Attributable indicators for measuring the level of greenness of cities in developing countries: lessons from Ghana

De Graft Owusu-Manu, Caleb Debrah, Eric Oduro-Ofori, David John Edwards, Prince Antwi-Afari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The advances in green city growth are widely discussed in extant literature. The benefits of green cities to urban development in recent discussions of sustainability and sustainable development are well documented and cannot be overemphasised. Although a growing study on green building development in developing countries has been advanced in literature, there is a paucity of studies that explore green cities in developing countries. Moreover, evidence of studies that have focussed on green cities development in Ghana is lacking. Because of this identified knowledge gap, the purpose of this study is to establish the indicators/attributes for measuring the level of greenness of cities in developing countries. Design/methodology/approach: A comprehensive literature review was conducted to identify the indicators/attributes for measuring the level of greenness of cities in developing countries. This study has adopted the pragmatism as its undergirding research philosophy and the deductive research approach. In terms of methodological choice, quantitative research strategy was used to collect data from experts in sustainable urban development. The primary data retrieved from this study was analysed using descriptive statistics, relative importance index and one-sample t-test. The reliability and validity of this study were measured with the Cronbach’s alpha test. Findings: This study established eight indicators for measuring green city development: air quality, water, sanitation, land use, health and safety, transportation, energy and building and construction. It was discovered that the development of green cities should enhance air quality, improve water production and supply, improve management in sanitation, promote mixed and integrative land use, maintain the health and safety of city dwellers, reduce the demand for transportation and formalise public transport, adopt renewable and efficient energy technologies and promote sustainable construction and green buildings. These indicators are key to policymaking and implementation of green cities development. Research limitations/implications: This study focusses primarily on Ghana; however, the findings of this study do not limit the generalisability, as it can be used as an example for other developing countries. Practical implications: Theoretically, this study adopted quantitative indicators that are reproducible in another geographical context. This study contributively adds to the discourse on sustainability, especially in Ghana, and can be a source of reference to motivate others to conduct further research in related areas. The outcomes of this study will help the local government, policymakers, city stakeholders and industry expertise to gain insights of the overall indicators that underpin green city development. Originality/value: This paper attempts to posit in literature the foremost appraisal of green city indicators adaptive in Ghana, which could motivate other developing countries to develop their own green cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-646
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Attributes
  • Ghana
  • Green cities
  • Indicators
  • Sustainable cities
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Engineering

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