Learning from each other’s experience: The second SUSTRAN Regional Conference and Workshop

groupOn the 22nd and 23rd of November the SUSTRAN Regional Conference took place in Nairobi, followed by the SUSTRAN Regional Workshop on November 24th

During the two and a half days approximately 40 participants from the Project Management Units (PMUs) from the cities of Nairobi, Kampala and Addis Ababa, UN-HABITAT, UNEP, consultants, ITDP, EU, SSATP (Worldbank), IRU and GIZ engaged in a fruitful knowledge exchange.

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Nairobi Placemaking Week: For our public spaces

31336328852 ea00841859 z 1When urban planners think of Nairobi, images of congested and crowded streets often pop up in their heads. But things start to change: Nairobi’s Placemaking Week took place from 28th Nov to 4th Dec 2016.

During that week, Nairobi celebrated its public spaces and community-led activities - which peaked in a revolutionary experience of public spaces and the city at large in a different way. The event was truly participatory and leveraged on the expertise, experience and interest of various groups ranging from government agencies over NGO’s and the civic and business community to resident associations. The week was initiated by the Nairobi City Council (NCC) with technical support from UN-Habitat among other partners.

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Sustainable Transport (Sustran) in East African Cities

In East Africa, Joburg-gefafas in the rest of the continent, cities are expanding at unprecedented rates and are facing sustained population growth, higher motorization rates, rapidly worsening traffic congestion, and thus decreasing mobility and increasing health problems.

The project “Promoting Sustainable Transport Solutions for East African Cities” (GEF Sustran East Africa) is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and aims to reduce growth in private motorized vehicles, thus decreasing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the three capital cities of Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. The envisaged strategic response is to upgrade their transit systems (BRT), implement improved non-motorized transport (NMT) infrastructure and apply travel demand management (TDM) as well as other supporting policies.

 

Further information on the project

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of this project is to create the technical and institutional basis for implementing sustainable metropolitan transport networks and systems and establish a demonstration corridor for sustainable urban mobility.

The long-term vision for the three cities is to create a sustainable transport network in each metropolitan area that offers full citywide coverage, providing safe, efficient, and equitable transport to all residents, rich and poor. The project will support the respective governments in developing such a vision by sketching out a network that entails effective public transport, quality infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, corresponding travel demand measures and spatial development strategies to reduce travel.

To reach this target, though, starting with small steps in each city seems to be the most feasible approach. Therefore, the first step is to establish a BRT demonstration corridor with adjacent non-motorized transport infrastructure in each of the cities. It is the aim of this project to also support each government in establishing a first sustainable transport corridor, which can serve as a demonstration example and act as a catalyst towards expanding the proposed networks and measures throughout each city.

Strategy

The national governments of the three countries and their local counterparts have recognized the importance of efficient, low-cost mass transit and non-motorized transport as a means of helping to alleviate poverty, spurring economic growth in the urban centers and providing alternative and affordable transport.

In recent years, activities have started towards developing and implementing urban transport policies for creating socially-equitable and environmentally-sound urban transport systems. This project, therefore, comes at the ideal time, just as these countries are beginning to recognize a need for sustainable transport but are still in the process of identifying the most effective solutions to meet their targets. This project will work directly with the governments to provide the necessary support towards implementation of cost-effective models that result in a maximum of environmental, social and economic benefits.

Because of the congruity between the cities, this project has been crafted with similar objectives in each city. The project will facilitate information sharing and lessons-learned between the three cities. This regional component will be instrumental in ensuring the project's success and long-term impact. Experiences from Dar es Salaam, the precursor of the SUSTRAN East Africa project will also be included in this regional component since this project is several steps ahead and can provide useful lessons to the three cities just getting started.

The regional nature of this project, combined with the demonstration of environmentally-sound, socially-equitable urban mobility examples that are still relatively new to African urban regions provides great potential for replication. Once one or two cities in the region can demonstrate successes, other cities are likely to fall in step. This project therefore has the potential to change the face of urbanization, not only in the three cities in its focus, but throughout East Africa and perhaps beyond.

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