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 fact, on a sunny, comfortable Saturday (and the following Sunday too) it’s actually quite empty. One reason is traffic coming to the area is mostly for business, so the area is bustling during business hours and nearly deserted on weekends. The other reason is that the park isn’t open to the public on a regular basis. Rather, it’s generally only open to the public for planned programs, known as “fanfares,” according to the park’s watchman in charge of supervising the space.
Article written by Victoria Okoye, originally published for UrbanAfrica.net. Continue reading at urbanafrica.net blog.
I was recently in accra and observed this space from the steps of the national theater. This space has tremendous history and even more potential. The area around the park is transforming rapidly and it would be great to focus on the potential future of this park.
Hi Kofi, thanks for sharing your views, and I definitely agree: With the way Central Accra is developing/redeveloping, there is huge potential for this space. You should check out the work of the Mmofra Foundation (http://mmofraghana.org/), which was started by Efua Sutherland in fact, and their Playtime Africa initiative to promote more child-friendly, local context-driven designed parks and public spaces. In fact, they are developing a fantastic park in Dzorwulu at the moment — interviewed Amowi Philips of their foundation and visited the space a few weeks back, and it’ll be the focus of one of the next blog posts. Stay tuned!
i think we should also consider the fact that ‘The Garden City, Kumasi, no longer holds it status and lacks urban parks for leisure and recreation. urban parks i believe also contribute to the liveability of our cities today especially when we consider all the massive air pollution around the daily work related stresses.
Interesting point, Naa Dei! I agree with you.
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