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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/7457

Title: Sustainability of the urban transport system of Kumasi
Authors: Okyere, Dennis Kwadwo
Issue Date: 11-Jul-2012
Abstract: Sustainable transportation is of great importance in today’s world, because of concerns regarding the environmental, economic, and social equity impacts of transportation systems. Sustainable development can be defined as the development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising on the future ability to meet the same needs. Sustainable transportation can be considered as an expression of sustainable development in the transport sector. This is because of the high growth of the transport sector’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at the global scale, its impact on the economy, as well as, on social well-being. Since the mid-20th century, the negative side effects of urban transportation have become particularly apparent in the metropolitan areas of developed countries. Rising car ownership is increasingly causing loss of economic productivity, environmental degradation, and overall quality of life in cities. In developing countries, rapid urbanisation and motorization in the midst of insufficient investment in infrastructure have led to similar problems, often exacerbated by urban poverty and social exclusion. There is, therefore, a need to integrate sustainable transportation concerns into the activities of transportation planning. Against this background, the study was designed to examine the sustainability of Kumasi’s transport system. The selection of Kumasi as a case study was based on, factors including: its geographical location as the centre of major transportation routes, which facilitate movement to any destination in Ghana within a day; and its pivotal role as a bulk breaking centre for several commodities in transit to either the northern or southern parts of the country; all of which have led to the City experiencing a substantial volume of passenger and freight traffic. The main steps involved in the study were to: (i) develop a framework for measuring the sustainability of Kumasi’s transport system; (ii) examine the present state of transportation in Kumasi using the developed sustainability indicators; and (iii) assess the sustainability of Kumasi’s transport system using the “relative indicator” approach. Using both primary and secondary data, collected from various sources, and from a comparative analysis of the transport systems of Mexico City, Istanbul, Bogota, and Lagos, with Kumasi, the study concluded that, the Kumasi’s transport system is not sustainable. Specifically, the study found, among others, 1. The modal split of Kumasi’s transport is largely skewed (74.2 percent) towards private cars, taxis, and minibus, all with low occupancy rates and high emissions. On the contrary, Bogota has a public transport modal share of 71 percent, Istanbul 19.36 percent, Mexico City 9 percent, and Lagos 2 percent, which are important for transport sustainability; 2. Kumasi has the lowest vehicle speed (16kph) and hence the most congested among the five cities. This situation is likely to further worsen, given that, private vehicle usage is predicted to increase by 1,388.4 percent (669,942) in 2022; 3. The carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle in the city of Kumasi exceeded that of all other cities indicating an unsustainable transport system. This is as a result of the large share (51.9 percent) of the total vehicle fleet in the City manufactured before 1993, and the fact that most vehicles are not fettered with catalytic converters. To forestall the challenges of achieving sustainable transport in Kumasi, the study recommends four approaches, bearing in mind the need to balance the ability of the environment to sustain future quality of life, the ability of transport to serve economic development, and ability of society to fulfill their needs of accessibility freely. The recommendations involve: the promotion of non-motorized transport modes to improve mobility on road spaces and air quality in the city; the promotion of a roadway bus system and infrastructure to provide affordable, cost effective, space-efficient and environmentally friendly mode of motorized transport; and the creation of multi-nuclei centres as well as mixed use development to reduce the number of trips made to the Central Business District (CBD). Others include the introduction of a Traffic Demand Management (TDM) system, and the improvement in the energy efficiency of travel through the implementation of vehicle emission control standards and emission control devices, to control vehicle emission in the City.
Description: A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy (Mphil) Planning, 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/7457
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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