Western University GeographyWestern Social Science

Godwin Arku

Associate Professor


Contact Information

Office: Room 2427, SSC
Tel: 519 661-2111, 85343
Fax: 519 661-1233
E-mail: garku@uwo.ca

Research Areas

Housing and economic development; Urban development and policy analysis; Regional and local economic development policy and planning;  Third World development issues (esp. Africa)

Research Interests

My research spans 'urban' and 'economic' sub-division of human geography, especially as they relate to the transformation of urban systems in a changing global environment. I am also interested in issues of third world development. Specific areas of present research interests are:

  1. Housing and economic development
  2. Urban development and policy analysis
  3. Regional and local economic development policy and planning
  4. Third World development issues (esp. Africa)

Publications & Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

Refereed Journals

Arku, G., Mensah, K., Allotey, N., & Addo-Frempong, E. (2016) (Non)-compliance with Building Permit Regulations in Accra, Ghana: Exploring the reasons from the perspective of multiple stakeholders. Planning Theory & Practice. 17 (3): 361-384.

Cleave, E., Arku, G., Sadler, R. & Gilliland, J. (2016) The Role of Place Branding in Local and Regional Economic Development: Toward bridging the gap between policy and practicality. Regional Studies, Regional Science.  3(1): 207-228.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Buzzelli, M. & Abada, T. (2016) Obligations and Expectations: Perceived relationship between Transnational Housing Investment and Housing Consumption Decisions among Ghanaians Immigrants in Canada. Housing, Theory & Society 33 (4): 445-468.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Buzzelli, M., & Abada, T. (2016) Transnational-Integration Nexus: Examining the relationship between transnational housing investment and homeownership status in Canada. Geoforum 75: 168-179.

Kuuire, V., Arku, G., Luginaah, I., Abada, T., & Buzzelli, M. (2016) Impact of Remittance Behaviour on Immigrant Housing Ownership Trajectories: An Analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada from 2001-2005. Social Indicators Research. 127 (3): 1135-1156.

Nyantakyi-Frimpong, H., Arku, G. & Inkoom, D. (2016) Urban agriculture and political ecologies of health.  Geoforum. 72: 38-48.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J., & Arku, G. (2016) Theoretical Issues in the ‘Food Desert’ Debate and Ways Forward. GeoJournal. 81(3): 443-455.

Kuuire, V., Mkandawire, P., Luginaah, I., & Arku, G. (2016) Abandoning Land in Search of Farms: Challenges of subsistence migrant farming. Agriculture & Human Values. 33(2):475-488.

Sadler, R., Cleave, E., Arku, G., and Gilliland, J. (2016) A comparative analysis of place branding in Michigan and Ontario. Urban Research and Practice. 9(1): 16-36.

Arku, G. (2015) Economic Development Practices of Cities in Ontario. Community Development. 46(5): 604-615.

Arku, G. and Oosterbaan, C. (2015) Evidence of Inter-Territorial Collaborative Economic Development Strategies in Ontario, Canada. GeoJournal. 80(3): 361-374.

Sadler, R., Arku, G., and Gilliland, J. (2015) Local Food Network as Catalysts for Food Policy Change to Improve Health and Build the Economy. Local Environment. 20(9):1103-1121.

Taabazuing, M., Arku, G. and Mkandawire, P. (2015) Economic Development in a Changing Global Environment: what do practitioners think? Urban Research and Practice. 8(2): 145-164.

Cleave, E., and Arku, G. (2015) Place Branding and Economic Development at the Community Level in Ontario, Canada. GeoJournal. 80(3): 323-338.

Cleave, E., & Arku, G. (2015) Community Branding and Brand Images in Ontario, Canada: A case study. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. 11(1): 65-82.

Mkandawire, P., Arku, G., Atari, O., Madut, K., Luginaah, I. and Dixon, J. (2015) “My house is the hospital”: Housing and health well-being of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Malawi. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 26(4): 1246-1264.

Baiden, P., Dunnen, W., Arku, G., and Mkandawire, P. (2014) 'The role of sense of community belonging on unmet health care needs in Ontario, Canada: Findings from the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey.' Journal of Public Health. 22(5):467-478.

