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Coastal Urbanization and Urban Land-use Change

  • The impacts of intense urbanization and associated urban land-use change along coastlines is vast and unprecedented. Several coasts of the world have been be subjected to human-induced coastal changes and it is imperative to monitor, assess and quantify them. This paper provides the state-of-the-art discourses on the changing dynamics of urban land-use driven by the forces of urbanization. Drawing on extant literature mainly from Web of Science and Google scholar, the status quo of the spatio-temporal dynamics of urbanization and urban change processes were explored with specific focus on global, Africa, Ghana and an actual case of Accra coast. Findings show whilst urbanization continues to increase exponentially, urban land also continue to change markedly. Current trends and patterns shows that changing urban dynamics exhibit are distinctly different from that of the past. Particularly, the rate, magnitude, geographic location, urban forms and functions are changing. In the specific case of Accra coast, there is general trend of urbanization moving outwards, i.e. from the core city centre towards the peripheral areas. Additionally, spatial urban pattern is dominated by urban sprawl, characterized by the cyclical process of diffusion and coalescence. The processes of urbanization are further exacerbated within coastal areas with a new and unique spatial urban form, “tourism urbanization” emerging. This new urban form is largely driven by rapid expansion of tourist infrastructure, developing at the instance of government policy to develop coastal tourism. In addition, the coastal conurbation of Accra-Tema is a powerful hub for industrial and commercial activities, which is drawing huge “humanline” to- wards the coastline. The literature illustrates that contemporary approaches and conceptualizations for urbanization and urban land-use change analysis be extended particularly from the mere focus on statistical classifications of cities in different size categories. With the urban fringe spreading outwardly, it should be kept in mind that new forms of urban settlements are emerging along with varying sizes. Considering the multiple scales, magnitude and rates involved as well as the geospatial patterns of urban change processes, experimental case studies that include coastal cities, Peri-urban fringes and interconnections with rural areas across a range of urbanization processes is essential and very urgent.

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Author:John Edem Akubia
Parent Title (English):WaterPower Working Paper
Series (Volume no.):WaterPower Working Paper Series (10)
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of completion:2019/11/28
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Corporative Author:Governance and Sustainability Lab
Release Date:2019/12/20
Number of pages:56
Institutes:Fachbereich 6
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY-NC-ND: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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