HVT has contracted Walk21 (working in collaboration with UNEP) to implement a project to explore the Impact of COVID-19 on Walking and Cycling Policy and Practice in Africa.
One of the 10 low carbon ‘quick win’ research activities (identified as a part of HVT research) is: ‘Provide and improve walking and cycling infrastructure (e.g. connected walking paths, protected cycle lanes, safe intersections), reallocating road space where necessary’. The COVID-19 crisis is creating a new urgency to identify vital corridors, priority neighbourhoods and service destination catchments where streets and public space need quick, responsive and practical change to enable people to safely access their communities.
Many cities in the global north are increasing infrastructure capacity for cycling and walking as a response to reduced public transport services. In many LICS walking is the most accessible mode of transport and makes up the majority of all journeys, often over 60% however, most walking and cycling in Africa occurs in places where there is no infrastructure to support basic safety needs.
This research will seek to understand where walking and cycling are valued in existing transport and mobility policy in Africa and if COVID-19 is providing a trigger for more interventions to make environments safer, sooner. The research will produce practical guidance for policy-makers on processes and policy for valuing walking in Africa, including indicators for measuring walking in Africa and its contribution to multi-modality in country and city policy.