Cleave, E., and Arku, G. (2014) ‘Competitiveness through Cooperation: Analysis of Spatial Patterns and Inter-Jurisdiction Collaboration in the Place Branding of Ontario Communities, Canada.’ Local Economy.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J., and Arku, G. (2014) ‘Stakeholders and Policy-Maker Perception of Key Issues in Food Systems Planning and Policy-Making.’ Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition.

Arku, G. (2014) ‘Competition and Cooperation in Economic Development: Examining the Perceptions of Practitioners in Ontario’. Journal of Urban Affairs. 36(1): 99-118.

Arku, G. (2013) 'Outsourcing Functions to Economic Development Corporations? Exploring the Perceptions of Officials in Ontario, Canada.' Public Organization Review. 13 (1): 49-70.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J., and Arku, G. (2013) ‘Community Development and the Influence of New Food Retail Sources on the Price and Availability of Nutritious Food.’  Journal of Urban Affairs. 35(4): 471-491.

Kuuire, V., Mkandawire, P., Arku, G., and Luginaah, I. (2013) ‘Abandoning Farms in Search of Food: Food Remittance and Household Food Security in Ghana.’ African Geographical Review. 32(2): 125-139.

Mkandawire, P., Luginaah, I., Dixon, J., Armah, F. and Arku, G. (2013) ‘Circumcision status and time to first sexual intercourse: HIV prevention policy dilemmas in Malawi.’ AIDS & Behavior. 17: 2123-2135.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J., and Arku, G. (2013) ‘A Food Retail-Based Intervention on Food Security and Consumption.’ (International Journal of Environmental Research &
Public Health. 10(8): 3325-3346.

Arku, G. (2013) ‘Outsourcing Functions to Economic Development Corporations? Exploring the Perceptions of Officials in Ontario, Canada.' Public Organization Review. 13(1): 49-70.

Arku, G., Luginaah, I. and Mkandawire, P. (2012) ‘You Either Pay More Advance Rent or You Move Out: Landlords and Tenants Dilemma in the Low Housing Market in Accra, Ghana.' Urban Studies. 49(14): 3177-3193.

Oosterbaan, C., Arku, G., and Asiedu, B. A. (2012) ‘Conversion of Residential Units into Offices and Commercial Spaces in Accra: a policy dilemma.' International Planning Studies. 17(1): 45-66.

Arku, G., Luginaah, I. Mkandawire, P. Baiden, P. and Asiedu, A. B. (2011) ‘Housing and Health in three Contrasting Neighbourhoods in Accra, Ghana.' Social Science & Medicine. 72(11): 1864-1872.

Arku, G., Kemp, J. and Gilliland, J (2011) ‘Analysis of Public Debates on Urban Growth Patterns in London, Ontario.' Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice & Sustainability. 16(2): 147-163. 

Baiden, P., Arku, G., Luginaah, I. and Asiedu, A. B. (2011) ‘An Assessment of Residents’ Housing Satisfaction and Coping.’ Journal of Public Health. 19(1): 29-37.

Sadler, R., Gilliland, J., and Arku, G. (2011) ‘An Application of the Edge Effect in Measuring Accessibility to Multiple Food Retailer Types in Southwestern Ontario.’ International Journal of Health Geographies. 10:34.

Hayek, M., Novak, M., Arku, G., and Gilliland, J. (2010) ‘Mapping Industrial Legacies: Building a Spatially-Referenced Comprehensive Brownfield Database in GIS.’ Planning Practice & Research. 25(4): 461-475.

Allotey, N., Arku, G., and Amponsah, P. E. (2010) 'Earthquake-Disaster Preparedness: The Case of Accra.' International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment. 1 (2): 140-156.

Hayek, M., Arku, G., and Gilliland, J. (2010) ‘Assessing London Ontario’s Brownfield ; Redevelopment Effort to Promote Urban Intensification.’ Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice & Sustainability. 15(4): 389-402.

Luginaah, I., Arku, G., and Baiden, P. (2010) ‘Housing and Health: Psychosocial and Well-being Impacts of Renting a Home in the AMA.’ International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. 7: 528-545.

Arku, G. (2009) ‘Rapidly Growing African Cities Need to Adopt Smart Growth Policies to Solve Urban Problems.’ Urban Forum. 20(3): 253-270.

