Godwin Arku

Western Faculty Scholar

Godwin Arku

Contact Information

Office: Room 2427, SSC
Tel: 519 661-2111, 85343
E-mail: garku@uwo.ca

Research Areas

Regional and local economic development policy and planning; Urban development and policy analysis; Immigrants Integration; Development issues.

Research Interests

My research spans 'urban' and 'economic' sub-division of human geography, especially as they relate to the transformation of urban systems in a changing global environment. I am also interested in issues of third world development. Specific areas of present research interests are:

  1. Regional and local economic development policy and planning
  2. Urban development and policy analysis
  3. Immigrants Integration
  4. Development issues


GEO 2420 – Economic Geography

GEO 2460 – Urban Development

GEO 3465 – Urban Economic Development and Policy

GEO 9117 – Urban Geography of the Developing World

Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

PhD Students

  • A. Asare (Current) t.b.d.
  • E. Bandauko (Current) Urban Governance and the Spatial Politics of Street Traders in African Cities
  • E. Batung (joint-supervised) (Current) Climate change and rural livelihood dynamics among smallholder farmers in semi-arid Africa
  • J. Hutchenreuther (joint-supervised) (Current)  t.b.d.
  • S. Kutor (Current) International migration and Immigration policies
  • D. Oklikah (joint-supervised) (Current) t.b.d.
  • R. Okwei (Current) t.b.d.
  • J. Sutton (Current) Economic resilience of regions to shocks in an increasingly globalized world
  • E. Annan-Aggrey (2024) Going local with global policies: Understanding the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals in Ghana
  • I. Yusuf (2023) Mapping the Margins: An Intersectional Case Study of How Somali Women Sense, Make Sense of, and Develop Sensibilities Through Urban Public Space in Ottawa, Ontario
  • M. Chatwin (2021) Working Within Constraints: Examining the Effectiveness of Local Network Governance in Addressing Complex Social Challenges
  • R. Antabe (joint-supervised) (2020) HIV Vulnerability and Resilience among Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) men in London, Ontario, Canada
  • E. Kyeremeh (2020) Immigrant’s Personal Network in the Integration Process: a case study of Ghanaian immigrants’ in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area
  • E. Cleave (2018) Does It Work? Examining the Effectiveness of Place Branding in Local Economic Development
  • L. Hussey (2018) Examining Climate Change-Health Nexus in Ghana
  • S. McFarlane-Morris (joint-supervised) (2017) The Other Side of the Enclave: Local Perspectives on the Onset of Mass Tourism in Jamaica
  • L. Osei (joint-supervised) (2017) Youth Engagement in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining in the Upper East Region of Ghana
  • V. Kuuire (joint-supervised) (2015) Understanding Immigrant Housing Integration in Canada - The Role of Transnational Engagements
  • R. Sadler (joint-supervised) (2013) Geographic Issues in Evaluating the Food System and Effective Interventions for Health and the Economy

Masters Students

  • T. Akyea (joint-supervised) (Current) t.b.d.
  • S. Edwards (joint-supervised) (Current) t.b.d.
  • K. Lambert (Current) t.b.d.
  • J. Hutchenreuther (joint-supervised) (2023) Data-driven approach for measuring neighbourhood value: A study of neighbourhood value polarization in 20 US cities using housing transactions data
  • Q. Talbot (joint-supervised) (2023) Understanding the Challenges Experienced by Immigrant Personal Support Workers (PSWs) during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Windsor, Ontario
  • M. Vecchio (2020) Treasure Amongst the Ruins: The Policy and Practices of Adaptive Reuse of Urban Industrial Buildings in Ontario
  • C. DuBreck (joint supervised) (2017) Exploring the Geographic Variation of Community and Consumer Food Environments for Children
  • T. Thayer (joint-supervised) (2016) Urban Walkability Measures: Data Quality, Cautions, and Associations with Active and Public Transportation Across Canada
  • J. Kennedy (2015) Evolution Towards "Housing First": A Qualitative Analysis of Service Provider and Participant Perspectives
  • E. Cleave (2014) Economic Development in the Contemporary Global Environment: The Role of Place Branding as a Tool of Local Economic Development in Ontario, Canada
  • M. Taabazuing (2012) Economic Development in a Changing Global Economy: Examining the Perspectives of Practitioners in Ontario, Canada
  • M. Zaami (joint-supervised) (2012) Experiences of Socio-Apatial Exclusion among Ghanaian Immigrant Youth in Toronto: Case Study of Jane-Finch Neighbourhood
  • V. Kuuire (joint-supervised) (2011) Food Remittances and Food Security in Ghana
  • M. Hayek (2009) Brownfield Redevelopment in London Ontario
  • C. Oosterbaan (2009) The Changing Built Environment of Accra


