International Architecture firm, Kohn Pederson Foxoffer up a laudible idea for housing and coastal development in their pro-bono study on the topic as it relates to the neighborhood of Ga Mashie and the portion of Accra’s coast that stretches from their to the Parade Grounds of the east.
Their study (in partnership with the Earth Institute led by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, the Millennium Cities Initiative, local authorities and partners) sought to develop housing prototypes and a neighbourhood concept for an area that is greatly lacking in both, as well as a master plan that includes the Korle Lagoon, which has, over the years, gone from a healthy water body to a toxic dumping ground for the city’s municipal waste.
Ga Mashie, the historic center of Accra, has become an urban slum over the past several decades. The neighborhood is located on some of the most economically and socially valuable land in Accra. Occupying the area of Old Accra, Ga Mashie sits one kilometer from Accra’s financial center, the national law courts, cultural institutions and important civic places. It is less than 10 kilometers from the city’s international airport. New development in Ga Mashie is almost non-existent; yet the need for more housing, commercial space and basic infrastructure in the community is extremely pressing.
KPF’s scope of work in Ga Mashie is two-part: (1) design prototypical housing in the neighborhood of Ga Mashie; (2) develop a vision for coastal area adjacent to Ga Mashie. The program for the housing prototype includes: residential; commercial; and open space. The program for the master plan includes: residential, commercial (retail + office); historic building preservation (where appropriate); industrial/flex space; hotel; cultural/institutional; and open space.