Dr. Stephen Appiah Takyi is a planning educator whose research interest is in the area of sustainability development policy, urban policy, environmental planning, environmental impact assessment, and social policy planning. The complex interrelationship between economic, social and environmental goals makes it necessary to have scholars with strong academic background and research interest that focus on economic, social and environmental policy discourse. Dr. Takyi’s approach to research acknowledges the complexity of societal problems in our world today. He therefore emphasizes on the need to approach complex societal problems from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective. The academic background and stream of work of Dr. Takyi at the undergraduate level focused on Development Policy Planning with emphasis on economic planning. Dr. Takyi’s specialization at the master’s degree level was in the area of urban and regional planning whilst his doctoral research focused on environmental planning with the scope being in the area of park planning and management.
In terms of work experience, Dr. Takyi taught Introduction to Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment at the UNBC School of Environmental Planning from 2012 to 2016. Within the same period, he was in charge of the editorial desk of the Journal of Architectural and Planning Research (JAPR), a scholarly blind refereed journal which has published for over 33 years. Stephen also worked as a Writing Tutor at the UNBC Academic Success Center. Additionally, Dr. Takyi has held a number of positions at the consultancy and administrative level. These include serving as an Assistant Planning Officer for the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Assembly, Consultant for Padane and Fame Management Consult and Marketing and Communication Assistant for the Queen’s University Marketing and Communication Department. Through his work as a consultant, Stephen assisted in the preparation of district development plans and monitoring and evaluation plans for local government areas in Ghana. He also assisted in the organization of capacity building programs for local government officials in the area of plan preparation and implementation. In the area of communication, Dr. Takyi worked as a Marketing and Communication Assistant at the Queen’s University Marketing and Communication Department from 2009 to 2011. This coupled with his experience in public consultation has contributed immensely to my strong communication skills.
Regarding teaching, Dr. Takyi’s strong development planning and natural resource background has adequately prepared him to teach courses such as social policy planning, urban policy, environmental sustainability, research methods, sustainable development, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, public consultation, sustainable communities’ development, environment and society and natural resource planning. Also, his work as a writing tutor at the UNBC Academic Success Center has given him the requisite experience to teach courses in the area of academic writing and oral communication. Dr. Takyi is currently a Lecturer at the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. The Department is the oldest planning school in Ghana and has over the years been serving as a mentoring institution for other Planning schools in Ghana.
Dr. Takyi believes in educating the next generation of scholars from an interdisciplinary viewpoint and method. This must be approached by trying to link the complex relationship between economic, social, and environmental goals. Their complexity must be acknowledged and students must be given the necessary skills to negotiate and reconcile these complex goals in the decision-making process. For the society to fully benefit from the expertise of planners, planning programs must introduce and encourage young professionals to shift from the traditional technical role of planners to become advocates, change agents and sometimes politicians based on the context. This will facilitate the ability for planning scholars to link their research outcomes and findings to solving societal problems whilst at the same time informing policy making decisions. Stephen, therefore, focuses on training the next generation of planners in an ideal societal laboratory where students learn how to apply and test particular approaches to planning and community development.
In the area of research, Dr. Takyi has published over 40 articles in high impact peer review journals. His work on “Comparative Study of Capital City Elements: The Case of Ghana and Nigeria” received the 2017 African Geographical Review second best paper ward. In 2019, he won the Ghana Institute of Planners best candidate award. Dr. Takyi also received the KNUST Research Fund award in 2020 as the Principal Investigator. Towards this end, Stephen is currently focusing his research on land grabbing in the Ghanaian context, nature-based solutions in urban centers in Ghana, land conflicts in urban centers and environmental planning in the sustainability discourse. Stephen has supervised two (2) Ph.D. students, four (4) MPhil students, 19 MSc. students and 51 undergraduate students.
Dr. Takyi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Planning specializing in the Development Policy from The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and a Ph.D. in Natural Resource and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia.