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

  • E. Annan-Aggrey (Current) Overview of the development partner landscape in Ghana in relation to the SDGs
  • 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
  • S. Kutor (Current) International migration and Immigration policies
  • J. Sutton (Current) Economic resilience of regions to shocks in an increasingly globalized world
  • I. Yusuf (Current) Gentrifried: A post-colonial analysis of the gentrification of Ottawa's "Heron-Gate"
  • M. Chatwin (2021) Working Within Constraints: Examining the Effectiveness of Local Network Governance in Addressing Complex Social Challenges
  • E. Kyeremeh (2020) Immigrant’s Personal Network in the Integration Process: a case study of Ghanaian immigrants’ in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area
  • R. Antabe (joint-supervised) (2020) HIV Vulnerability and Resilience among Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) men in London, Ontario, Canada
  • 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 (2017) Development in Whose Interest? Understanding the Promises and Realities of Mass Tourism as the Key Development Strategy along the North Coast of Jamaica: A Comparative Analysis of the Towns of Falmouth and Lucea
  • L. Osei (2017) Poverty, Unemployment and Youth Empowerment in African Mining Communities: The Case of Ghana
  • V. Kuuire (2015) Understanding Immigrant Housing Integration in Canada - The Role of Transnational Engagements
  • R. Sadler (2013) Evaluating the Food System and Effective Interventions for Health and the Economy

Masters Students

  • J. Hutchenreuther (joint-supervised) (Current) T.B.D.
  • M. Vecchio (2020) Treasure amongst the ruins: Urban industrial plant redevelopment - The Policy and Industrial Practices of Ontario
  • C. DuBreck (2017) Investigating the Geographic Variation in Children's Menu Items in Four North American Cities
  • T. Thayer (2016) Built Environment and Travel Behaviour
  • J. Kennedy (2015) Service providers and tenants perceptions of the Housing First Model in Southern Ontario
  • 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 knowledge-based economy: Perceptions of directors and consultants in Ontario
  • M. Zaami (2012) Experiences of Socio-Apatial Exclusion among Ghanaian Immigrant Youth in Toronto: Case Study of Jane-Finch Neighbourhood
  • V. Kuuire (2011) Food Security Situation of Migrant Farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana
  • M. Hayek (2009) Brownfield redevelopment in London, Ontario: Developing a methodology for creating a Brownfield database and an examination of policy initiatives aimed at promoting redevelopment
  • C. Oosterbaan (2009) Economic reforms and changing urban landscape of Accra and Kumasi: The conversion of residential units into commercial and office spaces


Refereed Journals

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.

Sowatey, E., Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Mkandawire, P. Arku, G., Hussey, L. & Amasaba, A. (2018). "Spaces of resilience, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship in informal work in urban Ghana." International Planning Studies, 23(4): 327-339.

DuBreck, C., Sadler, R., Arku, G. & Gilliland, J. (2018). "Examining Community and Consumer Food Environments: An urban-suburban-rural comparison in Southwestern Ontario." Social Science & Medicine, 209: 33-42.

Chatwin, M. & Arku, G. (2018). "Co-creating open government action plans: the case of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana." Growth & Change, 49(2): 374-393.

Cleave, E. & Arku, G. (2017). "Putting a Number on Place: A systematic review of place branding influence." Journal of Place Management and Development, 10(5):425-446.

Chatwin, M. & Arku, G. (2017). "Beyond Ambiguity: Conceptualizing Open Government through a Human Systems Framework." Journal of Democracy, 9(1):52-78.

Cleave, E., Arku, G., Sadler, R. & Kyeremeh, E. (2017). "Place Marketing, Place Branding and Social Media: Perspectives of Municipal Practitioners." Growth & Change, 48(4):1012-1033.

Cleave, E., Watson McCauley, B. & Arku, G. (2017). "Just Because You Could, Doesn’t Mean You Should: Exploring if (and when) cities should brand through a case of the city of London, Ontario." Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 26(2): 1-14.

Cleave, E., Arku, G., Sadler, R. & Gilliland, J. (2017). "Is it Sound Policy or Fast Policy? Practitioners’ Perspectives on the Role of Place Branding in Local Economic Development." Urban Geography, 38 (8): 1133-1157.

Cleave, E., Arku, G. & Chatwin, M. (2017). "Cities’ Economic Development Efforts in a Changing Global Economy: Content Analysis of Economic Development Plans of Cities in Ontario, Canada." Area, 49(3): 359-368.

Kennedy, J., Arku, G. & Cleave, E. (2017). "The Experiences of Service Providers of Housing First Programs in Three Communities in Ontario, Canada." International Journal of Housing Policy, 17(3): 396-416.

Kennedy, J., Forchuk, C., Arku, G. & Buzzelli, M. (2016). "Service Providers Perspectives and Tenants Satisfaction with the Implementation of Housing First Program in the City of London Ontario, Canada." Housing & Society, 43(2): 82-102.

Arku, G. Yeboah, I. & Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H. (2016). "Public Parks as an Element of Urban Development: A missing piece in Accra’s growth and development." Local Environment, 21 (12): 1500-1515.

Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Arku, G. & Inkoom, D. (2016) Urban agriculture and political ecologies of health. GeoForum, 72: 38-48.

Arku, G., Mensah, K., Allotey, N. & Addo-Frempong, E. (2016). "(Non)-compliance with Building Permit Regulations in Accra, Ghana: Exploring the reasons from the perspective of multiple stakeholders." Planning Theory & Practice, 17 (3): 361-384.

Cleave, E., Arku, G., Sadler, R. & Gilliland, J. (2016). "The Role of Place Branding in Local and Regional Economic Development: Toward bridging the gap between policy and practicality." Regional Studies, Regional Science, 3(1): 207-228.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Buzzelli, M. & Abada, T. (2016). "Obligations and Expectations: Perceived relationship between Transnational Housing Investment and Housing Consumption Decisions among Ghanaians Immigrants in Canada." Housing, Theory & Society, 33 (4): 445-468.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Buzzelli, M. & Abada, T. (2016). "Transnational-Integration Nexus: Examining the relationship between transnational housing investment and homeownership status in Canada." Geoforum, 75: 168-179.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Abada, T. & Buzzelli, M. (2016). "Impact of Remittance Behaviour on Immigrant Housing Ownership Trajectories: An Analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada from 2001-2005." Social Indicators Research, 127 (3): 1135-1156.

Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Arku, G. & Inkoom, D. (2016). "Urban agriculture and political ecologies of health." Geoforum, 72: 38-48.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J. & Arku, G. (2016). "Theoretical Issues in the ‘Food Desert’ Debate and Ways Forward." GeoJournal, 81(3): 443-455.

Kuuire, V., Mkandawire, P., Luginaah, I. & Arku, G. (2016). "Abandoning Land in Search of Farms: Challenges of subsistence migrant farming." Agriculture & Human Values, 33(2):475-488.

Sadler, R., Cleave, E., Arku, G. and Gilliland, J. (2016). "A comparative analysis of place branding in Michigan and Ontario." Urban Research and Practice, 9(1): 16-36.

Chapters in Books

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.