Dr Adun Okupe, Executive Director of Sahara Centre
Peju Fatuyi and Aike Akhigbe, Volunteers, Legacy 1995
Dr Adun Okupe, executive director of Sahara Centre and part of Red Clay Advisory started the conversation by highlighting the relevance of historical sites to the city other than economic benefits. With respect to tourism, maintaining and saving Architectural monuments is a proven strategy to attract tourists. Urban Regeneration efforts by Government should be sympathetic to the historical site, retaining elements and features originally found there. This results in a city with a soul, a renewed city, with a life and spirit that means a unique identity
Dr Okupe also explained how community involvement is about more about people appreciating their identity and having a voice to keep that identity than it is about the physical manifestation of that community. The community should henceforth push that voice out, moving forward, in order to prevent the loss of heritage.
Tourism will serve as a constant reminder not just to tourists, but to the locals and community residents that there are culturally significant and relevant spaces in the city. She cited the Ilojo bar case, an unfortunate loss of heritage, despite government’s efforts made to prevent the looming terror attack on a heritage value.
Subsequently, Peju Fatuyi and Aike Akhigbe both spoke about developing a framework for promoting urban resilience and placemaking in the city. They interacted with the audience to explain resilience in its various definitions. Is resilience about ‘bouncing back’ from disaster or adjusting capacity to meet up with varying demands.
The audience was then tasked to choose their preferred city to live in between Paris and London, stating the reasons for their choice. Factors that determined their choices included; ‘new place’, ‘new culture’, meeting old lives.
Finally, the concept of branding a city was discussed. A case study of Marrakech was presented where Architectural styles are retained through time, preserving the economic viability of the place for the film-making industry. The purity of the cultural essence then becomes the value chain driver across local and international markets.