Refereed Journals

Paidamoyo Mudapakati, C., Bandauko, E.,  Chaeruka, J. & Arku, G. (2024) Peri-urbanisation and the Land Conflict Question in Domboshava, Zimbabwe. Land Use Policy

Piennah, C., Antabe, R., Arku, G. & Luginaah, I. (2024) Farmer Field Schools, Climate Action Plans and Climate Change Resilience among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Ghana. Climatic Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-024-03755-w

Sutton, J. & Arku, G. (2024) Media, path advocacy, and institutional entrepreneurship: An evolutionary perspective of plant closures. Cities. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2024.105140

Bandauko, E., Baiden, P., Arku, G., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Kutor, S. & Akyea, T. (2024). Sense of Community in Gated Urban Neighbourhood in the Global South: Empirical Evidence Insights from Acca, Ghana. Journal of Urban Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2024.2341901

Annan-Aggrey, E. & Arku, G. (2024) Picture this! Vulnerable Women’s Perspectives on SDGs Prioritization. International Development Planning Review. https://doi.org/10.3828/idpr.2024.8

Sutton, J., Cleave, E., Sadler, R., Oosterbaan, C., Hutchenreuther, J.& Arku, G. (2024). Working in the crisis: Examining the perceptions and responses of practitioners to the COVID-19 pandemic Urban Affairs Review. DOI: 10.1177/10780874241241232

Kyeremeh, E. Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2024) Support Networks of Immigrants in Canada: A Multilevel Multinomial Analysis of Social Support. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2024.2313509

Oklikah, DO.,  Abada, T. & Arku, G. (2024) Canada (Live-in) Caregiver Program (LCP) and care workers’ lived-experiences: A systematic literature review. International Migration and Integration. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-024-01119-y

Sutton, J., Arku, G., Sadler, R., Hutchenreuther, J. & Buzzelli, B. (2024) Practitioners’ Ability to Retool the Economy: The Role of Agency in Local Economic Resilience to Plant Closures in Ontario," Growth and Change. DOI: 10.1111/grow.12716

Sutton, J. & Arku, G. (2024) Media representation of industrial plant closures in Ontario, Canada, from 2000 to 2019. Area. DOI: 10.1111/area.12938

Sutton, J., Phan, S., Arku, G. Hutchenreuther, J. & Cleave, E. (2024) Is there innovation in economic development? Examining approaches to innovation in Ontario through city economic development strategies. Local Development & Society. IDI: 10.1080/26883597.2024.2313751

Annan-Aggrey, E. & Arku, G. (2024) SDG Dilemma in Local Policymaking: When Ambition and Reality Collide. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 10.1080/00083968.2023.2299822

Luginaah, N., Batung, E., Ziegler, B., Amoak, D., Trudell, J., Arku, G. & Luginaah, I. (2023) The Parallel Pandemic: A Systematic Review on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on OCD among Children and Adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20237095

Bandauko, E., Baruah, B. & Arku, G. (2023). Gender, public space, and the right to the city among street vendors in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) cities. Gender, Place & Culture. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2023.2294258

Oklikah, O., Bandauko, E., Senanu, SK., Odoi, A., Asare, A. Akyea, A. & Arku, G. (2023) A Systematic Review of Climate-induced International and Internal Migration in Africa. Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.3390/su152216105

Bandauko, E. & Arku, G. (2023) Exploring unchartered territories’: Fieldwork experiences from researching street traders. Qualitative Research Journal. DOI: 10.1108/QRJ-03-2023-0049

Bandauko, E.,  Asare, A. & Arku, G. (2023) Exploring place attachment dynamics in deprived urban neighbourhoods: A empirical study of Nima and Old Fadama slums in Accra (Ghana). Journal of Urban Affairs https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2023.2232061

Annan-Aggrey, E.  & Arku, G. (2023) New wine in old wine skins’ – Understanding the framing of SDGs in the local government context in Ghana. Progress in Development Studies. 23(3): 229-245

