Around the world, cities are recognizing the importance of catering for the needs of pedestrians and cyclists to improve quality of life. Making walking and cycling safer and more attractive is one of the most affordable and effective ways for cities to reduce CO2 emissions, while boosting mental and physical health, improving access to economic opportunities for the poor, and creating more livable, equitable and prosperous cities for all.
In many African cities, over a third of citizens move between their daily activities on foot or by bicycle. Without safe infrastructure for walking and cycling, these commuters are exposed to significant hazards from motorized vehicles, and it is no surprise that Africa has the highest proportion of road fatalities in the world with 39% of deaths being pedestrians and 4% cyclists (WHO, 2015). African cities have the potential to lead the world in sustainable mobility by protecting and supporting pedestrians and cyclists, but active mobility is often overlooked in national transport budgets and urban plans.
What are we trying to achieve?
- Show large scale citizen support for walking and cycling infrastructure and policies
Elevate the status of walking and cycling in African cities
- Increase awareness of and commitment to safer, affordable and accessible urban mobility in Africa
- Stimulate discussion about active mobility in African cities
- Link African cities to global discussions on sustainable urban mobility
- Share good practices, real case studies and lessons learnt from Africa with a global audience
Measured, quantitative outcomes / project impact
In order for national and local governments to better appreciate the need for safe walking and cycling facilities, Africa’s urban citizens need to challenge the widely held assumption that they all wish to drive cars by showing their support for walking and cycling. Various local initiatives around the continent (such as car-free days, place making, Open Streets, Critical Mass etc.) are inspiring citizens to reimagine and reinvent their streets to be accessible for all. African Mobility Month aims to celebrate these and other activities to raise the priority of walking and cycling in the continent’s development agenda.