Doing it 'ourselves': Civic initiative and self-governance in spatial planning

Abraham Marshall Nunbogu, Prosper Issahaku Korah, Patrick Brandful Cobbinah, Michael Poku-Boansi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, an analysis of civic initiatives to collectively realise a particular community ambition amongst informal settlers in a Ghanaian metropolitan area is presented. This community ambition is grounded in collective intent with no government or city authority intervention. Using secondary data review and interviews conducted in two selected neighbourhoods in the Accra Metropolitan Area, the findings show that self-governance mechanism has the potential to support informal settlers' capacity in terms of adapting to changing environmental situations by mutual cooperation and consensus building. The paper recommends a relook of planners' role in spatial planning in Ghana, emphasising a shift from development decision making to actors and facilitators of socio-spatial initiatives by community residents. This changing role may lead to suppression of the negatives and maximisation of the positives of self-governed initiatives for the benefit of society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
Early online dateNov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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