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Policy of decongestion of Ghana’s largest metropolis, Accra: another face of urban clearance or bulldozing approach?

George Owusu, University of Ghana

The policy of decongestion has been implemented for the past decade with the explicit aim of reducing congestion of informality activities and their operators in key areas of large Ghanaian cities. While the implementation of the policy in Accra, Ghana’s largest metropolis, has been ad hoc in character, in both theoretical and practical terms it can be described as representing another form of the much criticized classical ‘bulldozing or slum clearance’ approach. Bearing in mind the heavy criticisms of the slum clearance approach, city authorities have coined the term ‘decongestion’ as a simplistic approach for clearing areas of the city of Accra they perceived as undesirable. While the policy has been implemented for the past decade, not enough studies have been undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the policy. This paper questions the decongestion policy as a means of promoting the sustainable development of large Ghanaian cities such as Accra.

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Presented in Poster Session 2