An urban specialist Farouk Braimah who disagrees with the recent demolition exercise byt the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, has stated that urban developments must be centered on the people they affect in order to ensure that cities and their citizens are developing side by side.
The demolitions have displaced thousands of Ghanaians at Old Fadama and surrounding areas, exposing to the rains.
[contextly_sidebar id=”Y7IIUmj9HP6eR7FLJja0mzB0WHMSu7l0″]According to Braimah, this goes directly against what the goal of urban development should be, which is to minimize the impoverishment and homelessness of Ghana’s citizens.
“Governments are supposed to improve the general welfare of citizens,” said Braimah.
He explained that the issue of weighing development against citizen welfare is also posed by the reconstruction of the Kejetia Bus Terminal and its potential affect on the traders who have their shops there.
While the reconstruction of the terminal will improve its effectiveness, the removal of the shops will leave the traders without their livelihood.
“If people are going to lose their earning and they cannot support their homes, what kind of development is this?” said Braimah on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday.
“We are missing a lot of opportunities as a country to change people’s lives.”
According to Braimah, in order for physical developments to promote progress, the citizens affected by the developments must be viewed as potential taxpayers and as members of Ghana’s economy. When considering these developments, measures should be taken to include citizen involvement in decision-making processes.
“City planning is not waking up one fine day and deciding to change your city from what it is to a modern city,” said Braimah.
“There’s supposed to be a lot of citizen engagement and consultation,” he added.