This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 6 June 2023, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Join us for a fascinating discussion on urban sustainability.

Tyres are a truly global commodity and a symbol of our historic dependency on motor vehicles. But they are also connected to environmental and health risks.

In megacities like Lagos, Nigeria, the problem of waste tyres is particularly acute. End-of-life tyres are discarded on the streets, disposed of in waterways, stockpiled or burned, which can pose significant fire hazards and lead to breeding grounds for malarial mosquitoes.

However, as our panel experts, who worked together on a British Academy / GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) funded project, will show, used tyres are also at the heart of a thriving - mostly informal - roadside economy of small garages, workers and a (female-dominated) ‘upcycling’ sector through which tyres are repurposed in many ways.

Reclaimed, upcycled and repaired, they are turned into new resources, epitomising the resilience and creativity of urban everyday life. 

A short article for further reading

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Image credit: © Andrew Esiebo

About the speakers

Simon Coleman is Chancellor Jackman Professor at the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, and former president of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. He has carried out fieldwork in Sweden, the UK and Nigeria. His most recent book is Powers of Pilgrimage (2021).

David Garbin is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Director of the Migration, Ethnicity, Religion and Belonging Research Cluster at the University of Kent. He has carried out fieldwork in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Europe and North America on migration and urban religion. He is the primary investigator of the Pneuma-city project.

Taibat Lawanson is a professor of urban management and governance at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she is also co-director at the University of Lagos Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development. Lawanson has published singly or jointly with other scholars on issues relating to urban informality, environmental justice and pro-poor development.

Akeem Akinwale is Associate Professor and Acting Head of Department of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He earned his degrees in sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His areas of specialisation are Employment Relations, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management and Development Studies. 

Itziar Iraola Arregi is an independent scholar focusing on materials science.

Gareth Millington is a Reader in sociology at the University of York. He currently leads a Leverhulme-funded five-year project titled ‘Archiving the Inner City: Race and the Politics of Urban Memory’. Gareth also works on two British Academy/Global Challenges Research Fund projects, both involving research in Lagos, Nigeria.


University of York