Urban and Urbanization

On-shore, off-shore Takoradi: Terraqueous urbanism, logistics, and oil governance in Ghana

This paper places an empirical focus on logistics to link three strands of inquiry: Ghana’s deep-water oil economy, the built environment of Ghana’s oil-city of Takoradi, and the character of governance at their confluence. Moving beyond the land and sea, off-shore/on-shore dichotomy, logistics provides a means of instantiating and interpreting the regulatory terrain of off-shore extraction within a historically constituted urban landscape. Highlighting an array of urban locations—from military installations, pre-colonial ports, and imperial-era trading outposts, to oil service centers, and training academies—the complex cohabitations of on and off-shore, pre- and post-colonial, city and sea comes into view through a logistics-centered optic. The result is a distinctive brand of “terraqueous urbanism” where elite, state, and transnational strategies of maritime governance and extraction-based accumulation become embedded in urban space.

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Volume 37 Issue 5