Congestion in Nairobi
Congestion and lack of pedestrian space contributes to poor urban mobility in African cities such as Nairobi. Photo: Diaz Nash / Pixabay.

Typically, half of East African cities urban residents 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 a key urbanisation challenge.

Implementing Creative Methods to Improve Inclusive Sustainability Transport (i-CMiiST) has brought together local organisations and UK counterparts working on transport issues to explore the usefulness of creative methods to respond to local transport challenges and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These have included over 40 stakeholders from different sectors across East Africa including: creative individuals and organisations, transport planners and providers, local council and municipal government (e.g. urban planning), Government ministries, NGOs and civil society organisations, and academia.

Building upon a completed GCRF network grant (CMiiST) the project explores whether more creative co-design methods can reveal alternative more inclusive streetscape options that facilitate safer urban mobility. Creative Methods (CMs) involve using techniques such as storytelling, making videos, animation, art installations, music, theatre and participatory map making. They are a useful way of engaging and explaining issues as well as enabling people to contribute to local development.

The project is working with teams in Kampala and Nairobi to develop, co-design and implement sustainable transport options using CMs that enable more people to make the journeys they need, safely and efficiently. During 2018 the project will monitor and evaluate how successful CMs have been in engaging, communicating and informing different stakeholders.

Follow the project on Twitter at @icmiist1.