Urban green spaces in growing oil cities: The case of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Ghana

Crude oil is often argued to be a natural resource that holds the prospect of accelerated economic development, although the results are mixed. This paper explores how the discovery of crude oil is impacting on urban development, focusing in particular on urban green spaces in Sekondi-Takoradi, a growing oil city in Ghana. Representatives from institutions associated with the management of green spaces, opinion leaders, farmers and residents of the city were interviewed to discover how the provision and use of green spaces has changed over time. High population growth and increasing housing market pressures, in part driven by expectations of an oil-driven boom, are resulting in encroachment, rezoning, and low priority accorded to green spaces, including farmlands, wetlands, forests, parks and gardens. To address this situation, the article recommends strong public-private collaboration on green space initiatives, prioritisation of green space development agendas, intensive educational campaigns on such spaces, and a strong institutional base to enhance the enforcement of development controls and implementation of green space projects.