The Impact of Road Infrastructure Development Projects on Local Communities in Peri-Urban Areas: the Case of Kisumu, Kenya and Accra, Ghana

Risper Sarah Khanani, Emmanuel Junior Adugbila, J.A. Martinez*, K. Pfeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Large-scale spatial planning and urban development projects have gained popularity in cities of the Global South. Such projects are being used to improve connectivity, scale up cities’ competitiveness, and in return, attract investments. However, while road development changes peri-urban environments in the Global South cities, little attention is given to the consequences of road infrastructure in those areas. The objective of this paper is to investigate how the implementation of road infrastructure projects is transforming the socio-spatial landscapes and economic development, and how they affect social groups within the peri-urban areas of Kisumu (Kenya) and Accra (Ghana) cities, focusing on effects at the community level. The research employed a case study approach, using qualitative, quantitative and spatial methods to examine these socio-spatial and economic development dynamics. The findings show that, on the one hand, road infrastructure projects scaled up residential development, both in Kisumu and Accra, as the roads contributed to housing rents and land prices to increase and rendered peri-urban communities along them as attractive zones for real estate developers. Furthermore, accessibility to facilities and services improved. Also, in both cities, the road improvements fuelled employment opportunities. Conversely, in both cities, the road infrastructure projects led to gentrification and therefore to the displacement of poor residents into the hinterlands, which changed the social fibre and integration to a certain degree. The road infrastructure projects benefitted the rich, who own land at the expense of the poor. The findings that the impacts of road infrastructure appear to differ in locational context and class of individuals within peri-urban areas make us suggest that place-based and people-based policies need to be combined to address the consequences of road infrastructure projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Community Well-Being
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2020


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