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UN-Habitat and Kampala in sustainable urban mobility drive

Kampala – WEBWIRE

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in collaboration with several partners including UN-Habitat recently oragnised a ‘car free day’ aimed at popularizing sustainable urban mobility and improving air quality. 

Dubbed “Road safety and Air quality,” the event that also brought in the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), saw section of streets including Speke Road, Shimoni Road and part of Buganda Road opened up for walking, cycling, street games, bicycle racing, group exercise and dance, children play, blood donation and road safety exhibitions. 

Kampala is the capital of Uganda and also the centre for business accounting for 80 percent of the country’s commercial and industrial activities.  It has an estimated population of 1.63 million, and 38 percent of the city’s residents use non-motorised transport including walking and cycling. 

The event attracted city residents and visitors from various age groups including children as well as high-level technical and political government officials. In his remarks, the Minister of State for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Kyoffatogabye Kabuye appreciated the importance of making streets walkable and promoting a mindset change towards active mobility. He also mentioned the challenges the city is currently facing with over 120,000 motorcycles and hundreds of commuter taxis that have resulted in congestion, road safety risks and poor air quality. 

The event gave a real-life experience of open vibrant streets that are safe for walking and cycling and streets that allow for a good mix of business and pleasure. 

 As a country, Uganda has made strides in adopting Non-Motorised Transportation (NMT) albeit amidst a number of challenges. The country developed the Uganda Non-Motorised Transport policy in 2012, that made way for the design and implementation of the pilot NMT corridor in Kampala from Namirembe Road to Luwum Street. As such, Kampala City has become the champion and model for NMT infrastructure in Uganda.

In recent years, the city authorities have become increasingly aware of the importance of improving street designs to support cycling and walking by building bicycle lanes on a few streets and initiating events to increase public awareness on the importance of Non-motorised modes of transport as part of the vision for a sustainable city.

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