Lagos Urban Studies Group (LUSG)

Name of Research Group: Lagos Urban Studies Group (LUSG)

Faculty:Social Sciences

Background/Research Issues of the Group:

The Lagos Urban Research Group (LUSG) draws its inspiration from providing sustainable knowledge and solutions to urban development processes and planning problems that could serve as impediment to implementing global, national and local development aspirations. Implementing global aspirations such as Agenda 2030, the new urban agenda, African Union Agenda 2063, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the New Framework for Environmental and Social Safeguards among others call for new knowledge and methods. There is need for new expertise to support knowledge driven decisions and solutions require vigorous research on urban systems including land, housing and environment, health, education and safety, economy and poverty, trade and commerce, population and demography to link science to implementation. Also, the underlying dynamics, processes, distributions, patterns, trends or disparities inherent in modern cities require innovative methods and proactive actions which must emanate from better knowledge and data. We must better understand and position cities through sustainable knowledge and solutions to implement the various global aspirations by deploying innovative techniques and strategiesincluding digital and social media platforms and community.



  • Innovative research in all aspects of urban development dynamics and governance challenges
  • Providing standardised metrics about cities and communities for better decisions, policies and planning
  • Enhancing sustainable knowledge and solutions in cities and communities
  • Transdisciplinary research towards bridging the gap between science and implementation of knowledge and actions
  • Deployment of social and digital tools and platforms for data collection and management
  • Promoting community-driven surveys and needs assessment

Research Areas/Focus:

  • Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development
  • Sustainable Transformations in Urban Contexts
  • Implementing Sustainable Development Goals in Africa
  • Livelihood System and Poverty Mapping
  • Soils and Land Use Planning
  • Environment and Urbanization
  • Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  • Global Environmental Change/Climate Adaptation Planning
  • The Challenges of City-region Governance in Nigeria
  • Slum conditions and needs assessment in Nigerian Cities
  • Social and Economic Impact Assessment (SIEA)
  • Implementation of Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies


Team members and their speciality





Telephone (+234)


Peter Elias

Lead Researcher

Urban and Environmental Planning



Ademola Omojola


Remote Sensing/GIS




Olatunji Babatola


Population and Geotoursim Studies



Mayowa Fasona


Remote Sensing/Natural Resources Management



Adelina Mensah

International Collaborator

Environment and Sanitation

 Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana


Pierre Failler

International Collaborator

Environmental Economics

Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, UK

+44 (0)23 9284 8484

Stephen Oladayiye


GIS expert



Bunmi Alugbin


Urban Planner



Abiodun Ajijola

Field Coordinator

Geomorphology/Remote Sensing



Andrew Maki


Community engagement and advocacy

Justice and Empowerment Initiative



Description of Notable Research findings /Outstanding Research findings:

Effective Urban Infrastructure Governance in Africa: resolving the wealth-poverty paradox: The process of urban development processes and problems, the paradox of poverty amidst wealth and urban infrastructure deficit are revealing on low productivity, cyclic poverty and large inequality in Africa. The manner of urbanisation, evolution of slum dwellers and communities, rising crime rates, unemployment are exerting immeasurable pressure on available resources which further exacerbate the state of available infrastructure and services. Infrastructure is the limiting factor for industrialisation and ease of doing business in most African countries. Meanwhile, improved infrastructure will facilitate domestic and international trade, reduce the cost of doing business and enhance Africa’s competitiveness both as exporter and a destination for investors. Thus, governance in Africa should emphasise infrastructure delivery based on justice, inclusiveness and accountability. 

Slum Identification and Needs Assessment Studies of Selected Settlements in Nigeria – Aba, Kaduna and Osogbo: The rate of urban expansion largely caused by rural urban migration is escalating slum development trajectoriesin Nigeria amidst uncoordinated urban planning and governance framework. The evolution of slums in Nigeria are a product of several factors including poor land governance, gradual degradation of formal housing and social filtering processes and the proliferation of the informal housing development processes. The key interventions identified in the study for tackling urban slums include: upgrading slums with insertion of physical and social infrastructure; regeneration of slum neighbourhoods to raise the quality of infrastructure and buildings that have suffered neglect and whose original functions have been lost; and improved local economic development and empowerment by activating local assets to create jobs and improve livelihoods, financial independence and human well-being.

