Implementing Creative Methods to Improve Inclusive Sustainable Transport (I-CMiiST)
Typically, half of East African cities urban residents walk to work (60% Kampala daily commute trips are on foot) yet infrastructure provision for non-motorised transport remains mainly aspirational. Inclusion of vulnerable communities in the development of streetscape infrastructure to support their journeys is rare; but considering their livelihood and social interaction needs in planning is even less common. Addressing sustainable mobility for developing country cities is a key urbanisation challenge.
Icmiist is a project funded by the British Academy involving researchers, creative experts, transport professionals and policy makers from the UK and Africa which is co-identifying ways to address the serious transport issues faced by many African cities.
Currently street space in East African cities is preferentially allocated towards motorised transport. Rarely is dedicated space allocated to non-motorised transport (cycling) and walking nor consideration given to people with mobility limitations (elderly, disabled etc.). Even where space is allocated, boundaries are often violated placing all road users at risk. Additionally limited public realm street space is often re-appropriated for business activities further restricting safe mobility.
Building upon a completed GCRF network grant (CMIIST) that explored with artists, practitioners, planners and policy makers the potential benefits of using more creative methods to co-design urban infrastructure to enhance mobility, the project compares the outcomes of deploying such approaches on: inclusion; co-benefits including unexpected improvised opportunities; and outcomes – with current standard planning practices. It also evaluates the longer term learning legacy encouraged by this interdisciplinary action research on key decision makers to assess if belief changes have occurred.
This project will focus upon the key issue of safe, sustainable streetscapes aiming to co-design schemes that would re-balance priorities between motorised and sustainable transport modes. It will identify interactions of people, urban infrastructure design and their behaviours in these spaces.
This critical focus will identify potential unintended consequences of change – both positive and negative – caused by unexpected behaviours linking to concepts of improvisations where users identify alternative opportunities presented by infrastructure.
Linking to key network partners (including. UN Environment & UN-Habitat; Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda) our project will undertake case-control studies in Nairobi and Kampala on streetscape redesign schemes intended to rebalance urban mobility.
The project will employ our CM toolkit (which includes mass media, Citizen science, poetry, storytelling and campaigns and other methods) to co-design viable case study options of remodelled infrastructure promoting sustainable modes, increase vulnerable user’s safety and enhance the business vibrancy. Relevant methods identified to focus upon will include:
- Uncovering hidden narratives
- Promoting inclusive co-design
- Encouraging social & cultural innovation supporting development
The project is funded by the British Academy under its ‘Cities and Infrastructure’ fund.
The project commenced in December 2017 and runs until the end of 2018.
HOW DID I-CMIIST EVOLVE?
This forerunner to this project was called CMiiST and was funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their International Development in the Research Networking Scheme.
Its aim was to encourage research networking proposals which explore the contribution that arts and humanities research can play in debates about international development and/or to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The main CMiiST networking workshop took place over 5 days in April 2017 in Nairobi Kenya. It brought together UK and East African experts in creative methods along with transports experts and professionals to share knowledge and explore the potential of using CMs to help meet the SDGs related to transport issues
The potential uses of CMs including:
- Problem Identification
- Solution Finding – inc. Bottom-up Co-design
- Communication & Stakeholder Engagement
- Evaluation – are policies & programmes delivering
- Resource Bank – to monitor against
- Impact on Policy & Decision Making
icmiist hashtag: https://twitter.com/hashtag/icmiist
icmiist twitter account: https://twitter.com/icmiist1
youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXcLuq7DVNqLV5siX0NGkzQ
Other Local Partners include Kilimani Project Foundation, Placemakers, Naipolitans, Safer City Nairobi, The Technical University of Kenya, Hoperaisers Trust.
For further information on the project, please contact Constant Cap (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Ojal (email@example.com).