Last edited 08 Feb 2021

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New Planning System

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New concept of Urban Planning (Strategic Versus Master Planning)

Strategic and action planning is made up of several components. Firstly, the financial aspect of this approach makes it imperative. Thus, it links infrastructural investment, the capital needed to fund developmental projects. This is done through the allocation of budgets and prioritising infrastructure investment.

The Institutional framework defines responsibilities to various actors and stakeholders during the planning process. Commitment cannot be overlooked in the new approach of planning, different stakeholder participation are required to ensure healthy relationships to build consensus during the decision making process.

However, new urban planning is also associated with certain challenges. Davidson (1996, p.8) argues that: ‘’Problems in development then created a desire for the legal backing of plans to offset the powerful forces of the private sector. This was often embedded into law, giving statutory development plans’’; unlike statutory planning which has a strong legal basis, development opportunities are likely to favour the private sector, if the new urban planning approach is not underpinned by an efficient legal framework in making an inclusive plan.

It is crucial to combine the two approaches of performance oriented planning, in that, the two complement each other. This is clearly seen in the situation whereby a strategic plan requires strong legal framework to actualise its goals. Statutory planning requires minimal level of participation with low commitment; strategic planning exists to augment the level of participation during the process of decision making so as to ensure effectiveness in carrying out statutory plans. Moreover, the combination of the two approaches tends to delay the planning process, in that, the bureaucratic and rigid nature of statutory planning is likely to cause ‘’divisions amongst planning departments and makes changes very difficult, even in non-critical areas’’ (Davidson, 1996, p.10).

Participation is one of the essential components in modern day planning due to the fact that it sets in motion the inclusive nature of the planning process and improves the commitment level of stakeholders. Participation stresses on ‘’the importance of changing the behavior of people and organizations, and the nature of policy design and development in social learning and transformation processes’’ (Healey, 2011, p.5). This goes a long way to defining, measuring and managing various interests, ensuring performance-oriented results. Participation should be linked to a tangible benefit and also needs capacity from all stakeholders to make it work.

Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana next to Accra with, a population of more than 2 million people (KMA, 2015). Strategic urban planning has enhanced the prioritisation of infrastructure investment within the metropolitan area through the allocation of budgets for funding projects in the city. The advent of strategic planning has enhanced stakeholder participation during the process of decision making, in that, it raises the level of commitment and awareness concerning the socio-economic development of the city.

However, there are challenges associated with strategic planning in the city of Kumasi, in particular, the lack of a strong legal framework within the planning possess to help achieve urban goals. This approach requires a higher level of integration to manage scarce resources. A lower level of integration among various department leads to setbacks hindering the developmental projects in the city.

Strategic planning is an appropriate approach in the city; it offers a bottom up approach, though technical decision are made by officials, much attention is given to the local people who are the beneficiaries of the plans that are made.


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