Spatial patterns and trends of Ghana’s contemporary urbanization: polarization reversal or urban primacy?

George Owusu, University of Ghana

Ghana’s urbanization spatial patterns and trends indicate high concentration of the urban population in a few metropolitan areas, notably Accra and Kumasi. Accra and Kumasi accounted for over 34% of the total urban population in 2000, although there were over 350 urban centres in Ghana. Over the last three decades, the contribution of Accra and Kumasi to urban growth has continued to far exceed all other centres indicating continuous concentration of productive investments in these metropolitan areas. Besides, the rapid growth of Accra and Kumasi is engendering rapid peri-urban expansion resulting in the growth of several rural areas into small and medium-sized towns. While the number and population of small and medium-sized towns have increased, the trend does not indicate polarization reversal but rather deepen of urban primacy. The implications of the urban spatial patterns and trends are explored in the paper.

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Presented in Poster Session 1