With Lagos scheduled to start its 4th Mainland Bridge this year, below are a few areas in which the Nigerian government could consider to make the bridge a success, offering value for money and serving the mobility needs of those in Lagos.

Expert Negotiation — Lagos has never negotiated a contract this large, with the implications enormous for the coming century. Yes, an entire century. As the bridge itself should have a planned existence of at least 100 years, the government needs to consider all of the potential angles of negotiation regarding its building. These aspects include Environmental, Social and…


What will be the defining structure of this generation — the wall or the bridge? Our future is riding on just that, with generational consequences.

A piece of the Berlin Wall says it all…(London’s Imperial War Museum, author photo)

Well, that was interesting, tragic, wasteful, humiliating. Choose your word. While not “over”, this chapter is at least finished.

Leadership in America should take a different tilt, based on two very people. …


In 2020, the City of Angels released Our Next L.A., a far-reaching document about its direction for the coming generation. Below is a short comment on its content.

As an Angelino who has lived in significantly better planned Europe for 20+ years, I often thought with dread about how my Los Angeles had been planned. The car was the default transport mode and without it, you were completely cut-off. You were also a real nobody. Public transport existed, but it was a long way away from Europe. …


Want to further justice on the streets? Start consuming financial reports en masse….

How much does the police actually cost? The above likely counts as overtime. (Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash)

Millions of dollars are being invested ostensibly in the interests of communities, without very little actual knowledge of those communities and with at best very mixed results. Budgets related to schools, infrastructure, health and policing are not just random figures like many treat them, only to be handled by “beancounters”, those “good with numbers” or politicians. These reports provide a very detailed overview into how cities and their services function and demonstrate the massive investments contributing to the success or failure of millions of people.

Budget Accessibility


The pandemic crisis and its stark images of nearly empty freeways continues to offer us an opportunity to reevaluate many aspects of our life — environment, housing and mobility — and hopefully an opportunity to question at least two truisms.

Truism 1 — freeways only have cars, buses and trucks

Seeing the nation’s empty freeways provokes a question: should cars, buses and trucks be the only ones using freeways? The default answer since the 1950s has been an unequivocal “yes”. However, given the evolving mobility choices, policymakers could reevaluate how freeways are used.

America’s big push into high speed rail…


Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge — now only for cars, trucks and buses. Allowing bikes for commuting would signifiantly democratize Bay Area transport.

The cliché of a crisis being a terrible thing to waste has some validity for Bay Area traffic. The Bay Area’s eternal bridge challenge has not disappeared, played out over the last 12 months in falling concrete, worsening traffic and discussion about the need for another bridge. However, Covid-19 presents a unique opportunity to bring equity to the use of bridges, and it could be very cheap and game-changing.

Democratizing the bridges

Most, not all, people who commute using the bridges in the morning to San Francisco are wealthy — they take their car, pay the toll and many have…


Franco-German TV channel ARTE — bridging the cultural divide in Europe — could serve as a potential model for the US and Mexico.

With the continuing impasse between the US and Mexico, one starts to wonder how to change the paradigm. Politicians, keen to score a few points, won’t hesitate criticizing the other country for its problems. It’s just too easy at times. However, policymakers should take a step back and remember the bigger picture. They could learn from France and Germany to hammer out differences, move on and promote common agenda items, with wider implications for an entire continent.

Franco-German reconciliation

The city of Strasbourg on the Franco-German border is a unique city — too French for Germany, too German for France…


The extreme polarization around communities, where a seemingly innocuous good time can turn into an “us vs. them” confrontation, demonstrates how fragile our society has become.

While the informal feeling is that the situation has worsened since 2016, no real proof appears to exist, in an age of big data, that would demonstrably quantify that polarization. An annual survey would start measuring it, potentially posing the following questions:

  • Are you more likely or less likely to watch a news program that you would say does not normally correspond to your political views?
  • Are you more or less likely to consider…

Richard Dion

Governance, Communications and Regional Development Consultant

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