Digitising Mobility: An Urban Political Ecology of ClimateSmart Transport Networks in Lagos, Nigeria

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Geography


This research examines the socio-political consequences of digitising mobility, through an in-depth analysis of ongoing digital technology developments in the transport network of Lagos, Nigeria. 'Smart technology solutions' are being proposed for a wide range of urban problems, particularly those associated with rapid urban growth in the global South. Smart transportation networks involve digital interventions in urban infrastructures to optimise mobility, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. Digitising mobility has important implications for social justice, as it addresses particular needs and not others, introduces new conditions for accessing transport services, creates new forms and distributions of (technical) urban knowledge, and opens up or closes down opportunities for participation in decision-making . Understanding such implications requires, therefore, a critical social science analysis beyond questions of system implementation and management. Accordingly, this research mobilises the conceptual framework of urban political ecology (UPE) - which examines urbanisation as a socio-spatial process structured by political-economic relations - to analyse the socio-political consequences of implementing smart transportation systems in Lagos. I will work with stakeholders, NGOs, experts and local communities, from neighbourhood to municipal level, to understand how ICT-based developments affect transport governance in Lagos. Research will contribute new knowledge about how digitising mobility is transforming urban infrastructural 'metabolisms' in the one of sub-Saharan Africa's primary cities. It will generate findings that inform programmes of smart urban management, particularly in the global South. Its broader analytical findings will speak to ongoing debates in human geography and urban studies, particularly smart urbanism and planetary urbanisation.


10 25 50