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, implement improved non-motorized transport (NMT) infrastructure and apply travel demand management (TDM) as well as other supporting policies.

The project goal is to create the technical and institutional basis for implementing metropolitan sustainable transport networks and systems and establish a BRT demonstration corridor for sustainable urban mobility in each of the cities. To reach this goal, the project will build awareness and understanding among policy makers, stakeholders and the general public in East Africa and beyond on the importance and benefits of establishing suitable and sustainable transport systems in urban areas. While working to ensure that such a demonstration corridor gets built in each city, this project will devote a large portion of its efforts towards building capacity within the governments and bringing together the ideas and strategies of different stakeholders. Through working side-by-side with the governments, as well as through tailored trainings, sustainable transport in the three cities will not end with just a demonstration corridor. After the project's completion, the governments will be well-equipped to continue onto phases two, three, and beyond.

The regional nature of this project

With all three cities working towards the same goal, regional capacity building workshops and trainings will be easier to formulate and implement. Since the basic steps for implementing BRT are more or less standard from city to city, many of the major project concepts will be the same. This has the added benefit of better facilitating regional exchange. At the same time, the project pays due attention to aspects specific to each country and city respectively. The regional nature of this project, combined with an environmentally-sound, socially-equitable message that is still relatively new to Africa, provides great potential for replication. Once one or two cities in the region can demonstrate success, other cities are likely to fall into step. This project can therefore change the face of urbanization, not only in the three East African cities of GEF Sustran, but throughout East Africa and perhaps beyond.

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