Urban Green Development Planning Opportunities and Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from Bamenda City, Cameroon

Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Zephania Nji Fogwe


World urban areas are increasingly dabbling with the triple challenge of pollution, congestion and environmental degradation. The quest for sanity and healthy urban living led to the introduction of urban green space initiatives. Green space has become primordial in urban areas as it enhances public health, recreation, amenities and property values through its location, accessibility, proximity and serviceability. In a bid to develop an urban green space in Bamenda, the City Council identified the Bamenda escarpment in 2011 for protection. This was followed by a Green City Initiative now captioned the Green City Project. The Bamenda City Council partnering with the UN-Habitat and the Dordrecht/Gorinchem City Councils of the Netherlands seeks to implement an urban greening project with major focus to map out potential areas for creating parks in Bamenda. This project which is a novelty in the rapidly changing urban landscape of Cameroon seeks to contribute to building a green economy that enhances nature, environmental protection and at the same time offers economic and social benefits to its citizens. In this study, we examine the opportunities and challenges of urban greening in Bamenda. Some 50 inhabitants around the escarpment were purposively sampled while council authorities and other stakeholders were interviewed in the Bamenda I municipality in order to assess the opportunities, challenges and prospects for the project. This was complemented by secondary data obtained from the Bamenda City Council. The conclusion drawn is that the initiative will provide opportunities for employment, generate revenue for the City Council and prevent uncontrolled city sprawl against the backdrop of the relatively unstable nature of the foothills (due to mass wasting processes) and land use competition, largely driven by population growth and the daunting task of relocating prior users. We therefore argue in favour of the effective application of urban development policies to restrict encroachment around the area and to engage in slope stabilization where necessary.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijgs.v1i1.11440


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Copyright (c) 2017 Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi, Zephania Nji Fogwe

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International Journal of Global Sustainability    ISSN 1937-7924     E-mail: ijgs@macrothink.org

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