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Local Innovation

Money in a slum: the logic of small gains

in Local Innovation/Urban (In)formality/Urbanism from Ghana by

Dagna Rams is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Social and Political Science at the University of Lausanne, researching urban management and the politics and economies at the heart of the slum communities/informal settlements of Old Fadama and Agbogbloshie (Ghana). On a research outing around one of Accra’s informal settlements, my friend Abdallah (a slum activist…

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On water improvements: Access, attitudes and economics

in Local Innovation/Urbanism from Ghana by

When it comes to sustainable improvements in community water and sanitation access, the “hardware” (physical facility) is just the beginning — it’s the “software” (changing attitudes, behaviors, mindsets) that makes the difference. Equally important is addressing the economic dynamics that govern people’s water vending and purchasing behavior. In the peri-urban community of Manhean, in Ghana’s Greater Accra Region, there’s…

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Use, Misuse and Reuse: Buildings Function in Doula, Cameroon

in Local Innovation by

In her article “Intertwined Architectures,” in ArchiAfrika’s  March newsletter, author Danièle  Diwouta-Kotto discusses the use, misuse and reuse of buildings in contemporary Douala, Cameroon, and the significant changes and deterioration of these buildings over time: “The colonial built environment is a shared heritage, part of the Douala architectural history. However, the bond between the city…

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Construction for BRT Project Set to Begin

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In order to address massive congestion throughout the Greater Accra Region, the Ghana’s government, in collaboration with the World Bank, Global Environment Facility and French Development Agency have launched a USD 46million Urban Transport Project, a five-tiered project aimed at regulating and improving urban transport in two major cities: Accra, the southern capital, and Kumasi…

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Accra: Informal Approaches to Mixed-Use Development

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Plainly speaking, mixed-use development is the practice of having more than one form of “use” or activity (e.g., residential, commercial, office, recreational, industry) in a building or building complex. “Mixed use,” in city planning terms then, is a combination of these activities in one space. Some of the most common forms of mixed-use activity include…

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Efficient Transportation as an Essential Mode Toward Development: The Case of Ghana

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This post was originally written as an article for Unchain Africa Press a monthly newsletter on African development topics. The original article can be accessed here.  In Accra, as in many major African cities, traffic congestion has become a familiar source of frustration and a clear symptom for the need for transportation improvements. The trajectory…

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