Urban sprawl and sustainability: A comparative Analysis of Accra and Kumasi urban regions.

  • Gerald Albert Baeribameng Yiran University of Ghana
Keywords: Shannon’s Entropy, urban spraw, sustainable development, Accra, Kumasi


One of the important developmental topics of global concern is how
to achieve sustainable urban development in developing countries
where urban sprawl is very rapid. This is because urban sprawl
have adverse consequences on the environment and human
welfare. Indicator-based methods have become popular among
the approaches developed to determine sustainability of urban
environments and have been widely used to measure sustainable
development of cities. This paper uses Shannon’s entropy to
examine intra-city and inter-city land-use change patterns and
the intensity and level of urban sprawl and then discusses the
sustainability of the urban areas under study. The results show
high growth rates of the urban regions. All entropy values were also
very large near the upper limits, and thus reveal that both urban
regions are sprawling at high rates, but the Accra urban region is
sprawling faster than that of Kumasi. The results also show a high
rate of densification (compactness) of built-up areas at the same
time. Although both regions exhibit unsustainable development, the
problem is worse in the Accra urban region, highlighting a difference
in the development patterns of the regions. With the current pattern
and form of development, it is not possible to achieve the pillars of
sustainable development: to protect the environment while realizing
economic and social goals. Thus, the sustainability of the growth of
the regions is far from reality. It is recommended that an all-inclusive
sustainable development planning framework be developed for the
regions, but the plans should be region specific since each region
exhibits different patterns