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Public Life/Public Space

Foster’s World: Seeing Ga Mashie from Child Perspective

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Foster Malm, 13, moves through one of Jamestown’s bustling markets with remarkable ease. Black iPhone covertly at the ready, he shoots off the hip, capturing unexpected market-goers moving through daily life. Although barely audible over the usual market place chatter, the camera shutter sounds off like rapid fire: close-ups of fresh tomatoes and onions, action…

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A PARK(ing) Day in Accra, Ghana: Transforming car spaces into people’s spaces, for a weekend

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Here in Accra, Ghana, PARK(ing) Day came a little bit early this year (around the world, it’s to be celebrated on September 20th this year). But the essence of what we celebrated and promoted — transforming a car park into a people’s park to demonstrate the importance of public spaces, community activity and recreation —…

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Reblog: In Accra, an art festival capitalizes on streetscape as public space in Jamestown

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“In Ghana, what attracts people to places isn’t the [physical] space, it’s the event,” a friend said to me in conversation a few weeks ago. I was reminded of his words this past weekend, standing at the triangle-shaped Otublohum Square in Jamestown. As I watched, bike stuntmen paraded up and down High Street, doing tricks…

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Reblog: Accra’s Mmofra Foundation puts children at the center of public space design

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Originally published at UrbanAfrica.net by Victoria Okoye. “Mmofra means children,” explains Amowi Phillips of the Mmofra Foundation, giving the backstory on the children’s park that unfolds around us. Overhead, the gray sky and the sprinkle of droplets threaten rain, but here below we’re in an expansive green space full of life and activity. She takes me around…

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Reblog: “Accra’s Efua Sutherland Children’s Park has limited access”

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The 12-acre green space in central Accra known as Efua Sutherland Children’s Park is one of the city’s largest parks. Situated in the city centre and proximate to the government ministries zone, the national theatre and the city’s largest hotel, one might expect the space to be busy on a typical weekend afternoon. But in…

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Nationalism, spatial iconography, political history: Exploring Accra’s “Big Six” monuments for Republic Day

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A series of major roundabouts (traffic circles) and one interchange in the city commemorate some of the Big Six, Ghana’s forefathers and leaders of the United Gold Coast Convention political party who agitated for and helped usher in independence from British rule in 1957. On July 1st of each year, Republic Day marks the formal creation…

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After the Kantamanto Market fire, an opportunity for participatory planning emerges

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Two weeks ago, fire destroyed the immense Kantamanto Market, the huge open-air market linked to Makola in Old Accra, comprised of hundreds of stalls and kiosks where vendors traded secondhand and firsthand goods. The fire, which started in the early hours of Sunday morning, lasted several hours before the Fire Service managed to put out the…

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