Authors: Lukenangula, John Mpemba Bulima
Title: Walkability in rapidly growing cities in developing countries
Other Titles: the case of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: Although a significant number of trips in cities of developing counties are made on foot, especially in Sub Sahara Africa, the pedestrian environment has largely been neglected by most city authorities. Faced with high rates of motorization and the need to accommodate the growing requirements in increasingly urbanizing population; cities of the developing world are more preoccupied with motorised transport systems such as building arterial streets, Rapid Bus Transport systems (BRTs), fly overs, highways and so on so as to inter alia reduce congestion. In so doing, the needs of pedestrians that constitute the biggest users of walkways and streets are often ignored. The policy shift from social welfare to liberal economies coupled with the slow transformation of the economy from agriculture to manufacturing and services has widen the income gap between the rich and the poor; leading to further marginalization of the basic needs such as pedestrian walkways and the future for the most vulnerable groups. Continued disregard of planning for pedestrian friendly environment has also resulted in increased numbers of pedestrian fatalities, road traffic deaths as well as rise in household expenditure on transport costs, decreased quality of the public realm and hostile pedestrian environment. Despite researches and scholarly debates have identified insufficient knowledge on safety management, there is limited knowledge on how the pedestrian requirements are considered in policy making, planning and implementation of plans in situations of increased motorised transport. From this background, the overall objective of this study was to explore policy and planning interventions through which the walking environment in cities of developing countries can be improved. Specifically, the study aimed to achieve a number of objectives. Firstly, to study the pedestrian movement patterns in three case studies; explore the reasons why people walk more often for everyday life activities including their perspectives on the walking environment. Secondly, to examine how the existing urban design concepts, planning standards and national policies consider the pedestrian requirements in the formal planned and informal settlements including their implementations. On the methodological fronts, a multiple case study research design was employed. Sinza, Kariakoo, and Buguruni settlements in Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania, were used as case study areas. The data collection methods included interviews, observations, review of documents, pre structured group discussions, measurements, sketches and photographing. The analysis shows that people in the case study areas and the Dar es Salaam City in general often walk primarily because of: low income, proximity to services, a form of physical exercise, challenges related to public transport, and nature of their occupations. Regarding where they go most often, the results show that, the majority commute to workplaces, commercial service centres, community service centres, and social activities areas. Many people also walk in order to meet their recreation needs. Overwhelmingly, people in the City of Dar es Salaam commented that pedestrians are excluded from urban mobility and are not respected by motorists. Respondents further asserted that the walking environment is uncomfortable, dangerous, insecure due to crime, and that public facilities are inconveniently located. The study has also demonstrated empirically that in the situation of increased motorised transport, the pedestrians’ requirements are generally inadequately considered. Even where they are considered, their implementation was generally poor. In a few cases, where pedestrian walkways are adequately provided, they were enchroached by informal and formal vendors; used as parking areas or invaded due to extension of buildings. Their protection and maintenance were also given little or no attention by the respective authorities. To improve the walking environment this study recommends a number of measures: These include: formulation of a single consolidated pedestrian policy, establishment of pedestrian advocacy groups, review of design concepts and planning standards, provision of planning guidelines that adequately meet the pedestrian accessibility and safety needs, implement redevelopment schemes, pedestrianisation of the congested streets, expansion of the BRT services, promotion of the concept of shared space, establishment of transport department at municipal level, and launching of a transport authority within the city (DUTA). For effective implementation of the plan proposals, the study further recommends the establishment of a steering committee, formulation of strategic action plans and stringent enforcement of land use development control. Finally, it is also important to encourage private and public firms to partner with LGAs and invest part of their corporate social responsibilities to promote pedestrian facilities and overall environment in neighbourhoods.
Subject Headings: Walkability in developing countries
Subject Headings (RSWK): Tansania
Issue Date: 2017
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