George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Conflict Analysis in ‘World Class’ Cities: Urban Renewal, Informal Transport Workers, and Legal Disputes in Lagos

by Daniel Agbiboa

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  • Pages: 17
  • Publication Preview: PDF
  • Published Date: Jun 13 2017
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag: New York
  • Publication: Urban Forum


This paper focuses on the disconnect between, on the one hand, the neoliberal aspirations to make Lagos a model megacity for the twenty-first century and, on the other hand, the precarious temporality of the present in which many informal workers weave their routine existence. In particular, the paper examines the corrupt and violent manner in which the Lagos State Road Traffic Law of 2012 has been adapted by the government to restrict the space and mobility of informal workers as a function of making Lagos a ‘world class’ megacity and ‘Africa’s big apple.’ Focusing on commercial motorbike-taxi (okada) riders and their association, the analysis extends to how one group of informal workers in Lagos are responding to neoliberal urban planning that impinge on their opportunities in, and rights to, the city. In this way, the paper illuminates our rather tenuous understanding of how informal workers exercise agency as they attempt to intervene in the unequal processes of urban renewal projects.