Seth Asare Okyere

Seth Asare Okyere

Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban Planning
CAPLA Emerging Faculty Fellow

Programs

  • School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
  • Urban Planning
Seth Asare Okyere

CAPLA East Building

Areas of Expertise

  • Community resilience planning
  • Equity in everyday urbanisms
  • Global south urbanisms
  • International development planning

Degrees

  • PhD in Engineering (Urban Development Planning), Osaka University, Japan
  • MSc Urban Planning and Policy Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • BSc Development Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Biography

Dr Seth Asare Okyere is trained in urban and development planning. He engages in interdisciplinary work on resilient and equitable urbanism in the global south. Seth primarily engages in the urban planning program while extending his base across the environment and international development areas. He promotes mission-focused approaches to support communities and their institutions to understand their contexts better and utilize existing potentials, tools, and networks to build capacity and foster resilience to existing/emerging socio-environmental stressors and shocks.

Seth’s current research concerns two aspects of everyday urbanism. First, he is involved in international collaborative work on community resilience planning and interventions in vulnerable low-income communities in African and Asian cities.  Secondly, Seth is also the project manager of the Social Equity in Everyday Urbanisms International Lab. This lab brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts from geography, urban transport and development planning to explore inequality in everyday urban life in the global South.   Seth’s research centralizes the experiences and practices of the urban vulnerable and elevates the role of southern experiences in shaping the planning and design of sustainable, resilient, and equitable urban futures.

He has extensive experience across Academia, Policy Think Tanks, and Civil Society Organisations conducting transformative research, leading international expert teams, coordinating international joint projects, and engaging local communities to build capacity for sustainable development. His learning and work experiences span cities, communities and institutions in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Seth has volunteered for equity-based NGOs, mentored minority students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds and published extensively in top-tier outlets. For Seth, his greatest achievement comes from his work with disadvantaged communities and students, as seen in their ability to take control of their local environment and champion alternative pathways toward equitable and resilient futures that prioritize empathy and creativity.

Seth welcomes collaborative and interdisciplinary work that recognizes the agency of the marginalised, upholds the principles of equity, challenges epistemic injustice, embraces empathy and rejects dystopian narratives of the Southern experiences.

Recent Publications

Seth Asare Okyere, Louis Kusi Frimpong, Matthew Abunyewah and Stephen Kofi Diko, "Accra's most vulnerable residents were failed during COVID - the government didn't understand their realities". The Conversation. August 23, 2023.

Seth Asare Okyere, Frimpong, L.K., Mensah, S.L., Oviedo, D., Amoako-Sakyi, R.Nieto, M., Kita, M., (2023) Planning for Walkable Cities in Africa: Co-producing Knowledge on Conditions, Practices, and Strategies. Social Impacts, 100005, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socimp.2023.100005

Abunyewah, M., Erdiaw-Kwasie, M.O., Seth Asare Okyere et al. Advancing a slum–circular economy model for sustainability transition in cities of the Global South. Nature Sustainability (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-023-01176-8

Abunyewah, M., Erdiaw-Kwasie, M. O., Seth Asare Okyere, Thayaparan, G., Byrne, M., Lassa, J., ... & Maund, K. (2023). Influence of personal and collective social capital on flood preparedness and community resilience: Evidence from Old Fadama, Ghana. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 103790. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103790

Ner NT, Seth Asare Okyere, Abunyewah M, Frimpong LK, Kita M. (2023) The Resilience of a Resettled Flood-Prone Community: An Application of the RABIT Framework in Pasig City, Metro Manila. Sustainability. 2023; 15(8):6953. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086953

Seth Asare Okyere, Louis Kusi Frimpong, Matthew Abunyewah and Stephen Kofi Diko. "Accra's market fires are devastating to informal traders--but they don't trust or understand what they're being told about managing risk." The Conversation. May 29, 2023.

