Florence Buaku is a Ph.D. student in the Metropolitan Planning, Policy, and Design program. She grew up in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, where she earned her bachelors and post-graduate degrees in Architecture. After a brief visit to London, UK, she fell in love with the city and discovered the power of urban design in shaping the public realm and social conduct. Florence later moved to the University of Michigan to pursue a Master of Urban Design Degree. After a few years of work in Urban Design and Architecture, she pursued a Master of City and Metropolitan Planning Degree at the University of Utah and was the recipient of the AICP Outstanding Student Award upon graduation from the Program.
Her research interests include accessibility challenges in slums, sustainable urbanism, transportation and resiliency planning, especially in developing countries. She believes in the development of unique forms of urbanism that reflect the culture, values, and day-to-day life of people in these countries. She hopes to understand accessibility in developing countries and highlight the possibilities for these indigenous forms of urbanism to improve livability, and quality of life, specifically within the pedestrian realm.
Reflecting on her time in the MCMP Program: “While in the master’s program I could not forget my home country where forces of rapid urbanization and poor planning have resulted in a myriad of urban challenges. I believe that African cities have a great opportunity to develop a unique form of urbanism that reflects the culture, values, and day to day life of the people.” Florence grew up in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Today she is a Planning Consultant for the City of Gainesville, Florida.