Exploring Barrier-Free as a Catalyst to Smart Cities Initiatives in Sub Saharan Africa

Danquah, Joseph A. and Marful, Alexander B. and Duah, Daniel (2019) Exploring Barrier-Free as a Catalyst to Smart Cities Initiatives in Sub Saharan Africa. IS THIS THE REAL WORLD? Perfect Smart Cities vs. Real Emotional Cities. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2019, 24th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 339-351. ISSN 2521-3938

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The Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities both strive to make all cities and human settlements inclusive, safe and resilient without discrimination. Actions through policies, legislation and advocacy have been employed by Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) governments to achieve barrier free environments with little progress. Smart community initiatives can become a potential conduit for speeding the development of barrier free environments in these countries. The study thus explores the concept of barrier free as a catalyst in smarting communities’ initiatives in Africa. An exploratory mixed methods approach is used through the review of epistemological assumptions of smart communities and surveys of perceptions of people from the university community. Case studies of selected smart city initiatives and smart university campuses were reviewed, and KNUST (as a microcosm of a city) with a population of 50,000 was used as a case study. The study revealed the silent nature of current smart city characteristics on barrier free features whilst technology and people remain the backbone of inclusive smart community initiatives. Again most respondents are optimistic of its success in SSA, though cautioning its cost. A low smart index score of 36.9 was recorded on the KNUST Campus. This study provides vital data to policy makers on implementation of integrated barrier free and smart community initiatives in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Smart Community, Smart Cities, Barrier Free, Disabilities, Inclusive
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TE Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 12:57
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2021 15:48
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/491

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