Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) LLP Europe has designed a masterplan for a new Nigerian city with a focus on boosting foreign direct investment and creating tens of thousands of jobs.
Alárò City is a mixed-income, city-scale development with modern employment, including industrial and logistics locations, complemented by offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment, and 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces.
Located in the North West Quadrant of the Lekki Free Zone, the city lies in the growth path of Lagos, one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities with a population of over 20 million, and is adjacent to the future international airport, the region’s largest deep-sea port, and major Nigerian and international companies.
“Alárò City helps strengthen Lagos’ position as the economic and cultural hub for West Africa by creating a new mixed-use model sustainable community—a place for people to work, make, live, and learn, which aims to become an international trade gateway,” says Daniel Ringelstein, director at SOM.
By focusing first on natural systems, SOM designed a master plan that protects and enhances the unique conditions of the site while enabling long term resilience for the future city.
“The plan is structured around six greenways, aligned north-to-south with the prevailing winds and existing topography, and spaced 800 meters apart to ensure that all residents and workers are no more than a five-minute walk from open space,” explains Gareth Edwards, associate at SOM.
SOM also planned transport infrastructure to support local connectivity and to allow for higher density, walkable mixed-use districts and neighbourhoods.
Larger industrial and logistical development plots are located in the south, adjacent to an inter-district transport corridor, while neighbourhoods for residential, mixed-use, and commercial development are located to the north, oriented towards the lagoon.
A main boulevard connects the commercial, enterprise, and educational areas on the north with the research with the industrial area on the south.
A vibrant city core will become the civic heart of the Free Zone—a focal point for innovation and collaboration, as well as a destination for leisure and entertainment.
The development is complemented with shaded, pedestrian-friendly streets and strong connections to public transit. A clearly defined network of urban plazas will link to a 14-hectare Central Park, designed to support a variety of events and bring people together.
Africa’s largest urban developer, Rendeavour, in partnership with the Lagos State Government, has now broken ground on the new city development.
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