Eko Atlantic City, officially known as Nigeria International Commerce city, is located in Lagos, one of the fastest-growing megacities in the world. This cutting edge coastal city is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic ocean and is designed to help stop the erosion of the Lagos City coastline.
The land being reclaimed was lost to the surge of the sea which started around 1912. In 1905, the authorities saw that the commodore channel was too shallow resulting in a tedious process of delivering cargo to the Lagos port.
The larger vessels anchored at about 3km offshore where they were met by smaller vessels who delivered the cargo to the port. This affected trade and economic growth. It was therefore decided that a channel would be created to allow larger vessels to enter the port.
The construction of the East and West Moore started, and it was completed in 1912. These structures worked effectively to protect the channel and trap sand.
However, the structures also led to interruptions in the littoral drift which allows for transportation of materials, like sand, from coast to coast. It resulted in large sand deposits in some areas like Victoria Island and the complete erosion of land in other areas like the Bar beach.
By 2005, the Bar beach was lost, leaving Victoria Island exposed to heavy ocean surge. The Island( which is a key financial centre in Lagos), and consequently other densely populated areas of Lagos, were in danger of being lost to the sea. To prevent this imminent ecological disaster, the Eko Atlantic City project was born.
The project started in 2003 and is being carried out as a public-private partnership with the Lagos State Government (backed by the Federal government) acting as a strategic partner while the private companies and investors, both local and international, are involved in the designing, building and funding.
There are several features that make the Eko Atlantic city appealing for accommodation, business and tourism. This article will take a look at them.
ADVANCED INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES
There is an impressive well-planned road network with fifteen bridges in place, a 1,500m long 8-lane boulevard and tree-lined streets. Plans have been made for a tree nursery with a capacity to produce a minimum of 250, 000 trees. Walkways are also being constructed with extensions overhead to provide shelter from rain and sun.
The city would have an independent clean and treated water supply that meets the WHO standard. Considering the challenges of flooding in Lagos, the developers have also designed proper drainage and waste system.
A canal system would run through the middle of Eko Atlantic City and receive all the stormwater flowing from the street into an underground drainage network. The technology used in designing the drainage network in the city follows best practices used worldwide.
STATE OF THE ART UTILITIES
The city will have its own power generating plant that will provide 24/7 electricity. The Eko energy plant will serve the oil and gas sector and adequate power will be produced at a reasonable price. Eko Atlantic City will not operate on the national grid.
The concept of a smart city is reinforced by the proposed city-wide fibre optic communications network. There is a possibility of a tech village in the city and services such as IT services will be made accessible.
The city also has plans for first-class schools (from nursery classes to university standard) and libraries, global standard health facilities, shopping and recreational centres in close proximity with the residents. One of the largest shopping malls in sub-Saharan is deliberately located at the northern boundary of the city and will act as an entertainment centre.
EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Eko Atlantic City is described as a city of the future and so the earlier plans for light railway have been jettisoned for the more future-oriented electronic powered buses. There are plans to erect a central bus station where buses come every night and are recharged.
The developers describe this as the future of mass transportation worldwide. The city also plans to take advantage of the Lagos State water transportation scheme. The intention is to use water taxis on the corridor as this mode of transportation is a lot faster than the road.
Security cameras would be connected to the fibre optic network. The mobile patrol connected to the main control centre would also be used within the city and at the six main entrance into the city.
The concept of the Eko Atlantic is a mixed fuse combining residential and business buildings, and the developers have noted that a district with round the clock activities will put a check on security issues.
STANDARD PLANNING REGULATION
The prices of plots of land differ based on district. For developers interested in land, they would be given a proposal based on their plans. International regulations would be complied with, having studied international cities like New York and London.
The contractors are rigid on planning regulations, not trying to debar people from achieving their plans but to keep to the master plan and build a city of recognized international standard.
Adequate car parking facilities for both tenants and tourists would also be provided with basement parking facilities. The land developers would have to ensure the parking lot has the capacity to fit the tenants and the visitors anticipated for the building.
The city is specifically planned for medium to high-density development. The cost of building in the city is cheaper than in Banana island or Victorian Island.
In addition to the above, Eko Atlantic City is protected by a coastal revetment known as the great wall of Lagos, a planned 8.5km long barrier made from rocks and concrete accropodes, it will act as a protection for the coastline and solve the problem of erosion.
The emblem of Eko Atlantic City will be put out for competition of architecture engineers. Just like the Eiffel Tower represents Paris, this proposed emblem would represent the Eko Atlantic City anywhere in the world.
Eko Atlantic City is geared to be the new financial hub in West Africa and the entire Sub-Saharan African region, with a dedicated and conducive business district and offers businesses the advantages of operating in a designated free zone.
The city is open to all major cooperations to come in and develop their headquarters. This environment will be economically driven. The Eko Atlantic City is benefiting Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. Effort is being made to encourage local companies as raw materials used for the project like the cement, sand, and labour are largely local.
Upon completion, the Eko Atlantic City is anticipating a population of 300,000 permanent residents and 200,000 commuters. Standing on 10 million square metres of land reclaimed from the Atlantic ocean and with a modern and efficient master-plan, this city of the future will satisfy the residential, tourism, commercial and financial needs of people.