By Olamide Udoma
Eko Atlantic City is a 10 square kilometers city being built as an extension of Victoria Island, South of Lagos. It is one of the new ‘utopian’ style cities being planned in Africa. It’s comrades are Hope City (Accra, Ghana), Tatu City (Nairobi, Kenya), Century City (Abuja, Nigeria), Kilamba (Luanda, Angola) and La Cite du Fleuve (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Eko Atlantic City is described as a great engineering feat. This is no surprise because the 10 square kilometers (3.86 square miles) of land is being reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. The city is expected to provide upscale accommodation for 250,000 people and employment opportunities for a further 150,000 who will commute to and fro the city on daily basis. The progress is being well documented by the developers and can be viewed by all at www.ekoatlantic.com (see video below).
These self-sustaining new cities have come to fruition because of their ability to accommodate the growing populations of African cities, provide job creation and employment opportunities as well as create a sustainable environment. However, though they may be seen to some as a solution for the challenges African cities face, they also provide social, economic and environmental issues. This can already be seen by the already completed Kilamba city, situated just outside Luanda, Angola. The city has been described as a white elephant because even though it was built to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people, it sits largely unoccupied due to high prices and its unfavourable location.
Over the next couple of months, as Eko Atlantic City continues to take shape I shall evaluate the impact it poses socially, economically and environmentally to the city of Lagos.