Max Lock Centre

Tony Lloyd-Jones

The Max Lock Centre is an international development research unit drawing on planning and urban and environmental design expertise across the School of Architecture and Cities and wider development-related expertise across the University. It has been investigating planning and design for sustainable and inclusive development mainly in developing countries since the mid-90s.

The Centre this past year led research on ‘COVID-19 and Climate Change Challenges to Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development in the Global South’. A Global Challenges Research Fund-sponsored scoping study, this explored the experience of the pandemic from an urban planning and environmental science perspective. A team of 11 researchers, all graduates from our postgraduate international planning and urban design programmes, carried out case studies in urban settings across the globe, from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and Manila in the east, though New Delhi and Bangalore to Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Buenos Aires in the west. Parallel studies were carried out in L’Aquila, Italy, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London. Learning from the COVID-19 experience, the study explored practical policy recommendations for improvements to managing COVID and COVID-type outbreaks at the local and urban scale, particularly as they impact on the poor and socially excluded in developing world cities, and as they interact with climate change concerns.

A UK Aid-sponsored planning study earlier in the year, carried out in the city of Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State in south western Nigeria, included an examination of the city’s wider landscape, a major tourist attraction, its ‘blue-green infrastructure ‘and planning response to growing climate change and ood risk concerns. This was presented as part of the School’s Cities Climate Action Taskforce (ArCCAT) exhibition of staff and student work addressing UN Sustainability goals on Marylebone Campus in the run-up to COP26 conference on climate change.

Abeokuta Master Plan and Guidelines for Urban Renewal

Max Lock Core Team: Tony Lloyd-Jones, Federico Redin, Bill Erickson, Ripin Kalra, Nandini Dasgupta

With partner inputs from: Lookman Oshodi, Dominic Gusah, Sam Adenekan, Saadu Dahiru, Mark Wadsworth, Dr Mike Theis, Fanan Ujoh, Rabih El-Fadel, Stephanie Edwards, Ekaete Bassey, Dr Nicholas Miles, Darshana Chauhan, Taiwo Ajala, Dr Muyiwa Agunbiade, Dr Temilade Sessan, Dr Dotun Adikile, James Stewart and Rotin Adewunmi

The Abekouta Urban Master Plan is a dynamic long-term planning tool created as part of UK Aid- sponsored Future Cities Nigeria (FCN) to create targeted interventions to encourage sustainable development, increase prosperity and alleviate urban poverty in this city in south-western Nigeria.

This study explored baseline conditions in the city’s wider metropolitan area.The Max Lock team designed and led the implementation of a series of GIS spatial analysis and mapping exercises, documentary reviews and field surveys to explore the socio-economic, political, cultural and environmental landscape. Principal concerns that were highlighted include rapid informal development of the city, increased frequency of flooding related to climate change and the desire to preserve the historic Afro-Brazilian architecture and heritage that is still prevalent at the core of the city.