Interrogating public policy, environmental governance, and sustainable urbanism

Dr. Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah’s research explores the frontiers of scholarship on urban health and planning, environmental governance, and public policy in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Frimpong Boamah’s belief in an interdisciplinary approach to urban planning and studies, specifically, and social science research, generally, drives his research, teaching, and community service agenda.


  • Planning for Regenerative Equitable Food Systems in Urbanizing Global Environments (Plan-REFUGE)
    Plan-REFUGE aspires to understand and mitigate food inequities experienced by small-holder farmers in the Global South. Using a transdisciplinary approach we investigate how small-holder farmers in the Global South adapt their daily living practices in the face of a number of challenges including globalization and climate change. Lessons from on-the-ground experiences are used to inform purposeful community development and planning strategies. The project ensures a Global South to Global South learning exchange as well as capacity building of policy makers both locally and globally through publications and trainings. Plan-REFUGE is a collaborative effort that aims to have multiple study countries including India.
  • Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of Nomotropic Urban Spaces in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana
    Published in Geography Research Forum, “Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of “Nomotropic Urban Spaces” in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana” explores the legal duality that exists in urban Accra, Ghana, reflected in its customary and statutory legal land systems. The author communicates two key arguments: 1) ‘truly’ informal spaces in Accra, Ghana may only apply when both statutory and customary legal land systems are violated, and 2) the urban poor have little or no motivation to comply with customary and/or statutory legal land systems because of increasing land prices and other bureaucratic processes which increase transaction costs pertaining to land. 
  • The Three-dimensional Causes of Flooding in Accra, Ghana
    The perceived and actual causes of flood hazards in cities of sub-Saharan African countries have come under tremendous debate. In Accra, the capital of Ghana, flooding has been the key source of human vulnerability. Studies carried out on flood vulnerability in the city have given varied attributions to their frequent occurrences.
  • Understanding and Applying Principles of Social Decision Making in Adaptive Environmental Governance and Environmental Law
    Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. UB’s Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah has reviewed principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance systems adapt.

Articles and Reflections

Recent Publications

  1. Frimpong Boamah, Emmanuel. "Governing to Deliver Safe and Affordable Water: Perspectives from Urban Planning and Public Policy." In Transforming Global Health: Interdisciplinary Challenges, Perspectives, and Strategies, edited by Korydon Smith and Pavani Ram. New York, NY: Springer, 2020.
  2. Frimpong Boamah, Emmanuel, James Sumberg, and Samina Raja. "Farming within a Dual Legal Land System: An Argument for Emancipatory Food Systems Planning in Accra, Ghana." Land Use Policy 92 (2020): 104391.
  3. Frimpong Boamah, Emmanuel, and Clifford Amoako. "Planning by (Mis)Rule of Laws: The Idiom and Dilemma of Planning within Ghana’s Dual Legal Land Systems." Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 0, no. 0 (2019): 1-19.
  4. Frimpong Boamah, E., and N.S. Murshid. "“Techno-Market Fix”? Decoding Wealth through Mobile Money in Developing Countries."  (2019)
  5. Frimpong Boamah, Emmanuel, and James Sumberg. "The Long Overhang of Bad Decisions in Agro-Industrial Development: Sugar and Tomato Paste in Ghana." Food Policy 89 (2019): 101786.