Imperial City: An island urban community with ambitious infrastructure master-plan
As a response to the new urbanism in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, an island urban community is emerging in the burgeoning Lekki area of Lagos with an ambitious infrastructure masterplan that guarantees flood-free lifetime of 100 years for its residents.
Known as Imperial International Business City (IIBC), the city, which is a joint venture project between Elegushi Royal Family and Channeldrill Resources Limited, will be the first self-sustaining eco-friendly smart business city to be built in Africa. It will be sitting on estimated 200 hectares of land reclaimed from the Lagos Lagoon.
As a city of both the present and future of Lagos, offering space for home, work and leisure, IIBC will also be a well designed response to the challenges and opportunities in Lagos whose fundamentals are as intriguing as they are compelling to savvy and astute investors.
Lagos has a large and growing population projected to hit 400 million by 2050. Its present population creates a housing constraint and thus an opportunity for further housing development and investment. At the moment, Lagos harbours 45 percent of Nigeria’s skilled labour; 60 percent of its residents live in informal settlements; the city has 3.2 percent annual growth rate; 24 percent of Nigeria’s urban population lives in Lagos and the city has about three million housing units deficit.
“Imperial City is, therefore, coming to address the housing constraints in Lagos. What we are developing is an island that will attract the best companies from Nigeria and across the globe. It is a place where work, home and play are walking distances from one another and it is set in a tropical landscape that is safe, relaxing and a pleasure to live in. It is an island that will be utility self-sufficient, ensuring that its luxury homes will always have water, power and sanitation”, assured Femi Akioye, Channeldrill Resources’ CEO, in an interview in Lagos.
To complement the quality of the development, Akioye disclosed that they have engaged Mott MacDonald Limited of London, the best in class infrastructure development firm, as consultants to the city. “The infrastructure design of the city would ensure that it is self-sustaining, must be smart, eco-friendly and must have steady traffic flow”, assured Stuart Croucher, head of the Mott MacDonald team, which was on four-day visit and inspection of Ikate Elegushi Lagos, the city’s project site.
Croucher assured further that the city would have general utility efficiency and would be leveraging the best technology to archive these design, adding that the developers had charged them to make sure the city was a zero-flood zone for the next 100 years.
“To be able to achieve this task, we are working with Royal Haskoning DHV Nederland B.V. who are the reclamation/marine and marina consultants. They have done an extensive research on the lagoon and the future rise in water level of the whole lagoon and the report is what they are now working with to make sure that the zero-flood zones is archived. Because of the future rise in the water level, IIBC will be reclaimed at 3.5m above sea level”, he said.
According to Croucher, even though Mott MacDonald has been involved in infrastructure design of most of the major smart eco-friendly cities in the world, they are excited to be involved in such a major project in Lagos, pointing out that the potential of Lagos was unbelievable.
The team leader also disclosed that the city was being designed to have the best road network for efficient transportation system and that was why they were taking the future developmental expansion and population growth of Lagos for the next 50 years into consideration.
“As much as we have projected the population data for the future city, it is important to get the same for the whole of Lekki area so as to develop a proper outside connectivity/access plan for the residents of the city”, he said, adding that they now have the Lagos 2030 transport vision which would be very useful for their connectivity design.
According to him, officials of Lagos state civil service have been very helpful and welcoming, pointing out that the developmental plan of the city fits into the administration’s goal of making Lagos a smart mega city.
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