In 1957, a United Nations technical assistance team who reported on housing to the Government of Ghana recommended the establishment of an independent centre for research and development in housing, planning and building in the country. A subsequent team, invited by the Council of the Kumasi College of Technology (now Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi) to advise on architectural education, supported the United Nations team's recommendation and further suggested the Centre's intimate functional association with the Department of Architecture of the University. On the basis of these recommendations, the Centre was established in 1959 as the Building Research Group. In 1963, it was made a Department under the Faculty of Architecture which was later named as the Faculty of Environmental and Development Studies, and the name Department of Housing and Planning Research (DHPR) was adopted. During the restructuring of the Departments and Faculties of the University in 2005 to operate a collegiate system, the Department was renamed the Centre for Settlements Studies (CSS) and placed under the Institute of Human Settlements Research (IHSR).

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