Yusuf, I., Kutor, S. &. Arku, G. (2023). There's No Place Like [Your] Home: Exploring Somali Hospitality as a Source and Site of Well-being for the Somali Canadian Diaspora. Wellbeing, Space & Society Special Issue: Migration, settlement & wellbeing in/of place. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wss.2023.100145

Kutor, S.  Arku, G. & Bandauko, E. (2023) Instead of ‘writing against’ and discarding ‘immigrants’ integration, why not reconceptualize integration as a wicked concept? Journal of Comparative Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1186/s40878-023-00334-3

Kyeremeh, E., Kutor, S., Annan-Aggrey, E.,1Yusuf, I.1 & Arku, G. (2023) The Double Return Experience: Rationale for Return from Canada to Ghana and Ghana to Canada. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 57(2): 369-390

Sutton, J., Arku, G. & Sadler, R. (2023) You do not know what you have until it is gone: The importance of face-to-face interactions in local economic development. Community Development. DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2023.2178473

Bandauko, E. & Arku, G. (2023) "The power of a camera: Fieldwork experiences from using participatory photovoice". International Journal of Qualitative Methods. DOI: 10.1177/16094069231154437

Bandauko, B., Karakadzai, T., Chaeruka, J. & Arku, G. (2023). An assessment of the conformance of local spatial plans to planned land-uses amid rapid urbanization: A Case study of Town Planning Scheme 4 in Harare. Land Use Policy. 126, 106543. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2023.106543

Kyeremeh, E. Arku, G. (2023) The construction, composition and rationale of immigrants’ network: the support strategies of Ghanaian immigrants in Toronto, Canada. Global Networks 23(2): 508-527. DOI: 10.1111/glob.12410

Sutton, J. Arku, G. & Oosterbaan, C. (2023) A shift towards collaboration: Examining practitioner’s economic development practices in Ontario during the COVID-9 pandemic. Canadian Public Administration. 66(1): 96-113

Yeboah, I. E., A., Asante-Wusu, I. Arku, G. (2023) Globalization, Western-style Malls, and Consumerism in the Accra-Tema City-Region, Ghana. International Development Planning Review. 45(2): 175-202

Kutor, S. K.,1 Bandauko, E., Kyeremeh, E., Annan-Aggrey, E. & Arku, G. (2023) Residential satisfaction in deprived urban neighbourhoods: A case study of Harare’s selected informal settlements. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 38:1177–1199

Bandauko, E., Kutor, S.K., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Baiden, P. & Arku, G. (2023) Influence of socio-demographic factors and housing characteristics on satisfaction with privacy in gated communities in Accra (Ghana. Housing Studies. 38(10): 1781-1802

Sutton, J., Bailey, D. G., Cleave, E. Arku, G. & Hutchenreuther, J. (2022). Retooling local economies: Practitioners’ experiences and perspectives on plant closures in Ontario. Urban Research and Practice. DOI: 10.1080/17535069.2022.2151849

Sutton, J., Lambert, K. & Arku, G. (2022) “It takes a village”: An examination of Intra-regional collaborative economic development practices in Ontario, Canada during COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Journal of Regional Science. 45(3): 163-173

Osei, L., Arku, G. & Luginaah, I. (2022) “We Have Done Nothing Wrong”: Youth Miners’ Perceptions of The Environmental Consequences of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) in Ghana. Journal of Extractive Industries and Society. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2022.101179

Kutor, SK., Annan-Aggrey, E., Afriyie Poku, A., Kyeremeh, E., & Arku, G. (2022) Assessing how rural-urban migration is incorporated in Ghana’s National Urban Policy: a qualitative content analysis. Local Environment. 27(12): 1499-1513. DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2022.2113868

Sutton, J. & Arku, G. (2022) Regional Economic Resilience: Towards A Systems Approach. Regional Studies, Regional Science. 9 (1): 497–512

Kutor, S.K., Adeku, Y., Kyeremeh, E. & Arku, G. (2022) Rethinking Geographies of Wisdom: Advancing Contemporary Scholarship Through Transnationalism. GeoJournal. DOI: 10.1007/s10708-022-10686-5

Annan-Aggrey, E., Arku, G., Atuoye, K. & Kyeremeh, E.1 (2022) Harnessing ‘communities of practice’ for local development and to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Local Economy DOI: 10.1177/02690942221101532

Sutton, J. & Arku, G. (2022) The Importance of Local Characteristics: A multi-scalar examination of Canadian cities' resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Geographer. DOI: 10.1111/cag.12780

