To deliver on the Coalition for Urban Transitions‘ project — a major global initiative to support national governments to accelerate economic development and tackle dangerous climate change by transforming towns and cities — the African Centre for Cities applied versions of the ‘citylab’ model that have been used elsewhere (see Anderson et al. 2013) in Ghana. The Ghana Urbanisation Think Tank (GUTT) hosted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Ghana, was to create an interdisciplinary platform to research, peer review and innovate urban policy. The GUTT sought to create a ‘safe space’ to raise and interrogate critical urban issues, including the influence of power on urban development, the contribution of informality, the links between industrialisation and urbanisation and a reality check on the actual money available to local governments for urban development. The product of this process is recorded in three background papers commissioned by the GUTT, and used to inform the Cities as a Strategic Resource: Guideline for Ghana’s National Urban Policy Revision.
While the strengthening of National Urban Policy in Ghana represented the formal focus of this project, it is the community of urbanists convened by the GUTT who will oversee the implementation of that policy, and which carries the ideas and practices fomented by this project into the everyday decisions that shape urban development.