Slum condition and Needs Assessment in Selected Slum Settlements of Lagos: The proliferation of slums in Lagos because of rural urban migration is increasing the number of slum dwellers and communities in Lagos. There is lack of access to critical living conditions including water and sanitation, durable housing, sufficient living space, and security of tenure. This stretching available resources of government beyond limits amid dwindling revenues. There is the need thereforeto begin to mobilise local assets and capacities for improving urban services and infrastructure by emphasising what matters for slum dwellers and communities; and leveraging what works for slum dwellers and communities.

Community-based management of ecosystems and natural resources for the improvement of rural livelihoods and food security in the Nigerian Savanna: The study also documents the challenges of natural resource management, rural livelihoods and inability of governments to translate policy intentions into actions. The general perceptions of the people on the changing climate substantially agrees with data from meteorological stations. Climate plays important roles in the economy and means of livelihoods, income levels, poverty index and food security in the rural communities. Livelihoods in the wooded savanna are substantially tied to the natural resources and farming and other land related activities are major sources of livelihoods for about 65.1%of the population. Food security and adaptation are mutually supportive approaches and by explicitly integrating climate change into food security programme, actions to address climate change will increase capacity to adapt to climate change and better manage ecosystems and natural resources.

The challenge of Climate Change for Lagos, Nigeria: The research to synthesizes of the challenge of climate change for Lagos to clearly understand climate change impacts and adaptation mechanisms which reveals the uncoordinated nature of the top-down interventions and institutions and the neglect of the local experiences and capacities for building resilience.

Dealing with rainfall variability for food production in the Nigerian Savannah:The study contributes to the understanding of the observed and perceived trends and effects of rainfall on food production, identifies options that are adopted by farmers in dealing with the impacts in the Nigerian Savannah.

Bio-sketches of Key Personnel:


Dr. Peter Elias

B.Sc., M.Sc., MURP, Ph.D.

He is a Senior Lecturer and a registered Urban and Regional Planner affiliated with the Department of Geography, University of Lagos. Peter’s research interests include Urban and Environmental Planning, Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development, Sustainable Transformations in Urban Contexts, Implementing Sustainable Development Goals in Africa, Livelihood System and Poverty Mapping, Soils and Land Use Planning, Environment and UrbanizationBiodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Global Environmental Change/Climate Adaptation Planning. He is a 2017 winner as a Lead Researcher in the pre-proposal application phase on Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa. He has also received several fellowships/grants/awards which include: ISSC/ICSU/NASAC travel award for Transdisciplinary Research Training in Kampala (2017), CSIR/IPBES Capacity Building Workshop on Science-Policy Interaction on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in South Africa (2017), University of Lagos Central Research Committee (CRC) Research Grant (2015- 2016) on Slum Conditions and Needs Assessment, ISSC Nominee asanInvited Expert/Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for the African Regional Assessment and Land Degradation/Restoration (2015-2018), World Social Sciences Fellow Travel Grant to participate in World Social Sciences Forum, Durban, South Africa (2015), a World Social Sciences Fellows to Sustainable Urbanization seminar in Taiwan (2014), the British Council and University of Bath, UK travel grant on Cities in Interconnected World at the Nelson Mandela in Abuja (2014), African-wide urban climate change and adaptation workshop Travel Grant with the theme ‘Who bears the Brunt of Climate in African Cities’ held at the Royal Holloway University, London, UK (2013), Global Environmental Change Research in Africa (GEC) Award for 2011 and NASA/UGEC travel grant in Arizona, USA (2011) and University of Lagos Central Research Committee Best Researcher Award for the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2009.

Professor Ademola Omojola

B.Sc. M.A. Ph.D.

