If you had to point to one city that embodies of the challenges of the 21st century, it would be Lagos, Nigeria. The New Yorker had a wonderful piece on Lagos over a year ago, describing it in apocalyptic detail:
Smoldering hills of sawdust landfill send white smoke across the bridge, which mixes with diesel exhaust from the traffic. Beyond the sawmills, the old waterfront markets, the fishermen’s shanties, the blackened façades of high-rise housing projects, and the half-abandoned skyscrapers of downtown Lagos Island loom under a low, dirty sky. Around the city, garbage dumps steam with the combustion of natural gases, and auto yards glow with fires from fuel spills. All of Lagos seems to be burning.
Recently, it seems that things might have improved. For a city known for lawlessness and disorder, it’s a true accomplishment that Lagos now boasts its first ever bus rapid transit line. The bus line became an immediate success, improving the commute of thousands of people in a city where formal services were non-existent.
Below, I’ve included some photographs of the new system taken by Sam Zimmerman of the World Bank.
Also, here’s a link to a presentation made by Dayo Mobereola from Lagos State Government on the new system.