LASG Plans To Transform Lagos From “Monocentric” To “Polycentric” Metropolis

The Lagos State Government is looking to transform the present monocentric spatial development pattern in the state, where most activities are concentrated in a single central area, into a polycentric metropolis with multiple hubs for efficient commuting and enhanced urban living.

A monocentric metropolis is an urban area where most activities and services are concentrated in a single central area, leading to high density and congestion. On the other hand, a polycentric metropolis features multiple hubs of activity, distributing functions across various districts to reduce congestion and promote balanced urban development.

This plan is contained in the Lagos State Transport Policy, which was unveiled last week.

The policy outlines a set of actions to be adopted by the state government to address interrelated mobility challenges.

According to Section 3 (3.3), ‘Land Use and Transport,' of the policy document, the overarching statement for that section reads, “The Government will promote the transformation of the present monocentric spatial development pattern of Lagos State into a polycentric one.”

The policy notes that the state government acknowledges the current monocentric development is unsustainable, as it results in longer travel distances, increased traffic congestion, prolonged journeys, and adverse environmental impacts.

Hence, the push for a polycentric spatial development.

Potential benefits of Lagos State embracing polycentric spatial development.

The Lagos State Transport Policy outlines several potential benefits for both the state government and residents by promoting a polycentric spatial development pattern.

The transition to a polycentric metropolis is expected to drastically reduce travel distances and costs by creating multi-use areas for economic, social, and recreational activities.
This design will focus on people rather than vehicles, with multi-modal hubs based on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) principles to use land more efficiently.

Additional gains include the provision of good pedestrian and non-motorized transport (NMT) linkages, supported by high-quality ‘First and Last Mile' (FLM) transit services, to ensure each development area can meet residents' needs locally.
This approach aims to improve the quality of life by reducing commuting time, thereby reducing environmental pollution and increasing the time available for economic and social activities.

The successful implementation of this plan to transform Lagos into a polycentric metropolis will require intensive and well-coordinated efforts from key sector ministries, departments, and agencies of the Lagos State Government, particularly the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Ministry of Works and Infrastructure (MOWI), and Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD), as noted in the policy.

How Lagos State Government plans to achieve polycentric spatial development in the state
Providing additional insight, Section 3 (3.3) of the Lagos State Transport Policy details that the Lagos State Government, through its Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPPUD) in collaboration with allied ministries, departments, and agencies, will review the state's model city plans to achieve the planned transformation into a polycentric metropolis.

In line with this objective, the state government assures that a review of the existing Model City Plans for some areas of the metropolis will be conducted to ensure their alignment with the goal of creating a polycentric metropolis.
The policy document notes that these reviews will be carried out by multi-disciplinary teams of relevant experts led by the MPPUD.

Given the size of the Lagos metropolis, the review will include proactively promoting the development of a few urban centres, around which multi-use development densities will increase. Such centres will include transit hubs to boost public transport connectivity, usage, and sustainability.

Land use development intensification away from these designated development centers will be discouraged.

Large development proposals will also be subject to multi-modal Transportation Impact Studies (TIS).

Last updated on July 15th, 2024 at 11:25 pm

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