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Transportation Takes Center Stage at 10th World Urban Forum

Transport in Nairobi

By Winnie Kabintie

Mobility was a major topic of discussion at the just concluded 10th World Urban Forum (WUF), which was being convened in Abu Dhabi from 8th-13th February.

The theme for WUF10 was “Cities of opportunities” and considering that mobility is such a crucial aspect when it comes to how people access and move around cities, transportation was, therefore, a major agenda.

There were various side events and networking sessions on the themes of mobility and inclusive transportation and Kenya’s National Gender Commission (NGEC) was among organizations and government agencies that led discussions on inclusive mobility.

How Kenya’s National Gender Commission is championing Inclusive Mobility

NGEC particularly focussed on; Inclusive Mobility – Providing Accessible transport for People with disabilities (PWDs) and the commission’s deputy chairperson, DR Chomba Wa Munyi shared various interventions that the gender commission is making to help PWDs access public transport in the country.

Keny among these interventions is sensitization campaigns targeting players in the matatu sector especially touts and drivers.

According to DR Chombo, these efforts have gone along the way in changing the negative attitudes towards people with disabilities and touts and drivers are now more than ever more understanding and patient when dealing with PWDs.

“Unlike in the past where most of these guys would even refuse to transport PWDs, We now even have a good number of them who go out of the way to ensure the comfort of PWDs aboard their vehicles and even provide free transport to them,” Dr Chombo said.

Dr. Chombo also mentioned that there are also in talks with owners of Public Service Vehicles to consider redesigning the vehicles to accommodate PWDs and the commission is pushing for tax incentives for those that embrace the call.

Image Courtesy of Aimee Gauthier

Institute for Transportation & Development Policy Calls for Safe Cities for Children

The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) in a networking session titled; Scaling Better air Quality and Sustainable Transport for young Children in the Global South, which was co-hosted with Bernard van Leer Fdn, emphasized the need to create sustainable transport for children and their caregivers.

“Children, women, and people with disabilities have interconnected needs. Promoting better cities for them makes cities better for all”

Heather Thompson, CEO ITDP said that if we can make cities safe for children, we can make cities safe for all.

The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to address one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.

“Urbanization is unstoppable. This is why we are here at #WUF10, to make sure this affects us positively. Together we can tap into the opportunities in our cities & towns,” UN Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif said during the opening of the 10th World Urban Forum.

WUF convenes after every two years and it was the first time the conference was being held in the United Arab Emirates. Poland will be hosting WUF 11 in 2022.

Sustainable Cities

Sustainable Development Goal 11 is on Sustainable Cities and the target is to create cities that have the following components; career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economiesinvestment in public transport, green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in participatory and inclusive ways.

 

 

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