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Creating Livable, Sustainable Cities with Yomi Ademola
Episode 927th July 2020 • Charter Cities Podcast • Kurtis Lockhart
00:00:00 01:01:06

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Africa is the fastest urbanizing region on the planet. The continent’s rapid population and economic growth demand large-scale solutions. As Africa’s new private city builder – backed by American, Norwegian, British and New Zealand investors – Rendeavour builds cities in the growth path of some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing regions. Today’s guest is Yomi Ademola, the country head for Nigeria for Rendeavor, which is the largest urban real estate development company in Africa. In this episode, we discuss what it means to create livable, sustainable cities, the process of building them, and how they fit into the broader regional development of their locations. Yomi also shares with us what the impact of COVID has been on his business, the importance of blending local capacity with international expertise, as well as how to balance the need for order with the organic emergence of a city in its own right. For more on building the livable, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing cities of the future, tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

•   Yomi introduces himself and gives a bit of background to founding Rendeavour.

•   What Rendeavour is, what it means to build cities, and where their current developments are.

•   The process of building a city, from site selection and feasibility to livability and sustainability.

•   There is such a demand for new, clean, aesthetically pleasing cities in Africa given the rapid rate of urbanization and the resulting congestion.

•   How these cities fit into the broader regional development of their locations.

•   Other city projects that Yomi draws inspiration from and how PPPs like his can be catalysts for rapid economic development.

•   How COVID has affected what’s happening on the ground and the demand for Yomi’s services.

•   Raising capital and withstanding downturns depends on financial capacity of shareholders.

•   The importance of blending local capacity with international expertise, for successful projects.

•   Getting a critical mass of movers to jumpstart activity in these areas: Commerce is what capitalizes growth.

•   Balancing the need for order and the organic emergence of a city in terms of urban planning.

•   Yomi’s currency risk mitigation strategies for working in countries without stable currencies.

•   What autonomy Yomi’s company has over governance, and how it benefits the new city.

•   How government regimes differ and what the varying effects on market demand have been.

•   What it means to create a city culture and steps Yomi has taken to develop it.


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Yomi Ademola on LinkedIn


Alaro City

Renaissance Capital

Tatu City

Roma Park


Cityscape Planning

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill