In many parts of the world, urban cities have seen phenomenal cycles of urban renewal projects culminating in the development of mega cities. Economies of scale and coordination benefits associated with such renewal projects are in turn a significant driving force in brownfield development of cities and towns. One of the most flagrant inefficiencies in the creation of mega cities in Africa is the lack of political will and real estate investment strategies to transform blighted urban suburbs into modern and sophisticated commercial and residential vicinities. The paper argues that brownfield development provides great opportunities to renew urban centres. Urbanization and its responses have important consequences for the growth and development of cities globally. Building of mega cities in Africa needs to be strategically conceived by an individual or group of persons, but bought into by the government and other key stakeholders as a vehicle to create wealth, enhance economic development and provide employment.

This paper is a clear demonstration of a conceptualized approach to develop schemes in Accra, the capital of Ghana to modernize and transform it into a mega city. A carefully conceptualized urban renewal agenda that is to manifest in four major real estate projects – Airport City 2, Ridge Heights, Roman Ridge Gardens and the Marine Skylines – in selected “brownfields” is a justification for creating a mega city in Africa. It is generally accepted that brownfield developments are a sustainable way of developing mega cities. However, there is paradoxically very little literature in Africa in general, and Ghana specifically to either promote urban renewal schemes or provide justifications for such projects when they are executed. This paper fills the literature gap through its economic, physical, social and environmental sustainability analysis in promoting the development of a mega city in the continent.

The paper concludes by providing evidence to show how the proposed brownfield development schemes will yield a significant transformation of the four carefully selected neighbourhoods into major real estate investment submarkets in the city to stimulate national development.