Bandauko, E., Kutor, S. K. & Arku, G. (2022). "To leave or not to leave? An analysis of individual and neighbourhood characteristics shaping place attachment in Harare’s selected informal settlements." Canadian Geographer

Sowatey, E., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Hussey, L., Annan-Aggrey, E., Pinkrah, A. & Arku, G. (2021). "Reflections from cross-gender fieldwork experiences in open markets in Ghana." International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Vol 20: 1-11. DOI: 10.1177/16094069211053102

Arku, G. & Marais, L. (2021). "Global South Urbanisms and Urban Sustainability – challenges and the way forward." Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, section on Cities in the Global South, DOI:10.3389/frsc.2021.692799

Yeboah, I. E. A. Arku, G. & Maingi, J. K. (2021). "Regimes of Accumulation and the Production of the Built Environment of Cantonments, Accra-Tema City-Region." GeoJournal, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-021-10469-4

Annan-Aggrey, E., Bandauko, E. & Arku, G. (2021). "Localising the SDGs in Africa: implementation challenges and opportunities." Commonwealth Journal of Local Government, 24: 4- 23. http://doi.org/10.5130/cjlg.v0i24

Bandauko, E., Kutor, S., Annan-Aggrey, E. & Arku, G. (2021). “They say these are places for criminals, but this is our home”. Internalizing and countering discourses of territorial stigmatization in Harare’s informal settlements. International Development Planning Review, 10.3828/idpr.2021.9

Bandauko, E. Arku, G. & Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H. (2021). "A systematic review of gated communities and the challenge of urban transformation in African cities". Journal of Housing and Built Environment, 

Yeboah, I.E.A., Maingi, J. K. & Arku, G. (2021). "World Trade Center, Accra’: production of urban space for the continued peripheral linkage of Ghana under globalization." African Geographical Review, 40(1): 19-32

Bandauko, E., Annan-Aggrey, E. & Arku, G. (2021). "Planning and Managing Urbanization in 21st Century: A Review and Analysis of Selected Africa Countries National Urban Policy." Urban Research & Practice, 14(1): 94-104

Kyeremeh, E. Arku, G. Mkandawire, P., Cleave, E. & Yusuf, I. (2021). "What is Success? Examining the Concept of Successful Integration among African Immigrants in the City of London, Canada." Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 47(3): 649-667

Kansanga, M. Dinko, D.H., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Arku, G. & Luginaah, I. (2021). "Scalar politics and black-markets: the political ecology of persistent illegal rosewood logging in Ghana." Geoforum, 119: 83-93

Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2020). "Planning for Local Economic Development: Research into Policymaking and Practice." Urban Planning, 5(3): 319-322

Vecchio, M. & Arku, G. (2020). "Promoting Adaptive Reuse in Ontario: A Planning Policy Tool for Making the Best of Manufacturing Decline." Urban Planning, 5(3): 338-350

Selina, P., Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2020)."Innovation within the Context of Local Economic Development and Planning: Perspectives of City Practitioners." Urban Planning, 5(3): 364-377

Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2020). "Place Branding and Growth Machines: Implications for Spatial Planning and Urban Development." Journal of Urban Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/07352166.2020.1768104

Arku, G., Cleave, E. & Easton, M. (2020). "Geographic Differences in the Distribution of Manufacturing Firms in Ontario, Canada." Area, 52(3): 634-645

Hussey, L. & Arku, G. (2020). "Prioritizing Climate-sensitive Infectious Diseases under a Changing Climate: A multicriteria evaluation analysis approach." Regional Environmental Change, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01582-0

Apatinga, G., Kyeremeh, E. & Arku, G. (2020). "Feminization of Migration: the implications on “left-behind” families in Ghana." Migration and Development, DOI:10.1080/21632324.2019.1703283

Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2020). "Immigrant Attraction Through Place Branding? Evidence of citylevel effectiveness from Canada." Cities, DOI.org/10.1016/j.cities.2019.102502

Hussey, L. & Arku, G. (2020). "Are we ready? Health Systems Preparedness and Capacity towards Climate Change-induced Health Risks: Perspectives of Health Professional in Ghana." Climate & Development, 12(2): 170-182

Antabe, R., Atuoye, K. N., Kuuire, V. Z., Sano, Y., Arku, G. & Luginaah, L. (2020). "To Move or not to Move: Community Members’ Reaction to Surface Mining Activities in the Upper West Region of Ghana." Society & Natural Resources, 33 (3): 368–385

