The Sustainable Transport Equity Partnerships (STEPs) Workshop brought together attendants from various sectors on the Continent to practically look into how Walking and the Experience of Walking in Urban Areas can be improved. The Workshop placed emphasis on low income areas eg Mukuru in Nairobi, but the 8 STEPs can work everywhere.

These are part of an on going research by the International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Communities at the University of Leeds in with several other partners.

1. Commitment Who is already committed? (Governments, Citizens Groups, Agencies, Which sectors are not yet involved and need to be involved)
2. Data What data exists and would be useful (trip modes, time spent on journeys, distances per mode, stages in different modes)
3. Engage How are communities already engaged with what might be helpful?
4. Audit How is the environment currently evaluated and how can walkability be better understood?
5. Evaluate What policies and standards already support the needs of people walking and what barriers need to be overcome
6. Plan Who is helping deliver walking and how can a new collaborative action plan improve effectiveness and impact?
7 Prove Where is the best opportunity for a visible signature walking project and what would it change? Or if there is an existing signature project planned – what will it change?
8 Invest Where area the most benefits to be gained from investment in better walkability? Where does this investment come from?

All able citizens use walking as a means of mobility at one point in time during their journey. In lower income areas, walking tends to be either the primary or the only means of mobility. Unfortunately, there is no accurate and up to date data on the same. Many believe that data in Kenya tends to be inaccurate (e.g. the exclusion of informal settlement data) or‘skewed’ towards certain projects or interests. A Kenyan Cyclist recently Tweeted on how ‘False data’ on cyclists ended up having a negative impact on cycling infrastructure.

It is important that data on mobility covers all factors that affect it including influence of informality including vending near bus-stops and major transit hubs, barriers, amount of space available, pedestrian numbers etc. In developing cities, Equitable Mobility is critical for ease of job access, education, emergency services especially for the urban poor, women and children.

Case studies from South Korea (Seoullo 7017), London (Maps to enhance Walkability), Santiago (private sector investment in walkability) and Wellington (signal crossing recognizing Gender) show how small projects can have a large impact on improved walkability of cities.

Attendants also proposed the places in Nairobi they thought would have the best impact if walkability was improved and the area around Landhies Road, Gikomba Market and Country Bus Station (Machakos Airport) was proposed.

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