He is a Professor and Head of Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. He has conducted, supervised, and published various research projects that use remote sensing and GIS applications for environmental studies in Nigeria. He has also been advising the government and the private sector in the application of remote sensing and GIS in Nigeria. Prof. Omojola has completed a B.Sc. Degree in Geography from the University of Ibadan in 1982, an MA Geography with specialization in Hydrology and Resource Analysis in 1985 and Ph.D in Geography with specialization in Remote Sensing and GIS for environmental change detection, University of Lagos in 1997.

Dr. Olatunji Babatola

B.A., M.Phil, Ph.D.

Dr Olatunji Babatola is a Senior Lecturer in Geography Dept., Univ. of Lagos, Nigeria. A onetime, Ag. Head of department, he obtained an M.Phil in Transport and Planning and later a PhD. in Population Analysis (Pop mobility and sexuality risk). He is currently involved also in Tourism teaching and research. He was a Visiting Fellow at The Nat.l Center for Epidemiology/Pop Health, The Australian National Univ. Canberra, as part of the Sub Saharan HIV/AIDS research network between Jan - June 1995.

Dr. Mayowa Fasona

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Fasona is a winner of the University of Lagos Vice Chancellor’s Award for the Best PhD Thesis in 2007 and the Faculty Best Researcher Award for the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2007 and 2012. He completed his doctoral thesis on Land Degradation and Environmental Change in the coast of Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria in 2007. He acquired Postdoctoral training in Climate Change Modeling and Adaptation at the Climate Systems Analysis Group in the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa under the START/African Climate Change Fellowship Program in 2009-2010.   He also attended the Training on Teaching methods and Assessment techniques at the Staff Training Center, University of Lagos, in  2006; Training on Interdisciplinary Science of Global Climate Change sponsored by ICTP/GFDL/NOAA at the Faculty of Science, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2007; African Climate Change Fellowship Programme Writing Retreat at the  Carter Conference Center, Millwood, VA, USA,  in 2012; Brown International Advanced Research Institute (BIARI)  on  Climate Change and its Impacts at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA, in 2012;  IRDR/START Advanced Institute on Data for Coastal Cities at Risk at the  IRDR International Center of Excellence, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan in 2012; and the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC) Training and Collaboration workshop on Coastal Cities at Risk (CCaR)Project in Dusit Thani Manila Hotel, Makati, Manila, The Philippines, in 2013.


Dr. Adelina Mensah

B.Sc., M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Dr. Adelina Mensah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS), University of Ghana. She has several years of experience as an academician, a scientist, and a consultant in various environmental issues. Dr. Mensah has worked extensively with various local institutions including Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, etc. and on international donor funded projects by the World Bank, UNDP, START and other international NGOs. Her specific area of expertise, the assessment of the complexities of water use/quality issues for inland and coastal aquatic systems, includes an interdisciplinary approach for understanding the inter-linkages between drivers of land-use and environmental change. In addition to her research skills in hydrology, aquatic physico-chemistry and biology, Dr. Mensah has diverse experience in assessing socio-economic factors as part of climate change and environmental/developmental issues.

Selected Publications

Mensah, A.M., Wiafe, G., Niane, M., Agyekum, K.A, Foli, B.A., Azumah, D.M.Y, Williams, I., Boakye, A.A., & Adiku, P.Y. (2016) Strategic Communication Plan: Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (FED/2014/331697). Publishers Digibooks Ghana Ltd: Accra, 129 pp.

 Gyasi, E.A., Fosu, M., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., Mensah, A.M., Obeng, F., Yiran G.A.B. & Fuseini I. (2014). Building Urban Resilience: Assessing Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Tamale, Ghana. [Padgham, J. and J. Jabbour, Eds.]. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya. ISBN: 978-92-807-3372-3.

 Tanner, T., Mensah, A., Lawson, E.T., Gordon, C., Godfrey-Wood, R., & Cannon, T. (2017). A Political Economy of Artisanal Fisheries and Climate Change in Ghana, In Nunan, F. (Ed.), Making Climate Compatible Development Happen (223-241), Routledge: London and New York

 Mensah, A. & Gordon, C. (2016). Water pollution in River Basins: River Basin 3-Volta, In UNEP, A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality: Towards a Global Assessment (pp. 59-62), United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi.

