Urban planning challenges in a ‘chiefly’ city from a collaborative and communicative planning lens
The ability of urban planning in sub-Saharan Africa to regulate land uses to achieve harmony and ensure sustainability remains a dream, and this ineffectiveness is partly anchored on the duality of institutions of land ownership and governance. Through the lens of collaborative and communicative planning, this study discusses the context-specific challenges that arise out of urban planning practice under the culturally revered institution of chieftaincy. A case study research design was used as the strategy of inquiry. The target population were divisional chiefs, secretaries of chiefs, physical planning officers, land surveyors, and private land developers. Fourteen (14) key informants, consisting of five divisional chiefs, two secretaries of the divisional chiefs, two physical planning officers, one development control officer, two land surveyors, and two private land developers were sampled. The study used three main data collection methods: in-depth interviews, observation, and document analysis. Content analysis was used to conduct document reviews while thematic analysis was used to analyse key informant interview data. Facilitative leadership of MMDAs, resource capacity of the MMDAs to execute their mandate, conflicting and self-seeking interests of key actors, unequal balance of power between key actors amidst the nonexistence of strong civil society organisations in support of urban planning, and ignorance and indiscipline behaviour of landowners and lessors were identified as the underlying causes of the problems of urban planning from a collaborative and communicative planning lens. The study brought to the fore the need to emphasise partnerships and collaboration and adherence to the tenets of collaboration by the relevant stakeholders if the practice of planning were to deliver efficient and effective development in Tamale.
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