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Ajibade, Idowu; Pelling, Mark; Agboola, Julius Ibukun and Garschagen, Matthias ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9492-4463 (2016): Sustainability Transitions: Exploring Risk Management and the Future of Adaptation in the Megacity of Lagos. In: Journal of Extreme Events, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1650009 [PDF, 613kB]


Lagos, a coastal megacity with more than 11 million inhabitants faces serious development challenges in addition to climatic risks and extreme weather events. There are uncertainties about future disaster risk trends and about how to manage and adapt to existing threats in ways that ensure a just and sustainable development trajectory. In this paper, we explore the changes that have occurred in risk management in Lagos over the last 20 years, as part of a broader endeavor towards sustainability. We draw on transition theory to analyze data collected from a scenario workshop and expert interviews conducted over a period of two years, to understand the influences, processes and actors that shape the adaptation-development nexus in Lagos. Findings based on stakeholders voices present a risk management regime firmly oriented towards protecting contemporary development gains and policies, despite Nigeria’s contested development strategy. Future positioning of risk management is described as either maintaining its current goals or shifting towards a position where development is seen as a root cause of risk and a focus for change. Resilience (marginal changes in development to maintain stability) is not foreseen as a likely future choice for Lagos. This is in contrast to many global agendas that promote resilience and reflects the realities of managing risks in the context of contested development.

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