Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have broken ground on Alárò City, a new masterplan development that will connect to Lagos in southwest Nigeria. The mixed-use model community will feature an international trade gateway with a new seaport and airport. Designed for the Lagos State Government and Africa’s largest urban developer Rendeavour, the project is made to boost foreign direct investment to create an economic and cultural hub for West Africa.
Alárò City will rise 60 kilometers east of Lagos, as the 2,000-hectare city plan is part of the wider 16,000-hectare Lekki Free Trade Zone. SOM designed a master plan that aims to protect a lush forest between two lagoons and enable long-term resiliency for the future city. The plan is structured around six greenways, aligned north-to-south with the prevailing winds and existing topography, and spaced 800 meters apart to bring all residents and workers within five-minute walk of open space. The greenways are also designed to convey stormwater into the lagoon to the north.
The project is designed as a mixed-income, city-scale development with offices, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment, and 150 hectares (370 acres) of parks and open spaces. SOM planned transport infrastructure to support local economic activity and to allow for higher density, mixed-use development. Central to the plan is a 14 hectare park that will be used to host community events. A main boulevard will connect the commercial, enterprise, and educational areas on the north with the industrial area to the south.
“Alárò City helps strengthen Lagos’ position as the economic and cultural hub for West Africa by creating a new mixed-use model sustainable community—a place for people to work, make, live, and learn, which aims to become an international trade gateway,” says Daniel Ringelstein, Director at SOM.
SOM stated that a number of multi-national companies are already building facilities on site, but no date of completion has been announced.