Mr William Halm, Principal Architect of Spektra Global, a Ghanaian Design
-Build firm, has lauded the decision by government to redevelop the city of
Accra into a modern city.
Mr Halm expressed the belief that the
redevelopment of Accra could have been procured through a national design
competition, which would afford architects and urban design professionals in
Ghana the opportunity to present proposals for the planning of Accra.
comes on the heels of government’s engagement with Singaporean architect and
planner, Dr. Liu Thai-Ker, to oversee the re-modelling of Accra into a modern
“All over the world, new
massive projects are sometimes procured through design competitions. Ghana can
also initiate a national competition for the re-design and planning of the
capital city, thus giving opportunity to Ghanaian professionals to display
their competences as well as contribute to the development of the nation,” he
He stated that in the
Czech Republic, the Prague City Council initiated a national design competition
for the redevelopment of a portion of their city.
Similarly, in May
2018, the Korean Land and Housing Corporation initiated an international urban
design competition for the Tongyeong Dockyard in order to regenerate the
neighborhood into a more vibrant urban area.
“In Kenya, UN habitat
and Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban
Development initiated a collaborative design competition to seek planning and
creative ideas for sustainable urban development in Kenya. Thus, Kenyan
professionals were involved in providing solutions for their own cities,” he
The challenges that
are expected to be solved over the next fifty years in the re-planning of Accra
involve easing traffic congestion, environmental pollution, poor housing,
communicable diseases, and rural-urban migration among others.
Mr Halm said Ghanaian
architects and urban designers were better positioned to understand the nuances
of the city of Accra better than anyone else, and more so, “capable of
designing and planning our own cities and government needs to understand our
abilities and create opportunities for growth for our own architects”.
He said using Ghanaian
architects feed into the government’s desire for a ‘Ghana beyond aid’ thus
creating more jobs for the economy and building local capacity.
“Ghana beyond aid
should also be seen from the perspective of being free from aid in all sectors
including consulting work. Our architects and urban planners are capable of
solving the planning challenges of our cities given the same support and
resources,” Mr Halm.
“We need to use our own architects to solve
our problems. Ghanaians are capable,” Mr Halm added.