THE 2018 World Towns Leadership Summit in Berlin, Germany will explore the future roles of urban place management organizations in the smart city movement. The Summit will identify the role of BIDs and other public-private partnership organizations as drivers of economic growth while also exploring finance options to support innovative city building.
To this end, experts in the downtown neighbourhood development, has called on Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for representation in the Summit slated for next month.
Reason for the suggestion, according to Mr. Joseph Ayinde, a urban planning consultant, was for Lagos State to leverage on the summit’s discourse to sustain the tempo of what has been achieved so far in Lagos Central Business District(CBD), and possibly to improve on it.
According to Ayinde, every thriving community requires public safety. Now that Lagos’ downtown center, the Lagos Island, has become revitalized, it’s important to protect the investment within the district.
“Now the question are: How do you plan for public safety? What resources can you capitalize on to further your mission? This is part of International Downtown Association(IDA’s) top issues including the Safety & Security team would explore and will share their insights with during this summit, he said.
Another strategic area that require attention in the Lagos CBD, is how Parking Management can increase Transportation Choices and Leverage Downtown Growth, and this is to explore emerging parking best practices to turn catalysts into opportunities to improve the appeal, efficiency and potential intensification of urban places.
In his submission, another commentator, Mr. Julius Olufemi, who revealed that Lagos CBD had received thump-up from International Downtown Association, noted that “the favourable comparison with other countries in Africa has attested to the saying that ‘Inspired Leaders Shaping the Cities’ which Governor Ambode exemplified”.
According to him, the description of Lagos Central Business Districts by the International Downtown Association (IDA), as the third best in Africa after Kenya and South Africa, has underscored the veritable business and investment potentials inherent in it. “Therefore, every effort to sustain the tempo must not be spared”, he counseled.
To underscore it’s resolve to sustain the tempo of improvement, official has revealed government’s desire to enshrine the best global standards of business transactions in the State’s Central Business Districts (CBDs) through strategic partnerships.
Speaking during the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing, in Alausa Secretariat recently, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Mr. Anofiu Olarenwaju Elegushi declared that impactful consultation with stakeholders has served as catalyst for improved business environment in the State.
According to Elegushi, government has expended enormous resources and wherewithal on beautification, painting, re-branding, reconstruction and general uplifting of Lagos Island CBD axis to ensure that serene and conducive environment is in place for businesses to thrive.
He also revealed that the recognition of Lagos Central Business Districts by the International Downtown Association (IDA), as the third best in Africa after Kenya and South Africa, has underscored the veritable business and investment potentials inherent in the area, adding that as Lagos State is moving towards achieving a smart city status, “We are tapping from the membership of this international body to set international standard of operations for our activities as well as for the business district as it is the primary resource for information regarding current issues affecting downtowns across the country and the world”, stated
The Special Adviser submitted that the electronic business guide (e-guide) project, designed to guide shoppers as to where to make purchases of goods, products or items they desire within Lagos Island CBD has already received the approval of the State Governor as well as the business community and it is expected to generate enormous revenue for the government through advert placements and patronage, adding that the site has received well over 100,000 visitors.
He revealed that the face of Lagos Island business district is changing for good with the coming of the blue rail from Okokomaiko to CMS, the opening of the Lagos DNA Centre as well as the handing over of the formal presidential lodge in Marina amongst others.
According to him, “The travel time within the Lagos Island Business District has drastically reduced through the removal of an unnecessary impediment to free human and vehicular movement, security has been beefed up as activities of hoodlums and miscreants have been reasonably curtailed, enabling the CBD to have the capacity to run a 24-hour business”.
He said in ensuring proper harmonization and synergy of all government enforcement agencies operating within the Central Business District, the State Government took steps to effectively harmonise enforcement operations within CBD through the hosting of periodic engagement of stakeholders in the formal and informal sectors on how best to manage the business districts in line with acceptable international standard.
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