Understanding Slums and Informal Settlements through their own Lenses towards making Ghanaian Cities Resilient

The past three decades have seen increased concern to make cities in poor countries resilient. Evidence however shows that one of the important factors that can undermine this effort is the development of slums and informal settlements in urban areas. While scientific evidence shows that many support the management of slums and informal settlements, there is no consensus among policy makers, city managers and social scientists around how this must be approached. Consequently, policy and planning initiatives at addressing the problem appear to be failing. An approach that has some promise is to adequately understand the phenomenon from the perspectives of the nearly a sixth of the world's population, about 1 billion people, that live in slums yet slum dwellers have consistently been excluded in policy decisions geared towards the management of slums. The research into slums and informal settlements development towards making Ghana's cities resilient therefore seeks to go beyond the theoretical and general studies to obtain in-depth understanding of slums and informal settlements from the perspectives of residents in these settlements in the Ghanaian context where achieving resilient cities appears to be eluding urban governance and housing policy. The perspective and voices of residents in these settlements should help decision makers draw appropriate and more responsive urban governance policies to achieve resilient cities.