African cities face immense challenges in the provision of walking and cycling infrastructure. For many years, infrastructure only focused on vehicles, with no provision for cycling and walking. Improved walking and cycling environments will not only encourage more urban residents to walk it will improve air quality in cities as more and more vehicle owners opt for non-motorised transport.
ITDP works with cities to:
- Adapt the streetscape to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, using features such as wide footpaths and continuous cycle tracks.
- Initiate bikeshare programs and car-free days.
- Improve the quality and availability of affordable bicycles.
- Adopt pedestrian focused strategies, policies and manuals that encourage vehicles to share the road
In many cities, ITDP has successfully proposed plans for networks of complete streets and worked with the authorities to get the plans built. To help galvanize interest in cycling, ITDP also organizes car-free days, where portions or entire cities are closed to private cars, freeing the streets for cyclists and recreational uses.ITDP also works to bring about safe conditions for pedestrians, including footpaths and plazas. Too often these basic elements are lacking—or even misused as free car parking—forcing people to walk in dangerous conditions in the midst of fast-moving traffic.
ITDP has developed non-motorised strategies and policies in Ethiopia and Kenya and continues to advocate for NMT in other African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.
- Ghana. ITDP has been engaged to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Transport to develop an NMT Strategy for Ghanaian cities under the auspices of UN Environment’s Share the Road programme. The strategy development process incorporates field surveys to assess existing conditions for NMT users and institutional consultation to promote stakeholder engagement.
- Nigeria. Through the support of UN Environment’s Share the Road program, ITDP has been supporting the Federal Ministry of Transport to create a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Policy to guide the implementation of transport systems that prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. ITDP is also working at the local level with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to develop an NMT Policy for Lagos state.
- Zambia. Zambia, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is home to over 16 million people. It is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa, with 44 percent of the population concentrated around a few major cities in the south-central and northwest of the country: Lusaka, the capital, and the Copperbelt Province, a major economic hub. The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) is developing an NMT Strategy for Zambia with support from UN Environment and ITDP. Building on Zambia’s National Transport Policy, the strategy will lay out a clear roadmap for government action to improve the walking and cycling environment and catalyse greater investment in NMT.
Right To Walk from ITDP on Vimeo.