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Alex Barimah Owusu

Abstract

The essential role played by urban vegetation in making urban areas livable is often overlooked in many developing cities. This is the case of Ghana where its capital, Accra is developing at the expense of urban vegetation. This study was conducted at the metropolitan area of Accra to estimate how the extent of vegetation cover has changed in the period of 1986-2013, using remote sensing satellite data from Landsat TM and ETM+. Furthermore, views of key informants were assessed on changes in the livability of the city of Accra which may be attributed to loss of urban green vegetation in the city. It was found that between 1986 and 2013, 42.53 km2 of vegetation was lost representing 64.6% of total vegetation in 1986. The rate of change in vegetation cover between 1986 and 1991 measured around 2.14% of the total land area annually. This however, reduced in the subsequent years measuring 0.26% between 2002 and 2008. Key informants interviewed, also believe that the loss of vegetation in the city creates livability concerns relating to ecosystem functioning, temperature rise and air quality. It is therefore recommended for urban planners and decision makers to address three critical concerns of resilience, sustainability and livability, which are the missing links in the city development agenda.

Open access

Alex Barimah Owusu and Mathias Agbozo

Abstract

The main objective of the study was to identify high flood risk zones in AMA. The study also used questionnaires to assess local knowledge on what accounts for the high flood risk in their community. Spatial analysis techniques were used to model flood risk based on the following contributory factors; land cover, soil, drainage density, topography and proximity to rivers. The results show that high flood risk areas covered 46.3km2(20%), moderate risk area, 72.9km2(31.6%), low risk area 41.5km2(18%) and very low risk areas, about 6.7km2(2.9%). The high flood risk zones were low-lying areas below 50 meters above sea level and closely associated with poor drainage systems. People perceived not just low-lying areas as a paramount reason accounting for flooding but also very bad waste disposal habit of the public. These offsets the efforts of waste management companies to keep drains free of refuse.