Determinants of low land use planning regulation compliance rate in Ghana

Baffour Awuah, KG and Hammond, FN 2014, 'Determinants of low land use planning regulation compliance rate in Ghana' , Habitat International, 41 , pp. 17-23.

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Abstract

The connection between efficient land use and economic development is widely known. Land use planning could thus be effectively leveraged in the fight against poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To do so, the prescriptions of land use regulations must not just be efficient and effective, but must also be widely adhered to by developers and land users. Adherence to land use regulatory requirements is very low in SSA, indeed across poor countries. This could stem from a multitude of factors. The often cited causes are a general ignorance of the existence of particular land use regulatory requirements or a general lack of appreciation of their benefits. There is however little empirical evidence to confirm the unique contributions of these two factors to the low compliance rate. This study tests the hypothesis that ignorance of planning requirements and lack of appreciation of their benefits overwhelmingly determine land use regulation compliance rate using empirical data from Kwabenya, a suburb of Accra, Ghana. The evidence refutes the hypothesis. On the contrary, the rampant breaches of land use regulations were found to be mostly deliberate. This is stirred by the dearth of evidence about the benefits of land use requirements to warrant the costs and inconveniences of compliance. Compliance was found to be highest among the elite class. This is because they tend to face relatively lower costs of compliance due to cronyism and the need to provide evidence of compliance for other transactions such as to secure bank loans. Designing land use regulations that offers actual benefits over costs is more likely to achieve higher compliance. The on-going multilateral funded planning reforms in Ghana should do no worse than framing the new policies on the basis of supportable evidence of benefits over costs; speculative benefits have proved fatal.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Journal or Publication Title: Habitat International
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0197-3975
Related URLs:
Depositing User: KAB Gyau
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2017 15:29
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/44530

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