UCL Urban Laboratory


Session 3 - Accra

Road corridor infrastructure and its impact on the growth and expansion of the Greater Accra  Metropolitan Area, Ghana

By George Owusu

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Related Abstract

Nowhere in Ghana is the process of urbanization as profoundly intense than in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), a region containing almost a fifth of Ghana’s total population and about  a third of its urban population. Confronted with several challenges including intense road traffic  congestions, conscious efforts have been made by the state in the last few decades to deal with this  challenge. This has resulted in significant investments in the road sector through the construction of  road corridors in and out of the city of Accra. In other words, a key response to GAMA’s transportation challenge is the development of major road corridors. The response has largely viewed the  transportation challenge as an infrastructure question rather than management question. This study  examines the development of road corridor infrastructure and its impact on the growth and future  expansion of the GAMA region, a subject given limited attention in the urban literature on Ghana and  Sub-Saharan African metropolitan centres in general. In particular, it notes that these road corridors  have been constructed without due regard to their spatial implications, especially the uncontrolled  expansion of the metropolitan region. Furthermore, it argues that the development of the road corridors  illustrates the limited coordination between central government’s investments and city authorities to  deal with the challenges of urban planning and sprawl in the GAMA region.