 Borchardt, D., Gordon, C., Alcamo, J., Dannisøe, J. G., Müller, & Mensah, A. (2016). Solutions to the Water Quality Challenge: A Preliminary Review, In UNEP, A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality: Towards a Global Assessment (pp. 81-93), United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi.

 Abiye, T., Mensah, A., Pietersen, K., Businge, M., & Nyalugwe, K. (2016). Water, In UNEP, GEO6 Regional Assessment for Africa (pp. 52-72), United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi.

 Habtezion, S., Adelekan, I., Aiyede, E., Biermann, F., Fubara, M., Gordon, C., Gyekye, K., Kasimbazi, E., Kibugi, R., Lawson, E., Mensah, A., Mubaya, C., Olorunfemi, F., Paterson, A., Tadesse, D., Usman, R. & Zondervan. R. (2015). Earth System Governance in Africa: knowledge and capacity needs. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 198-205.


Pierre Failler

MSc Econ, DEA Phil, Reader, Department of Economics, Portsmouth University, UK

Pierre Failler is a Reader, who has been with the Economic Department of the University of Portsmouth and CEMARE since 1997. He is and has coordinated about 20 research projects in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. He has recently completed a major EU-INCO project ECOST (2005-2010) with 23 partners in Asia, Africa, South Pacific, Europe and Caribbean where the societal costs of fishing practices and integrated marine fishery policies have been evaluated. 
Pierre is also an evaluator and reviewer of international projects on Marine resources management (SWIOF project in Indian Ocean, 2011), Fishery Development (DG-Development, FAO, UNEP, World Bank, etc., onwards), Marine resources and environment Research (EU-DG Research, West African Regional Marine and Coastal Conservation Program, onward) and Fishing agreements (European Parliament, IUCN, Dfid, onward). 
He is the author or co-author of about 300 journal articles, book chapters, research reports, consultancy reports, media reports, conference and workshop papers, conference proceedings, etc. (see recent publication list below) and the organiser of a series of conferences on fisheries, trade, non-trade barriers, IUU, fishing agreements and new international measures in Africa, Europe and Caribbean Countries.

Research Interest

Economic development, Marine resources economics, Trade and food security, Blue carbon market and Payment for marine ecosystem services.

Selected Publications:

  1. Peter Elias, Mayowa Fasona, Olatunji Babatola & Ademola Omojola (2017) Factors Influencing Willingness to Pay for Improved Urban Services in Selected Slum Communities: Empirical Evidence from Lagos Megacity. Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management, Volume 10 number 6.
  2. Abdulahi Abubakar, Peter Elias and Olatunji Babatola (2017) Intra-Regional Disparity in North Western States of Nigeria: Evidence from Educational Enrolments. Nigerian Journal of Tropical Geography. Vol. 8. No. 1 pp. 1336-1360
  3. Peter Elias (2017) ‘African Development Initiatives’ in Olayinka Akanle and Jimi Olalekan Adesina (Eds). The Development of Africa: Issues, Diagnoses and Prognoses, Springer Nature Publishers (In press)
  4. Peter Elias & Olatunji Babatola (2016) ‘Migration, Globalization and Tourism: Issues and Policies’ In Oyefara et al (eds.) Book of Readings on Migration and Urbanization in Contemporary Nigeria: Policy Issues and Challenges. University of Lagos Press and Bookshop Limited. Pp. 435-468
  5. Peter Elias, Olatunji Babatola, Ademola Omojola, Mayowa Fasona Prioritising Community Needs Assessments and Strategies for Sustainable Urban Service Delivery and Governance: Case Study of Lagos Slum Settlements Unilag Journal of Humanities (Under-Peer-review)
  6. Peter Elias The challenges of climate change communication for Lagos coastal communities. Handbook of Climate Change Communication, Springer Publishers (Forthcoming)
  7. Peter Elias, Olatunji Babatola & Ademola Omojola (2016) ‘Effective Urban Infrastructure Governance in Africa: Resolving the Wealth-Poverty Paradox’ in Umar G. Benna and Shaibu B. Garba (eds) Population Growth and Rapid Urbanization in the Developing world. United States: IGI Global Book Series. Pp. 125-148
  8. Peter Elias & Bijah Singh (2015) ‘Social Cohesion and Equity’ in Corrie Griffith and Mark Watkins (eds.) Comments on Habitat III Papers, A Publication of Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC), Arizona, USA.
  9. Peter Elias (2015) ‘Dilemmas of Urban Governance and Infrastructure Deficit in Africa’ In: Condie, J. M., & Cooper, A. M.  Dialogues of Sustainable Urbanisation: Social Science Research and Transitions to Urban Contexts. Penrith, N.S.W.: University of Western Sydney. pp 41-46
  10. Peter Elias & Olatunji Babatola (2015) Differential vulnerability and dilemma of responses to climate change in low-income coastal communities of Lagos. 2nd International Conference on Urbanization and Global Environmental change: Urban Transitions & transformations: Science, Synthesis and Policy, Synthesis Report, Pp.103-104
  11. Peter Elias, Olamide Afolayan and Olatunji Babatola (2015) Intra-Regional Disparity in South-Western States of Nigeria and Implications for Regional Development Planning, The Lagos Journal of Environmental Studies, 17:3: 22-35
  12. Peter Elias & Ademola Omojola (2015). The Challenge of Climate Change for Lagos, Nigeria. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 13: 74-78

