Dr Lindsay Sawyer

Honorary Research Fellow

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I am an urbanist specialising on Lagos, Nigeria with research interests in emerging theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to the urban realities of African urbanism particularly in regard to the related issues of dual land regimes involving customary authority, differentiating the informal and informality, the role of rental housing, the implications of piecemeal service provision and ‘urban majorities’ – the prevalent not-poorest, not-wealthy population, urban fabric and ways of doing that are often ignored in literature and policy. I am also interested in comparative urbanism as a way to produce this knowledge. Ongoing comparative work has involved Lagos, Shenzhen, Kolkata, Istanbul and Mexico City.

Since 2011 I have been part of the comparative project Planetary Urbanisation in Comparative Perspective lead by Christian Schmid of ETH Zurich, that put eight urban regions into comparison to produce new theoretical categories based on deep empirical work put in comparative perspective. I was previously a Visiting Scholar at the African Centre for Cities in Cape Town, and a researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore.

External positions

Contributor to 'Planetary Urbanization in Comparative Perspective' research project, ETH Zurich (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich)

2011 → …

Areas of expertise

Research Networks and Beacons

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2016 - Doctor of Science, PLOTTING the prevalent but undertheorised residential areas of Lagos. Conceptualising a process of urbanisation through grounded theory and comparison, ETH Zurich (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich) (2011 - 2016)
  • 2010 - Master in Science, The City, University of Edinburgh (2009 - 2010)
  • 2009 - Bachelor of Architecture, Architectural Design, University of Edinburgh (2005 - 2009)

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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