Getting hidden voices heard in East African urban transport planning process
Principal Investigator: Dr Steve Cinderby, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York
Co-Investigator: Professor Michael Wilson, Loughborough University
Typically half of urban residents living in East African cities walk to work (60% Kampala daily commute trips are on foot) yet infrastructure provision for non-motorised transport remains mainly aspirational. Inclusion of vulnerable communities in the development of streetscape infrastructure to support their journeys is rare; but considering their livelihood and social interaction needs in planning is even less common. Addressing sustainable mobility for developing country cities is therefore a key urbanisation challenge linked to the delivery of the United Nations New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This project will explore whether more creative co-design methods can reveal alternative more inclusive streetscape options that would facilitate safer urban mobility. These could streetscapes encourage people to use more sustainable and non-polluting modes (walking or cycling) whilst also facilitating safer streets for the vulnerable residents already using these modes (including older people, children or disabled residents). We will explore with artists, designers, storytellers and transport planners whether using more creative engagement and participatory co-design approaches can identify alternative options for streets in Nairobi (Kenya) and Kampala (Uganda) neighbourhoods that could lead to safer, less polluting and more inclusive mobility for the city residents.
Our project team will compare case studies across both cities with business-as-usual planning activities to identify whether more creative and inclusive approaches lead to differing outcomes. These could include unexpected benefits such as improvised retail opportunities or social interaction spaces to create more vibrant but also safer streetscapes. Our learning should be relevant for other rapidly expanding cities in developing countries to ensure greater inclusion in urban planning helping to deliver SDG11 on ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.