Planner’s Travel Series
About the series: Welcome to our ongoing travel series. These are all posts written by planning students and professionals about what to do in a given city when looking for Brunch, a Brew, or a good idea on a Budget. To cap it all off, we include a fun planning fact!
By Lindsay Oluyede
About the visit: My initial impression of Lagos, when I first visited in 2016, was that it pulsated with energy. The megacity’s streets are bustling with traffic and economic activity. Lagos is a fascinating place to visit as a planner because it’s a city of striking juxtapositions: old yellow Danfo buses (privately-operated minibuses) and modern bus rapid transit corridors, the floating Makoko community and the futuristic Eko Atlantic development, locals hawking street food and global fast food conglomerates. Here are some of the highlights from my most recent trip:
Suya (grilled meat) is a popular street food in Lagos that can be enjoyed any time of day—including brunch! Head to Glover Court Suya, a no-frills spot. Your order (beef, chicken, etc.) is chopped upon ordering and packaged with onions, tomatoes, and suya pepper seasoning for dipping.
A Chapman and Bitter Lemon soda are popular drinks in Nigeria, and are quite refreshing on a typical sultry day. In my opinion, there’s no better place to enjoy a Chapman and spend an afternoon in Lagos than Landmark Leisure Beach. This private Atlantic Ocean beach has lounge chairs, picnic tables, and cabanas for rent; entertainment (paintball, mini-golf, etc.); and countless eateries that offer beachside service.
Lagos is home to Nike Art Gallery, the largest gallery in West Africa. In the multi-story space—which is teeming with paintings and sculptures—you’ll find pieces depicting life in urban and rural communities in Nigeria and other West African countries, as well as more abstract works.
Fun Planning Fact
CNN reported that in 2018 Lagosians, on average, spent a whopping 30 hours each week stuck in traffic congestion—or “go slow” as it’s referred to locally. But hope is on the horizon. In 2006, a Strategic Transport Master Plan laid out a vision for a sustainable transportation system by expanding travel options over the next twenty years. Since then, Lagos has added bus rapid transit and rail systems and began expanding its ferry system. (Read more about these planning efforts here.)
Featured Image: The Lagos skyline. Photo Credit: Obinna Okerekeocha on Unsplash.
Lindsay Oluyede recently completed the PhD program in City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research interests include transportation barriers to accessing health care and innovative public involvement in transportation planning. Prior to returning to grad school, she worked in Washington, D.C. at two national environmental organizations and a consulting firm with a well-respected public sector practice.