WATCH: The City is the People

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By Olamide Udoma

Cities are complex; not easy to understand, not easy to decipher, and not easily labelled. They are organisms that can be experience in a variety of ways that speak to all senses; taste, touch, smell, hear, and sight. Using an array of media the city’s story can be an entry point of exploration and understanding.

As part of the Cinecity Architectural Film Project 2013, Lindsay Sawyer submitted The City is the People, three short films exploring the street space of Lagos Island.

The city is the people. From the obdurate to the fleeting, people’s actions produce urban space. The street spaces of Lagos are made and remade everyday by people trading, moving and hustling. On this section of Lagos Island, the beating heart of Lagos, spaces are created by the daily presence of street traders and the steady movement of blocked traffic. This is an architecture of popular agency; unfixed in time and unfixed materially, but which produces the ubiquitous urban condition of Lagos.


Lindsay Sawyer is a researcher with the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore since 2011, part of a team research urbanization processes in 9 of the world’s biggest megacities. Her research is focused on Lagos, Nigeria. Lindsay is also doing her PhD at the Dept. Architecture of ETH Zurich. She has a background in Architecture and Urban Studies, with degrees from the University of Edinburgh. Lindsay has also worked at Scale Architecture in Sydney, where the principle Matt Chan was just awarded the Emerging Architect prize.

About FutureLagos

Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.