Monday, March 19, 2018

John Vidal - The 100 million city: is 21st century urbanisation out of control?

The 1960 street map of Lagos, Nigeria, shows a small western-style coastal city surrounded a few semi-rural African villages. Paved roads quickly turn to dirt, and fields to forest. There are few buildings over six floors high and not many cars.

No one foresaw what happened next. In just two generations Lagos grew 100-fold, from under 200,000 people to nearly 20 million. Today one of the world’s 10 largest cities, it sprawls across nearly 1,000 sq km. Vastly wealthy in parts, it is largely chaotic and impoverished. Most residents 
live in informal settlements, or slums. The great majority are not connected to piped water or a sanitation system. The city’s streets are choked with traffic, its air is full of fumes, and its main dump covers 40 hectares and receives 10,000 metric tons of waste a day.


But new research suggests that the changes Lagos has seen in the last 60 years may be nothing to what might take place in the next 60. If Nigeria’s population continues to grow and people move to cities at the same rate as now, Lagos could become the world’s largest metropolis, home to 85 or 100 million people. By 2100, it is projected to be home to more people than California or Britain today, and to stretch hundreds of miles – with enormous environmental effects… read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/19/urban-explosion-kinshasa-el-alto-growth-mexico-city-bangalore-lagos