Globally, more than half of the world’s current population live in urban areas for the first time ever in the history of the world. The process of the shift of the population from rural to urban centres though not a recent phenomenon, intensified in the 20th and 21st centuries. In much of the developed world, the process of urbanization has almost abated as over 70 percent of the population are already living in towns and cities. Consequently, much of the growth in urban population is occurring in the developing world where the process is in its infancy. It is also in the developing world where rapid urbanization has magnified the environmental impact of cities as the process is occurring within the context of inadequate infrastructural and services systems, poor planning and weak urban management and governance systems. Indeed, it has been argued that as a result of the complex myriad of challenges confronting urbanization in the developing world, ever-growing mega cities in this part of the world will disproportionately drive global warming, increase water scarcity and extend built-up space. Consequently, better management of urban centres in developing countries has become a priority inspired by the recognition that cities and towns have functions to perform which are as important as those of rural areas.
The Centre for Urban Management Studies (CUMS) was approved by the Council of the University of Ghana in June 2016, and started formal operations on August 1, 2016. CUMS seeks to provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary environment for the conduct of innovative research, teaching and public outreach activities on the management (including planning and governance) of the urban built environment. It will actively engage with academics, policy-makers and practitioners of the urban built environment on a wide variety of issues including: