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Accra’s June 3rd Floods: Looking Back to Move Forward

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The Urban Platform of Ghana is a network of professionals and enthusiasts with interests in urban development in Ghana’s cities and good urban development practices globally. The Platform brings together knowledge, experience and contributions from more than 170 professionals with discussions, debates and information sharing.  In the wake of Accra’s deadly flooding disaster of June…

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In Accra, people and their bikes create a subculture

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A 2010 World Bank study on Accra  estimated that only 1 to 4 percent of people in the city ride bicycles, whether to work, to school, to shopping activities, or for leisure. According to an earlier study by the Centre for Cycling Expertise, a Ghana-based, non-profit organization focused on promoting cycling and walking in cities, the…

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Why we should stop talking about legalizing gay marriage and start talking about civil unions for all

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This is an editorial and a notable detour from my usual urbanism-related articles.  It was only a few days ago that American President Barack Obama made another first by declaring his political support for gay marriage in the United States. As expected, this move that has split the American public on an issue that is already…

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On the long, long life of a plastic bag

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I stumbled upon this greatly thought-provoking video on the longevity of plastic shopping bags (“rubbers”), pollution and environmental impacts. The video, aptly titled Plastic Bag, is a short biography; for 18 minutes, viewers see plastic bags from their own perspective, and we follow one’s journey from its first use (just after conception) to…well, not death,…

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When It Comes to African Wax Prints, Buying Local, Thinking Global Isn’t As Easy As You Think

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GTP and ATL African wax prints on sale at Kaneshie Market, Accra, Ghana When many think of African fabrics, the first thing that comes to mind is wax prints: the brightly colored, geometric, symbolic designs on fabric sported by Africans and those living inside (and more and more outside) of Africa. A recent article on the history of…

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