Seth Asare Okyere, Frimpong, L.K., Abunyewah, M., Diko, S.K., Md. Fatemi, N., Mensah L., Barnie, S., Kita, M. (2023) The moderating role of Covid-19-related support on urban livelihood capitals: Evidence from suburban Accra. Urban Governance, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ugj.2023.03.003

Stephen Leonard Mensah, Louis Kusi Frimpong, Seth Asare Okyere, Stephen Kofi Diko, Seth Barnie Enning, Matthew Abunyewah, Joshua Mawutor Attigah, A digital turn for urban management? Residents’ perception and utilisation of the digital property address system in Accra, Ghana., Urban Governance (2023), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ugj.2023.02.005

Seth Asare Okyere, Lisa Ueno, Mowa Ebashi, Motoki Shimoda, Hiroshi Tsuji, Michihiro Kita (2023). Engaging Elementary School Pupils in Community Awareness and Planning: Insights From the Kaizuka Machizukuri Club, Osaka. Routledge, Routledge Companion to Professional Awareness and Diversity in Planning Educationhttps://doi.org/10.4324/9781003254003

Godfred Addai, Matthew Abunyewah, Michael Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie, Seth Asare Okyere, Michael Asiedu Gyensare, Lawrence Guodaar (2023). Application of the Rural Web Framework within the Context of Sustainable Development: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability 2023, 15(5), 4239: https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054239

Okyere, S. A., Diko, S. K., & Ebashi, M. and Kita, M. (2022) Obscured Innovations? Inventiveness in Collective Infrastructure Management in Accra, Ghana. In G. Marinic and P. Meninato (eds) Informality and the City: Theories, Actions, and Interventions, Springer: Rotterdam

Nikko, T., Okyere, S.A., Abunyewah, M., Kita, M. (2022) Integrating Urban Resilience Attributes in Local Development Plans in Metro Manila: Strength, Weaknesses and Gaps. Progress in Disaster Science Vol. 16, 100249, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pdisas.2022.100249 

Okyere, S.A (2021) Reframing the urban challenge in Africa: knowledge coproduction from the south, Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 44, No. 1 

Frimpong, K., Okyere, S.A., Diko, S. K., Abunyewah, M., Erdiaw K.M, Commodore, T. Kita, M. Oviedo, D. (2021) Actor-Network Analysis of Community-Based Organizations in Health Pandemics: Evidence from COVID-19 Response in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Disasters https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12508

Fatemi, N., Okyere, S.A, Diko, S.K., Abunyewah, M. Kita, M., Rahman, T. (2020) Flooding in Mega-cities: Using Structural Equation Modelling to Assess Flood Impact in Dhaka. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 12, 1, pp. 500- 514. 

Oviedo, D., Okyere, S.A., Nieto, M., Kita, M., Kusi, F.L., Yusuf, Y., Koroma, B. (2021) Walking off the beaten path: Everyday walking environment and practices in informal settlements in Freetown, Research in Transportation Business & Management. 100630

Okyere, S.A, Diko, S.K., Abunyewah, M., Kita, M. (2019) Toward Citizen-Led Planning for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Ghana: Hints from Japanese Machizukuri activities, in P. Cobbinah and M. Adaney (eds) The Geography of Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

News, Research and Projects

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Seth Asare Okyere

Nature Sustainability Article by CAPLA Emerging Faculty Fellow Proposes Model for Sustainability Transition in the Global South

Seth Okyere, a CAPLA visiting assistant professor and Emerging Faculty Fellow, contributed to an article published this summer in Nature Sustainability, which publishes significant original research about sustainability, including policy dimensions and possible solutions.

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Ghana street and residences

Ghana Digitized Its Address System: Its Failure Offers Lessons to Other African Countries Creating Smart Cities

Research by Seth Asare Okyere, CAPLA visiting assistant professor of urban planning, and Louis Kusi Frimpong, Matthew Abunyewah and Stephen Kofi Diko, show that digitalization initiatives in Ghana need to take local factors and engagement into account if they’re going to succeed.

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Ghana

Ghana’s Informal Residents Show How Social Innovation Can Solve Urban Challenges

A recent paper by Seth Asare Okyere, CAPLA visiting assistant professor of urban planning, and Stephen Kofie Diko, assistant professor at the University of Memphis, argues that the solutions residents in poor, marginalized, informal and crowded urban areas come up with to make everyday urban life livable are a form of social innovation.