Goroka is the administrative headquarters for the Eastern Highlands Province and it is located on the Okuk Highlands Highway. Goroka is a thriving busy city with its formal sector enjoying a wide range of urban services and amenities. The city attracts overseas and local tourists to its world re-known Goroka Show and Goroka Coffee Festival. Goroka City like other Melanesian cities exhibits a common feature of formally laid out modern patterns of urban development that are surrounded by informal and uncontrolled informal settlements development.
As the major coffee producing region of the country, the agriculture sector plays an important role in the economy of the province. Despite its favourable economic conditions, the incidences of poverty in Goroka City are apparent, as evidenced by the standard of living among the lower income population in the fringe areas of the city. Inadequate or a lack of urban services and amenities, high unemployment rates, environmental degradation, and uncontrolled and spontaneous growth of informal housing are key features of the city.
These urbanization issues are further exacerbated by high incidences of prostitution and HIV/AIDS among the urban population. The key concerns and challenges of Goroka City are apparent in terms of the following issues;
(a) governance and effective urban planning and management of informal sector housing and land mobilization to meet the growing demands of the urban population.
(b) the provision of basic urban environmental services.