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Lagos In Context

Part 1 Dissertation 2002
James Perry
University of Sydney | Australia
The city can longer be defined with a single compelling solution, but rather as an instantaneous by-product of the rapidly growing population of the 21st century. The most infected by this phenomenon are the inept cities of urban Africa.

This thesis explores the city of Lagos in Nigeria as an acute manifestation and representation of the broader African context that has fabricated a highly sophisticated system of operations, which have transformed and regenerated a new African urban typology.

This thesis investigates the effect of the physical context on these various systems of operation and the outcome of a very unstable but highly efficient ‘artificial’ context that has served to define the new urban typology of Lagos.

This study explores the impact and the manifestation of this local context at different levels of hierarchy and scale and the growing interest and interaction in the global market. This interaction in global market is fervently pursued as a technique to constantly inform and regenerate the local market. Lagos uses the global market as a means of sourcing cheap alternatives that can then be recycled and resold in the local market. In this manner, it is not a case of globalization being inserted into a local context but rather the local that has adapted to feed off the global.

The overlap of these two conditions creates a new ‘hyper-local’ context, where this context becomes an independent functioning entity. This emphasises that it is the local context that becomes the most compelling and original
defining aspect of Lagos.

This study examines the notion that Lagos is not only the product of the interface between context and process but is also subjected to the overlap of a reinterpreted ‘alternative’ modernity onto the remnants of a decaying colonialism.

This has generated a unique condition of instability and uncertainty that constantly reinvents itself as a consequence of the effects of the local and global context.

James Perry

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