Ghana’s fifth National Urban Forum was convened on 25 August to reflect on the theme “Building Resilient Cities: Deepening Spatial Planning and Land Value Capture for Development in Ghana.” Previous meetings of the Forum have contributed to the Ghana Urban Policy and its Action Plan to improve city conditions. The Ghana Urban Agenda has been accepted at Presidential level. President John Dramani Mahama is a champion of the new African Urban Agenda.
Sylvanus Adzornu, Head of Urban Development Unit at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, says that the aim is to do spatial planning better, and to capture some of the land value increase for public benefit. “The forum will emphasise the contribution that spatial planning can make to resilient and sustainable cities,” he says
“Spatial planning looks at how we use our land and what improvements can be made to manage land more effectively. Value capture is public financing that allows the government to recover some, or all of the value that public infrastructure generates for private landowners. The revenue generated can be used as infrastructure finance development to improve infrastructure within urban spaces and to promote stronger cities that can deal with climatic shocks and ensure that all inhabitants, irrespective of their social standing, can enjoy the benefits of our cities. The urban space should promote equity and fairness and ensure inclusivity for citizens,” said Mr Adzornu.
In particular he hopes the event will help to show how better spatial plannng can reduce the serious flood risks in Accra. at the start of june torrential rainfall brought many roads to a standstill and claimed the lives of 25 people. An explosion in a petrol filling station where people were sheltering killed more than 150 people.