Available online at,

  1. Peter Elias, Olamide Afolayan & Olatunji Babatola (2014) ‘Local Governments as Strategic Partners for Service Delivery in Nigeria’ Journal of Research in National Development, 12:2. 1-25, ISSN 1596-8308.;
  2. Debora Swistun and Peter Elias (2014) Urban Transitions to Sustainability: ecology, human rights, urban network and equal distribution of environmental risks to build sustainable futures. CROP Newsletter.
  3. Elias, Peter. (2011) Local Knowledge and Capacities for Global Environmental Change Adaptation in Urban slums and Informal Settlements in Third World Countries. International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP)/Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) Viewpoint VI, 38-42, 2011
  4. Peter Elias, Mayowa Fasona, Vide Adedayo, Felix Olorunfemi & Grace Adeniji (2014) Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in the Nigerian Savannah. Unilag Journal of Humanities, 2:1, 164-185
  5. Peter Elias & Adepoju Faderin (2014) Estimating Urban Trees and Carbon Stock Potential for Mitigating Climate Change in Lagos: Case Study of Ikeja Government Reserved Area. Urban and Regional Planning Review, Vol. 5 No. 1. Pp.18-27
  6. Peter Elias, Adejumoke Adetayo & Emmanuel Wunude (2013) Urban Land Use Change and Its Implications in Ebute-Meta West Area of Lagos. Urban and Regional Planning Review, Vol. 4 No. 2. Pp.54-68
  7. Vide Adedayo, Mayowa Fasona, Felix Olorunfemi, Peter Elias, & Grace Oloukoi (2013): An Evaluation of Policy on Natural Resource Management and Its Impacts onRural Livelihoods in Nigeria. The NigerianJournal of Business and Social Studies, 7(1), pp.49-71
  8. Olatunji Babatola and Peter Elias, (2013) ‘Youth Awareness and Visits Pattern to recreational cum tourists sites in Lagos, Lagos Journal of Geographic Issues, Vol. 1 no. 1. ISSN: 2449-1373. Pp.1-24
  9. Elias, Peter and Gbadgesin, Adeniyi (2011) “Spatial relationships of urban land use, soils and heavy metal contaminations in Lagos mainland area” in the Journal of Applied Sciences & Environmental Management (JASEM) 15:2, 391 – 399. Full-text Available Online at
  10. Mayowa, Fasona, Grace Olukoi, Felix Olufemi, Vide Adedayo & Peter Elias (2014) Aspects of Natural Resource Use and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Nigerian Savanna. In Adeniyi Gbadegesin, Eze Bassey, Olugbenga Orimoguje & Olutoyin Fashae (eds.). Frontiers of Environmental Research in Sustainable Environment in 21st Ibadan: University Press. Pp.323-342