With the date for the commencement of dredging works in the Imperial International Business City (IIBC), inching closer, the infrastructure consultants to the project, Mott MacDonald Limited, London, United Kingdom, have completed a four day site inspection visit to the planned location of the project, Ikate-Elegushi, in the Elegushi Kingdom of Ajah, Lagos.
The leader of the Mott MacDonald team, Stuart Croucher, in an interaction with The Nation Property, explained that the main mission of his team is to finalise its preparations which will ensure that the IIBC, conceived to be the number one smart city in Africa, is sufficiently structured in the area of infrastructure sustainability and efficiency.
Croucher revealed that to in actualise this, the infrastructure design of the city will be hinged on six infrastructural design drivers. These, he noted to include: ensuring that the IIBC must be self-sustaining; must be a smart and an eco-friendly city; must have steady flow of traffic; must have a flood free lifetime of 100 years; have general utility efficiency, and leverage on the best technology to archive the design drivers.
Given the volume of residential and commercial activities envisaged in the city, transportation network becomes a critical infrastructural consideration. To ensure this is effectively and efficiently provided for, Croucher explained, the city is been designed to align with the future developmental expansion and population growth of Lagos state for the next 50 years. Already, he revealed that his team’s dream of making this a reality has been further boosted with the Lagos state 2030 transport vision plans, which he claims will be very useful for IIBC connectivity design.
Croucher however disclosed that much as his team have projected a population data for the future city, he believes it is important to get the same for the entire Lekki-Ajah area, as this will enable them to develop a proper outside connectivity/access plan for the residents of the IIBC.
Commending officials of the Lagos State civil service that his team has been working and interacting with on the project, Croucher said: “they have been very helpful and welcoming. We are gladdened that after seeing our plans and designs, they are convinced that the developmental plan of the IIBC fits into the administration’s goal of making Lagos state a smart mega city.”
For the promoters of the IIBC, Channeldrill Resources Limited, the objective it aims to achieve with transportation network is to promote efficiency within the city and even beyond. The firm’s Managing Director, Mr. Femi Akioye, explained that the design to incorporate even pedestrians.
“The design incorporates footways, and pedestrian cycle shared space boulevard connecting the Marina to the central business district (CBD). This reduces the reliance on cars which in turn reduces the burden added on air quality. Mixed use developments are in line with the sustainability strategy and reduce distance and modes of transport. So, by providing shaded walkways walking can be made safe under all weather conditions,” Akioye explained. He added that for cyclists, a segregated cycle paths will be built into the transport network to provide a safer environment where residents can feel more comfortable to cycle. The road hierarchy and public realm, he said, addresses the safety of cyclists and will also aim to include changing facilities within the commercial development in the area.
For public transportation, he explained that the parking capacity will be limited, and people in the IIBC will be connected to decent public transport which will be easily accessible throughout the Island.
Croucher revealed that part of his firm’s mandate is to ensure that the IIBC is a zero flood zone for the next 100 years. Therefore, to achieve this, the firm is working with Royal HaskoningDHV of Nederland B.V., who are the reclamation / marine consultants to the project.
“They have done an extensive research on the Lagos lagoon and the future rise in water level of the whole lagoon and the report is what they are now working with to make sure that the zero flood zones is archived. Because of the future rise in the water level IIBC will be reclaimed at 3.5m above sea level,” he submitted.
The IIBC is coming following the approval received by the Elegushi Royal Family (ERF) of Lagos from the Lagos state Government for the expansion of Ikate Kingdom by 200 hectares of land. This is to be attained by dredging off the Lagos Lagoon, which will in effect expand the ancient Ikate city and also extend Lekki phase 1.
To achieve this, the ERF partnered with Channeldrill Resources Limited as the Developer and Joint Venture (JV) partner on this 200 ha project to develop the IIBC. The development of the project will be completed in 2021.
The IIBC, to be built on the Lagos lagoon, will run from the end of Freedom road to the end of NICON town; that is, from freedom road to Kunsenla Road, to Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi Road, through Lekki Phase 1.