Seth Asare Okyere
Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban Planning
CAPLA Emerging Faculty Fellow
CAPLA East Building
Areas of Expertise
- Community resilience planning
- International development planning
- Global south urbanisms
- Equity in everyday urbanisms
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
Seth Asare Okyere PhD is trained in urban and development planning and is currently a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arizona. At UArizona, Seth is the Emerging Faculty Fellow engaged in interdisciplinary work on resilient and equitable urbanism in the urban north and south. He is primarily engaged in the urban planning program while extending his base across geography, planning and sustainable development solutions. He promotes mission-focused approaches to support communities and institutions to better understand their contexts as well as utilize existing potentials, tools and networks to build capacity and foster resilience to existing/emerging socio-spatial and environmental stressors and shocks.
Seth’s current research concerns two aspects of everyday urbanism. First, he is involved in an international study of disaster resilience planning in African and Asian cities, exploring the integration of resilience attributes into local development plans and the role of social capital in fostering resilience in vulnerable contexts. Second, Seth is also the project manager of the Unwalkable cities project, which brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts from geography, urban transport and urban planning to explore inequality in everyday walking in Africa’s informal cities. His 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 organizations conducting transformative research, leading international expert teams, coordinating international joint projects and engaging local communities to build capacity for sustainable development. His learning and experiences span cities and communities in Africa, Europe and Asia. Seth has volunteered for equity-based NGOs and mentored minority students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. For Seth, his greatest achievement comes from his work with students and communities, as seen in their ability to take control of their local environment and champion alternative pathways toward sustainable futures that prioritize empathy and creativity.
Seth welcomes collaborative and interdisciplinary work that recognizes the agency of the marginalized, upholds the principles of equity, challenges epistemic injustice and embraces empathy and rejects dystopian narratives of the southern experiences.
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 (In press)
Abunyewah, M., Okyere, S. A., Diko, S. K., Erdiaw-Kwasie, M. O., & Kita, M. (2022) Flooding in Informal Communities: Residents’ Response Strategies to Flooding and their Sustainability Implications in Old Fadama, Accra. In Eslamian S. and Eslamian F. (eds.) Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, Springer (
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
Okyere, S.A., Kusi, L. F., Diko, S.K., Abunyewah, M., & Kita, M. (2021) Situating everyday urban struggles within the context of the SDGs in an informal settlement in Accra In P. Cobbinah and M. Addaney (eds.), Sustainable Urban Futures in Africa, Routledge: New York/London
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
Diko, S. K., Okyere, S. A., Opoku Mensah, S. O., Ahmed, A., Yamoah, O., Kita M. (2021) Are Local Development plans mainstreaming Climate-Smart Agriculture? A mixed-content analysis of Medium-Term Developments Plans in semi-arid Ghana. Socio-Ecological Practice Research, 3, 185- 206.
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.