Saturday, March 2, 2013

neutron bomb urbanism

the remnants in Badia: this is all that's left of people's homes
For a man who professes to treasure his city, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has adopted a punitive attitude towards its people. He's already razed the street market at Oshodi, criminalized street hawking, and attempted to demolish the waterside shack community of Makoko. Now, as The New York Times reports, he's taken a backhoe to Badia.

"More than one million of the city’s poor have been forcibly ejected from their homes in largely unannounced, government slum clearances," the Times reports. Of smashing down the Badia East neighborhood that was home to more than 10,000 people, the Lagos State commissioner of housing, Adedeji Olatubosun Jeje, told the Times, "What we removed was just shanties. Nobody was even living in those shanties. Maybe we had a couple of squatters living there.”

That comment shows just how brazen Fashola's people are. It's neutron bomb urban renewal: polishing the city by punishing the people, yet pretending the people don't exist.

I'll be in Lagos later this month and will report back on what I find.

1 comment:

Heurist said...

You probably have to be the kind of person to do this in order to understand it. This is a complete and utter disjunct from humanity.