of life in Lagos stand in sharp contrast to the political squabbling and mismanagement that plague the rest of Nigeria. Seth D. Kaplan argues that Lagos can provide a model for other fragile states.

"Even though it remains a slum-ridden and largely impoverished metropolis, with an exploding population estimated at 21 million (of Nigeria’s 170 million people), [Lagos] has seen steady improvement in its governance for over a decade," observes Kaplan. "The government has enhanced public transportation, cleaned up streets, upgraded the business environment and bettered the lives of its inhabitants."

In contrast, "Nigeria is arguably the worst run of the world’s seven most populated countries," he adds. What accounts for the discrepancy? Accountability and autonomy, says Kaplan. "Nigeria, of all places, may be pointing the way to a strategy by which fragile states might begin to succeed: Devolve more power to cities from their corrupt and overcentralized national governments." 

Full Story: What Makes Lagos a Model City

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95