User diversity and mobility practices in Sub-Saharan African cities: understanding the needs of vulnerable populations

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Abstract

In-depth knowledge about user diversity and mobility practices and needs in SSA cities remains relatively sparse, especially when considering more vulnerable
groups and their non-motorised travel practices. Attention to user diversity and mobility practices requires careful, sustained attention to the power relations
that shape everyday practices, habits, and routines, but also recognition of the un-met needs and stasis that contribute to current poverty among vulnerable groups in African cities.
Key transport needs extend well beyond conventional transport planning foci (access to livelihoods, health, education, and other basic services) to incorporate wider considerations such as access to social networks, leisure, and places of worship (all of which are intimately tied up with both economic and social well-being). Getting to places in comfort and with dignity is vital for women and
men of all ages. The vulnerability of women and girls to harassment, whether walking or using public transport, is still inadequately charted and addressed. The travel constraints faced by people with disabilities represents an even more glaring research gap, and the needs and concerns of other marginalised groups, such as ethnic and faith minority populations or lesbian and gay people,
are almost entirely overlooked.
The massive expansion of Africa’s relatively low-density, and in most instances unplanned and informally developed, cities now imposes a substantial travel
burden, especially on poor, peripherally located people trying to access better-paid work and services located in central or more affluent districts. The high cost of fares, long uncomfortable journeys, poor/lengthy connections between modes and key destinations, and safety and security issues (whether walking, or using public transport, is still inadequately charted and addressed. The travel constraints faced by people with disabilities represents an even more glaring research gap, and the needs and concerns of other marginalised groups, such as ethnic and faith minority populations or lesbian and gay people,
are almost entirely overlooked.
The massive expansion of Africa’s relatively low-density, and in most instances unplanned and informally developed, cities now imposes a substantial travel
burden, especially on poor, peripherally located people trying to access better-paid work and services located in central or more affluent districts. The high cost of fares, long uncomfortable journeys, poor/lengthy connections between modes and key destinations, and safety and security issues (whether walking, on public transport or waiting at stops) all mitigate against travel.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
PublisherVolvo Research and Education Foundation
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020