An investigation into city planning and the possible implications for Ghana's development: Tema and Ashaiman compared

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This thesis explores how city planning affects economic development in Ghana by comparing two urban settlements in the greater Accra region of Ghana: Ashaiman and Tema. The two proximal settlements were chosen because Tema is a planned city while Ashaiman evolved into a settlement without any formal planning. In this paper, city planning refers to orderly zoning of domestic residences as well as the provision and placement of infrastructure like good roads and social amenities such as water and social spaces like mosques, churches and schools. This thesis goes beyond the presence of these amenities to incorporate the intended and appropriate use of these amenities. In comparison, economic development is defined following Amartya Sen’s definition of development to include sustenance, self-esteem and freedom (Todaro &Smith, 2011). However, the thesis focuses on the sustenance aspect of development. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from respondents and analysed. Data was obtained from twenty two inhabitants and workers at Tema and Ashaiman primarily through interviews. By comparing and analysing the responses of the populace of Ashaiman and Tema, the paper concludes that city planning in fact does affect economic development. This is because the unsanitary conditions and poor layout of Ashaiman led to sicknesses, floods and fire outbreaks. These negative conditions in Ashaiman resulted in a vicious cycle perpetuated by the indiscriminate placement of wooden kiosks which made it difficult for the town to attract good and high paying businesses into the town to sustain its people. Unlike Ashaiman, Tema had more residents with higher education, was generally clean and sanitary and did not have many unauthorized structures leading to a virtuous cycle. Tema attracted higher end businesses and highly educated people with higher income who further developed it because of the relatively good roads and sanitary conditions. Further, the good layout of the town, facilities, good housing and urban design which were the results of effective town planning helped the people achieve sustenance. In Effect development in Ghana will be stifled if cities are not planned.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2015
Ghana, city planning, economic development, sanitation, urban infrastructure