Arku, G. (2009) ‘The Economics of Housing Programmes in Ghana, 1929-1966.’ Planning Perspectives. 24(3): 281-300.

Asiedu, B. A. and Arku, G. (2009) ‘The Rise of Gated Housing Estates in Ghana: Experiences from three Communities in Metropolitan Accra.’ Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. 24(3):227-247.

Arku, G. (2009) ‘Housing Policy Changes in Ghana in the 1990s.’ Housing Studies. 24 (2): 261-272.

Chapters in Books

Cleave, E., and Arku, G. (2015) Reaching a “Critical Mass”: Analysis of Inter-regional Place Branding Amongst Communities in Ontario, Canada. In: Inter-Regional Place Branding: Best Practices, Challenges and Solutions. S. Zenker and B. P. Jacobsen (Eds.). Springer. 99-114.

Arku, G. Mkandawire, P. Luginaah, I., and Baiden, P. (2014) 'Healthcare Access in Three Residential Neighbourhoods in Accra, Ghana.' IN: Weeks, J.R., Hill, A.G., & Stoler J. (Eds.) Spatial Inequalities: Health, Poverty and Place in Accra, Ghana. Springer Publication. 191-204.

Arku, G. 2010 ‘Geography and Environment’ in Africa and the Wider World ed H. Tijani, R. Njoku, and T. Jones (Pearson Prentice Hall). 1-18.

Arku, G. and Mkandawire, P. (2009) "Precarious Balance: The future of Environmental Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa" in Environment and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Managing an Emerging Crisis ed I.N. Luginaah and E.K. Yanful (Springer: London). 141-154.

Mkandawire, P. and Arku, G. 2009 'Environmental Legislations and Regulations in Sub-Saharan Africa: 'Green Development' or 'Green Imperialism'?' in Environment and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Managing an Emerging Crisis ed I.N. Luginaah and E.K. Yanful (Springer: London). 95-110.

Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

PhD StudentsYearTitle
R. Antabe

Health Geography

M. Chatwin Current Urbanization
E. Cleave Current Examining the Effectiveness of Place Branding on Migrants, Talent, and Business Attraction
H. Goumandakoye
Current Local Content in the Oil Industry
L. Hussey Current Multicriteria Evaluation Approach to Climate Change-Infectious Disease Linkages in Ghana
E. Kyeremeh Current Integration of African Immigrants in Canada
S. McFarlane-Morris
Current Development in Whose Interest? Undertanding the Promises and Realities of Mass Tourism as the Key Development Strategy along the North Coast of Jamaica: A Comparative Analysis of the Towns of Falmouth and Lucea
L. Osei
Current Poverty, Unemployment and Youth Empowerment in African Mining Communities: The Case of Ghana
V. Kuuire
2015 Understanding Immigrant Housing Integration in Canada - The Role of Transnational Engagements
R. Sadler
2013 Evaluating the Food System and Effective Interventions for Health and the Economy
MA StudentsYearTitle
C. DuBreck
Current Investigating the Geographic Variation in Children's Menu Items in Four North American Cities
J. Kennedy 2015 Service providers and tenants perceptions of the Housing First Model in Southern Ontario
E. Cleave 2014 Economic development in the contemporary global environment: The role of place branding as a tool of local economic development in Ontario, Canada
M. Taabazuing 2012 Economic development in a knowledge-based economy: Perceptions of directors and consultants in Ontario
M. Zaami
2012 Experiences of Socio-Apatial Exclusin among Ghanaian Immigrant Yourth in Toronto: Case Study of Jane-Finch Neighbourhood
V. Kuuire


2011 Food Security Situation of Migrant Farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana
R. Sadler


2010 Upgrade from Masters Program to PhD Program
M. Hayek 2009 Brownfield redevelopment in London, Ontario: Developing a methodology for creating a Brownfield database and an examination of policy initiatives aimed at promoting redevelopment
C. Oosterbaan 2009 Economic reforms and changing urban landscape of Accra and Kumasi: The conversion of residential units into commercial and office spaces
MSc StudentsYearTitle
T. Thayer
2016 Built Environment and Travel Behaviour


GEO 1400G - People, Places and Landscapes
GEO 2460G - Urban Development
GEO 3465F - Urban Economic Development
GEO 9117 - Urban Geography of the Developing World