Buttazzoni, A. Arku, G. & Cleave, E. (2020). "Practitioners Perspectives on In-house versus Arms-length Model of Economic Development Delivery." Local Government Studies, 45(6): 913-936

Cleave, E., Vecchio, M., Spilsbury, D. & Arku, G. (2019). "Manufacturing Change and Policy Response in the Contemporary Economic Landscape: How cities in Ontario, Canada understand and plan for manufacturing." Regional Studies, Regional Science, 6(1): 469-495

Kansanga, M., Arku, G. & Luginaah, I. (2019). "Powers of Exclusion and Counter-exclusion: The political ecology of ethno-territorial customary land boundary conflicts in Ghana." Land Use Policy, 86: 12-22

DuBreck, C., Sadler, R., Arku, G., Seabrook, J. & Gilliland, J. (2019). "A Comparative Analysis of the Restaurant Consumer Food Environments in Rochester (New York, USA) and London (Ontario, Canada): Assessing Children Menus by Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Characteristics." Public Health Nutrition, 22(9): 1654-1666

Chatwin, M. & Arku, G. (2019). "Defining subnational open government: Does local context influence policy and practice?" Policy Sciences, DOI.org/10.1007/s11077-018-09347-7

Cleave, E., Arku, G. & Chatwin, M. (2019). "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Examining the Influence of Consultants on City Economic Development Policy." Canadian Journal of Public Administration, 62 (1). doi.org/10.1111/capa.12299

Cleave, E., Arku, G. & Chatwin, M. (2019). "Are they Surgeons or Plumbers? Assessing the Role of Private Sector Consultants in Place Branding and Other Place-Based Economic Development Strategies." Public Organization Review, DOI: 1007/s11115-017-0396-0

Hussey, L. & Arku, G. (2019). "Conceptualizations of Climate-related health risks Among Experts and the Public in Ghana." Social Science & Medicine, 223: 40-50

Chapters in Books

Sutton, J. & Arku, G. (2024) The Impact of Policies on Cities’ Resilience in Canada: A Multi-scalar Approach. IN: City Responses to Disruptions in 2020: From Lockdowns to Aftermath. Cirella, G. T. and Dahiya, B. (Editors). Springer edited volume for the book series: Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements. Springer. Pages 11-33

Annan-Aggrey, E., Kutor, S. K., Bandauko, E. & Arku, G. (2023) Cities that work for all: Putting gender on urban health and development agenda in sub-Saharan Africa. IN: Health Geography in sub-Saharan Africa: Development—Health Nexus. Springer. Pages 143-158

Annan-Aggrey, E., Kutor, S., Bandauko, E. & Arku, G. (2022) The Leadership-Institutions-Development Nexus in Africa: A Jerry John Rawlings Perspective. IN: Jerry John Rawlings – Leadership and Legacy: A Pan-African perspective. Felix Abiwu-Kumah (ed.). Springer. Pages 3-20

Luginaah, I., Arku, G., & Kosmack, D. (2022). Examining the response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the City of London and Middlesex County using a Systems Approach: What lessons can we learn? IN: Howden-Chapman, P., Gatzweiller, F., Cooper, R. & Luginaah, I (Eds.), Cities Under COVID-19: A systems perspective. Springer. Forthcoming

Arku, G., Sadler, R. Simard-Gagnon, L., & Chouinard, V. (2021) Healthy Cities. IN: Healthy Cities. IN: Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Readers Guide. Alison Bain and Linda Peak (editors). Second Edition. Oxford University Press

Cleave, E., Arku, G. & Easton, M. (2020) From Traditional to Advanced – Understanding Spatial Patterns and Drivers of a Transitioning Manufacturing Sector. IN: Manfred M. Fischer, Jean-Claude Thill, Jouke van Dijk, Hans Westlund (eds.). Springer Series, Advances in Spatial Science. Springer. Pages 121-144

Chatwin, M. & Arku, G. (2018). "Smart Urban Governance." IN: Smart Economy in Smart African Cities: Sustainable, Resilience, Inclusive and Prosperous. G. Mboup and O. Oyeyinka (editors), Springer

Arku, G. & Sadler, R. (2017). "Healthy Cities." IN: Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Readers Guide. Alison Bain and Linda Peak (editors). Oxford University Press. 361-376