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The global and the local: urban change in Cape Coast from pre-colonial times to the present

Summary of Article by Samuel Agyei-Mensah & Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, 2007

Discussion of the local and the global developments of urbanity in Cape Cost, draws upon several important points in Ghanaian history. First the arrival of the Portuguese on the Gold Coast in 1471, at a time when the Cape Coast was a fishing village, followed by the first trade buildings built mid sixteenth century and finally the post-independence era defined between 1957-1983, and the present day. Agyei-Mensah and Ardayfio-Schandorf seek to examine how global forces have interacted with the local ones to shape the urban landscape of Cape Coast, Ghana. The three distinct periods examined included pre-colonial and colonial periods as well as the post-independence period and the contemporary period. The findings of this study reflect how during each of these stages, Cape Coast was subjected to local and global forces, giving way to what is today a distinctive image of a transformed urban landscape. Changes in urban morphology and social outcomes, demonstrate how urban forms have mutated in response to changing socioeconomic, political and cultural circumstances.