A Case Study of Urban Design for Wellbeing and Mental Health in Lagos, Nigeria

There are increasing interests in the impact and contribution of urban planning and design on mental health disorders. However, studies are scarce around such concepts within the densely populated urban city of Lagos State, Nigeria. This study explores the literature and expands on experts' opinions on mental health within Lagos’s urban design and planning. The reviewed literature presents mental health in the context of Lagos’s past, present and future urban planning and design; and identified those factors in the government policies on urban planning and design towards improving mental health.  Next, a qualitative analysis of opinions extracted following a semi-structured interview with experts was presented. Our findings show that improving mental health in Lagos requires awareness, a safe and aesthetic environment, access to public spaces, reliable transportation, affordable housing and wetland protection. Although this study suggests that political and socioeconomic factors limit Lagos state’s urban planning and design towards improved mental health, these factors provide opportunities for the state to be a model in Nigeria.