In 1914, Lagos was chosen as the capital of Nigeria and from then onward, the demographic and physical expansion of the city has been so dramatic that by 1960, it has grown into a metropolis covering about 70 sq. km with well over 1 million inhabitants. The inhospitable physical environment, and the locational decision by the British colonial authorities to develop Lagos as Nigeria’s capital are largely accountable for the rate and nature of land use development. The predominance of swamps imposes large scale land reclamations as a precondition for land use development, while the administrative, industrial, commercial and transport functions devolving on Lagos as the federal capital and primate city attract massive in-migration at a much faster rate than the pace of providing urban social services. The lagos Executive Development Board (LEDB) dominated land use development for many years. In spite of numerous constrainst, the Board succeeded in carrying out extensive swamp reclamations, residential and industrial estate development. The decision to transfer the capital to Abuja will certainly reflect on future land use development in Lagos. Above all, it is a clear evidence that urban planning alone has failed to tackle the problems meaningfully.With only 10% of the total urban land as against 60% for residential purposes, industrial activity in Metropolitan Lagos is of great social and economic significance both in terms of industrial jobs directly related to manufacturing and indirectly in terms of commercial, transport, banking and insurance opportunities created. The geometry of land use in Metropolitan Lagos is gradually changing under the influence of urban renewal and highway development radiating from the inner-city to the hinterland which have attracted new and centre-city industrial and residential estates are springing up.
GeoJournal 05/1986; 12(4):433-442. DOI:10.1007/BF00262367