THE EFFECT OF HAZARDOUS METROPOLIS: FLOODING AND URBAN ECOLOGY IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

 

Despite its reputation for sunny skies, Nigeria suffers from devastating flooding. The spectacular failures to control floods that occurred throughout the twentieth century are the subject of this book, which delves into a fascinating and little-known chapter in the city’s history. Despite the city’s 114 debris dams, 5 flood control basins, and nearly 500 miles of paved river channels, Southern Californians have discovered that technologically engineered flood control solutions are just as vulnerable to disaster as natural waterways. Jared Orsi’s lively history reveals the strange and often perilous ways in which engineering, politics, and nature have collided in Los Angeles to determine the flow of water.

He proposes a new paradigm, the urban ecosystem, for understanding the city’s complex and unpredictable waterways, as well as other issues that will undoubtedly play a role in future planning. Orsi weaves together many disparate and intriguing pieces of the story as he follows the flow of water from sky to sea, including local and national politics, the little-known San Gabriel Dam fiasco, the phenomenal growth of Los Angeles, and, finally, the influence of environmentalism. Orsi provocatively broadens his vision to include other cities for which Los Angeles may provide a lesson—both of what went wrong and of how things could be improved.

 

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