IF YOU DECIDED TO BUILD a city for 16 million people, you probably wouldn’t put it on swampy land around a tropical coastal lagoon in West Africa. But Lagos (pronounced LAY-goss), Nigeria’s largest city, defied planners and politicians.
Despite concerted efforts to shift the center of gravity elsewhere (Abuja replaced Lagos as national capital in 1991), this lively, shambolic, infuriating, colorful metropolis continues to expand and thrive, establishing itself as the fourth-wealthiest city in Africa after Johannesburg, Cairo and Cape Town.
Wealth probably isn’t the thing you think of at first sight. Large sections of the city give over to smoke-shrouded shantytowns, home to two-thirds of the population. One such shanty, Makoko, spreads out into the lagoon as a vast, dense jumble of rickety wooden houses built on stilts.
By extreme contrast, a new Lagos extension is currently being built on reclaimed land adjacent to the affluent Victoria Island district. Eko Atlantic will initially be home to a quarter of a million residents, with a skyscraper skyline reminiscent of Dubai or Singapore. The new development is already creating waves in Lagos — literally. The reclaimed land altered the coastal currents and made other sections of the shoreline vulnerable to ocean surges.
Which district is representative of Lagos? Ramshackle Makoko or futuristic Eko Atlantic? For me, there’s no contest. Makoko remains the true embodiment of Lagos.
Yes, Lagos boasts an emergent middle class for whom Eko Atlantic proves the aspirational pinnacle. But the majority of the city’s inhabitants subsist from day to day in borderline poverty. Makoko, with its houses patched up with plastic sheeting and rusty corrugated iron, lapped by water swilling with pollution, seems at first sight a nightmare of destitution.
But look closer and you’ll find a thriving, dynamic community. Floating churches and schools help to provide social cohesion amid the chaotic sprawl. There are shops and basic services. Dugout canoes provide the main form of transport.
Nobody knows precisely how many people live here: perhaps as many as 300,000. With their extraordinary resilience, the inhabitants of Makoko embody the spirit of Lagos.
THE LABELS ON SOME OF TODAY’S wine bottles sport a relatively new vocabulary, one that explains how the grapes were grown and made into wine. They include such terms as sustainable, organic and biodynamic, among others, and they warrant some explanation. Were the grapes grown by sustainable farming? Were they sprayed with organic fertilizers? Is the wine biodynamic? A number of the terms are new to many consumers. Some are controlled by the U.S. government; others are not. For simple definitions of this relatively new vocabulary, consider the following.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Much like cities around the world, San Francisco closed its museums and performing arts venues temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, those sheltering in place can experience many of these cultural institutions from the comfort of their own homes. Here are the places opening their doors remotely.
Data analytics and consumer intelligence company J.D. Power conducted a survey on the response of the travel industry to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey of 1,633 business and leisure travelers in the past year was conducted March 12–13. In general, those surveyed have faith in the travel industry and are satisfied with the industry’s response to the pandemic thus far.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.
Seoul Convention Bureau is poised for a strong bounce back from the COVID-19 virus. The company rolled out a new PLUS SEOUL program to offer extra support to the meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibition industry in response to the virus.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Japan National Tourism Organization While would-be travelers around the world are self-isolating and putting travel plans on hold, Japan Nation Tourism Organization sends the fun home. While everyone’s wanderlust grows, JNTO offers virtual experiences showcasing the best of the island country.