Planning and provision of Public Infrastructure: A case study of drainage canals in Tema, Ghana

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2019-01-01
Authors
Gyan, Kwadwo
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Francis Owusu
Jane Rongerude
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Community and Regional Planning

Community and regional planning is a professional field of study aimed at assessing the ever-changing socioeconomic and physical environments of our communities and planning for their future. Planners evaluate and seize opportunities to understand and solve problems. Most planners work at the local level, but they are concerned with issues that affect the world: the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life in a community, the protection of the environment, the promotion of equitable economic opportunity; and the management of growth and change of all kinds.

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The Department of Community and Regional Planning was established in 1978 when it was split from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Community Planning.

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1978–present

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Rapid urbanization is a threat to the efficient and proactive provision of basic urban infrastructure. Nonetheless, existing formal regulations and design standards in Ghanaian cities are often outmoded, too expensive, cumbersome to implement and inconsistent with the incremental urban development practices that are prevalent. In response, many urban residents have resorted to self-financing and -provision of their basic infrastructure based on their resource capacities- time, money, and labor. The report explores this situation in Tema, a Ghanaian city with both planned and unplanned neighborhoods, with a focus on its drainage systems. The study addresses the broader question: How are drainage systems planned and provided in the rapidly urbanizing city of Tema. Using a comparative analytical and multi-scalar approach, the study examines the quality, connectivity and availability of drains and its relationship with formal regulations, standards and approaches adopted in three neighborhoods. We found that there is a general lack of connectivity and poor quality in the drainage system in both planned and unplanned areas. The local government is expected to finance and provide drainage canals. However, currently, the financing and provision of drainage canals by local residents have become the norm due to delays or the lack proactive provisioning of drains by the local government. Residents who are able to afford planned estate areas have the opportunity of having drainage canals provided as part of their purchased/mortgaged housing. Yet, this opportunity is not accessible to most residents who purchase non-estate housing, representing 90 percent of Ghana’s housing stock.

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Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019