The district of Ningo Prampram is part of the greater Accra Agglomeration and it accommodates the incredible growth of Accra, which is already on its way. Within 30 years, Accra grew from a city with a radius of 10 km into a continuous, urban agglomeration that stretches over 60 km along the coastline. In 2020, it is expected to have a population of 4.2 million. Due to the city’s rapid growth, the speed of speculation has consistently outpaced the speed of planning, resulting in regular severe flooding, daily traffic collapse and the absence of basic utilities and basic services in many parts of the agglomeration.
The district of Ningo Prampram will become a planned extension of the city of Accra, but it does not aim to adopt become a city built according to a top-down organized blueprint. Rather, the developers of Ningo Prampram aim to provide the foundations for a naturally evolving city. Both local and national government parties and the private sector have shown much interest in the plan. All support its aim of installing a steering committee concerned with the decision-making process and a development body which is ought to guide the implementation of the masterplan. As we speak, a Ghanaian-Dutch team of planners, urban and landscape designers and water and infrastructure experts are designing the 1002 km new city. In the future, the Accra expansion of Ningo Prampram will accommodate a significant account of the current growth in the Greater Accra Agglomeration.
In acknowledgement of the fact that building a complete city for 1 to 1.5 million people is impossible, the developers of Ningo Prampram only aim to put basic systems into place that allow a city to grow over time.
How to establish a system that mitigates the biggest risk – the regular flooding?
How to craft a system that provides basic services that can mature over time and that is relatively easy to understand and manage?
How to avoid the often finit ideas of blueprint planning and instead make room for growth and gradual maturing (both in terms of culture and bureaucracy) as integral part of urban development?
Markus Appenzeller, urban planner, partner at MLA+, Ghana