Institutional Barriers to Urban Greenspace Planning in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ghana


Global development agenda such as the Sustainable Development Goals call for natural-based strategies to make urban areas sustainable. One approach is urban greenspace planning. In Ghana, however, planning response to urban problems has often been inadequate and/or unresponsive. As such, the effective role of planning authorities in urban greenspace planning becomes a critical issue. This paper asks three questions: (i) What attention has been given to urban greenspaces in urban development plans for the Kumasi Metropolis? (ii) What challenges do urban planners encounter in urban greenspace planning in the Kumasi Metropolis? (iii) What factors should urban authorities consider in urban greenspace planning in the Kumasi Metropolis? This paper used content analysis on five urban development plans and interviews with urban development professionals in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. The findings show that urban greenspaces receive low attention in urban development plans. Institutional barriers to urban greenspace planning included a lack of innovation in visions for urban greenspaces, political interference, inadequate funding, disharmony in land management, misconception about land use, and a low appreciation of urban greenspaces among residents and landowners. This study concludes that these factors undermine urban greenspace planning capacity of urban authorities in the Metropolis. Therefore, urban greenspace planning must take cognizance of these factors and act to mitigate their effects on urban greenspace planning in the Kumasi Metropolis.

Publication Title

Urban Forum