Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Mobility (Non-Motorised Transport): A Case Study of Eveline Street in the Windhoek Municipality, Namibia

Master Thesis


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Windhoek has several inherited structural challenges that include a trend of decreasing densities of urban settlements, along with social inequalities and highly skewed levels of access and mobility. The most vulnerable members of the society in Windhoek currently carry the majority of the transportation costs and inconveniences. Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) in Eveline Street forms a significant part of the daily activity of people as they commute to and from public transport stops and stations, places of work, places of education and walking to water collection points and means of creating a living. The implementation of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities as a manner of supporting NMT trips has been largely neglected in Eveline Street thus, exposing NMT users to road accidents. Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) is a core aspect in the development of a sustainable transport system for the City of Windhoek. Its importance derives from the high percentage of persons in Windhoek who depends on NMT, as well as its economic and ecological efficiency compared to Motorised Transport (MT) on distances up to approximately 5 km. Approximately 20% of Windhoek's households can afford to own a car, therefore roads alone are not enough to secure social sustainability and only worsens already existing income inequality (Araes, 2007). Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) supplements public transport, contributes to lively urban quarters and is an integral part of the transport system of Windhoek. Low income households in Windhoek spend up to one quarter (25%) of their income on transport (Zwicky et al., 2013). Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) users are the most vulnerable traffic-group, often involved in severe accidents and there is a need for special attention and provision to enable, strengthen and develop NMT as a proper and feasible mode of transport in Windhoek. Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) has an important role to play in greening the economy in the context of providing and promoting more sustainable transport options, forming part of more cost-effective solutions in establishing a sustainable transport system to improve economic progression for the residents of Windhoek. The main motivating reason for this research was to investigate the current opportunities and challenges being experienced that affects the promotion of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) in providing a sustainable urban mobility within Eveline Street in the Windhoek Municipal area, Namibia. This study further seeks to examine the potential and sustainability for effective transportation planning for Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) and its effects in the reduction of Motorised Transport (MT) congestion in the area. In Windhoek, the main types of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) users are pedestrians (majority type) and cyclists (minority type). The research paper aims to come up with the conclusive proposals and possible intervention measures that will help in the provision and management of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) infrastructure to ensure a sustainable urban transport system. Thus, helping Windhoek municipality, Namibian government, stakeholders and practitioners to make better informed decisions when addressing the transport challenges of NMT users in urban areas. The scope of the research was limited to Non-Motorised Transport (NMT), more specifically, walking and cycling as a mode of transport in the infamous Eveline Street in the high density suburb of Greenwell Matongo in the area of Katutura in the greater Windhoek municipality. Eveline Street being used as a case study to understand what potential value NMT trips could be for Windhoek. There are various benefits to Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) as a mode of transport. Safety benefits of successful NMT facilities include lower risk of road collisions, injuries and fatalities, while there are also several health benefits of NMT trips, which include lowered levels of stress, obesity and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). NonMotorised Transport (NMT), as a mode of transport, is one of the most sustainable modes of transport, as it does not rely on fuel and, is one of the cleanest modes of transportation. Furthermore, Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) trips have various socio-economic benefits that help to address equality concerns, which are highly relevant for pedestrians in Windhoek. An example, of how improved NMT trips could address equality issues, would be increasing the mobility and accessibility of vulnerable members of society. This can be for socio-economic reasons or physical and mental abilities that influence the individual's ability to commute. The research methodology involved the review of literature, primary and secondary data collection, validation and analysis, interpretation and subsequent recommendations to address urban mobility challenges and policy recommendations to promote NMT for Windhoek Municipality. The methodology comprises surveys, traffic counts; direct observation and behavioral studies. The tools used included questionnaires, tally sheets, walkability audit tool, maps and photographs. The secondary data was obtained mainly through the literature review of the existing work by academic and researchers on NMT, land use and transport planning, institutional setup and policy administration. Other sources of secondary data included universities, libraries, internet, GIZ Studies, MVA Namibia, SUTMP, Local authorities records, Namibia Statistics Agency, and Government documents on transport and environment. The data was collected by administering roadside questionnaire, direct observations of behavior and the walkability of the area, interviewing key informants, photographs and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) locations.