Sustainable Infrastructure Upgrade in Slum Settlements of Lagos, Nigeria
Global attention was drawn to the severe and pervasive effects of urban slums when the United Nations included it in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a few years ago. Urban slums are areas or neighbourhoods that suffer infrastructure deprivation. Infrastructure refers to the physical framework of facilities through which goods and services are delivered to neighbourhood dwellers by the government. A fundamental issue in slum upgrading projects is the provision of adequate infrastructure. In a developing nation like Nigeria, there is a need to examine urban slum upgrading in a wider conceptual and technical context that will be more sustainable than what currently exists in large cities like Lagos. Nigerian architects and other professionals in the built-environment have been trying to grasp key concepts required to comprehend the phenomenon of slum upgrading and therefore be able to address it by sustainable design. The wider conceptual and technical perspectives constitute the main problem addressed in this study. The techniques employed include the review of the literature and review of interviews on slums and slum upgrading in some parts the globe. Observation technique and visits to nine large slum settlements in Lagos were also employed to validate the general information obtained from the literature. This paper discusses a wide range of urban slum characteristics and slum upgrading issues that are applicable to the study area. The paper examines specific aspects where the architect can contribute substantially to infrastructural upgrading of the built-form and spaces in Lagos’ slums.