The work in Ghana has taken a number of different routes to investigate the research questions these include;
Ga Mashie community investigation into energy and climate change
James Town or Ga Mashie as its known in local Ga culture is the main site of investigation in Ghana. Developing a participatory approach to the research with community guide Solomon Ayree (www.jamestowntours.wordpress.com) we have conducted interviews, workshops, photography sessions and other methods to capture issues around energy infrastructures, poverty, climate change and emerging technologies. This is an interesting moment in Ga Mashie with the promise of intervention by an international NGO the area maybe on the cusp of the introduction of a new energy infrastructure as part of the program of slum upgrading in an area that is classified as suffering the highest categories of socio-environmental burdens. Thus far research has taken place in March 2010 and October 2010 to January 2011 with another stage planned for October 2011. A photographic exploration of Ga Mashie will be available soon.
A climate change perspective on the Kasoa-Winneba Spatial Development Framework
Kasoa is an edge city on the outside boundary of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area that has witnessed dramatic population growth as a dormitory for city workers. This edge city urbanism is common across urban Africa and the research has engaged with some of the issues surrounding these urban areas. The research was undertaken as part of and engagement with planners working on the pilot Spatial Development Framework for the area by providing a climate change and energy perspective on the area and the process.
National energy and climate change policy analysis
A critical analytical review of historical, current and emerging legislation around energy and climate change policy has been undertaken with particular emphasis on the (draft) renewable energy legislation and the (draft) National Climate Change Adaption Strategy.
The low energy house of the future?
Although my research is focused on the urban poor I have sought to understand emergent technologies around low energy systems. This included a visit to architect Joe Addo’s house to better understand how these systems are being developed in housing developments. The film shows some of these emerging technologies which although currently beyond the urban poor could provide a clue as to future trajectories in Ghana’s cities. Commentary is provided by Kathleen Carthy from Constructs Architects.