Space, Society & the Built EnvironmentThe built environment may be understood as the concrete phenomenon of our histories, politics, economics and aspirations. This affords a useful standpoint to assess the interplay of the dynamics in society continually reconfiguring space. The SSBE programme seeks to uncover our formative stories, examining how the manner that we inhabit space has evolved over time. Its goals are to develop a structured yet nuanced approach of study, to highlight innovative and effective practice, and to outline pragmatic proposals for how we manage both the physical and intangible products of space.

The programme also promotes reflective practice by facilitating engagement on contemporary issues in policy-making, planning and civic engagement. By this means, the Institute seeks to improve and transfer the practices and knowledge needed to take a decisive role within an increasingly challenging environment.


Image: Andrew Esiebo


Open City Lagos

OCL_Roder_Ogun-Ade-busstop_PosterTaking Lagos as case-in-point, the Open City Lagos project aims to spark conversation on how space, urban planning and the collective strategies of urban actors shape the experience of living in Lagos. The project sets to explore the conditions that create and sustain ‘open city’ dynamics, engaging with thinkers and doers in Lagos across multiple platforms.

After a year-investigation of various interpretations of “openness” within the context of the megacity, the Open City Book 2016 was launched at the Goethe-Institut on the 4th of March 2016 – hosting a team of local and international facilitators, urban practitioners, architects, researchers and students. The Launch was followed by 2 workshops aimed at broadening participants’ understanding of openness and its applicability in everyday urban life.

Download the Open City Lagos Book 2016 HERE)


Beyond the Project

laSince its submission to Lagos’ planning authorities nearly a year ago, the Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront Regeneration Plan is yet to receive the necessary stamps of approval to kickstart its delivery. Widely lauded as “a potential adaptive trim tab for other informal settlements…at risk of disasters and climate instability”, its recent short-listing as a Buckminster Fuller Challenge finalist puts it in line for $100,000 – the most prestigious and valuable award of its kind. Beyond the Project invites three urban professional who were central in the Plan’s development to reflect on ways of moving forward and the wider questions facing community-led regeneration in cities like Lagos.

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Entry 1: Transitioning Urban Growth in Lagos

Entry 2: Embedding Sustainability

Entry 3: A New Planning Paradigm


Society & Space