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The public’s perspectives of urban sustainability: A comparative analysis of two urban areas in Ghana


Year published: 2022
Categories: Articles
URL Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2021.102496

Author / Authors:

  • Kwasi Anarfi
  • Chris Shiel
  • Ross A. Hill


Habitat International, Volume 121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2021.102496.


In response to ongoing rapid urbanisation in Ghana, research has emerged to improve understanding of the urbanisation process. However, empirical evidence on the interactions between urbanisation and sustainability from the perspective of the public in Africa is limited. This study, through a face-to-face survey, comparatively explores the perceptions and attitudes of the public in two urban areas (Kumasi and Obuasi) in Ghana towards dimensions representing urban sustainability. This is important for improving understanding of the impacts of urbanisation in the context of sustainability. The results confirm both similar and diverging perceptions that are held by the public in Kumasi and Obuasi based on their priorities, values, and diversity; and also, the results show that the perceptions of the public are mainly influenced by socio-economic considerations compared with environmental concerns. Furthermore, the results highlight how the public is likely to adopt pro-sustainability practices under the right conditions (e.g., well-resourced recycling schemes). Overall, this study provides authentic insights into urban sustainability in Ghana and by extension, Africa, based on the experiential knowledge of the public, and it highlights the exigency of sufficiently engaging urban residents and incorporating their values and preferences into sustainability policy-making and planning.

Keywords: Public, Urban, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Africa, Ghana


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