What we can learn from Freetown about sustainable urban mobility

Walking in parts of Africa is commonly portrayed in a somewhat negative light: a cliched vision of people who have no choice but to walk, or a focus on the dangers of pollution and traffic.

Dr Daniel Oviedo Hernandez and an interdisciplinary group from Osaka University (Japan) and the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (Sierra Leone) set out to investigate how inhabitants of a community in Freetown, Sierra Leone, give meaning and sense to their walking environment, creating their own routes and facilities to improve their walking experiences.

This research is part of the Osaka University – University College London (UCL) International Joint Research Project on a street-based approach to informal settlement improvement in African cities. The grant for this research was provided by the Osaka University Global Knowledge Partnership Grant (GKP) Type A with additional support from the Social Solutions Initiative (SSI) of Osaka University.  

 We are grateful to the Sierra Leone Urban Research Center (SLURC) for the cooperation. Also, the valuable support of Miwa Sugita of Osaka University and research assistants Tracy Commodore, Yirah Oryanks Conteh and Amadu Kamara is highly appreciated. 

Daniel Oviedo Hernandez headshot

Lecturer in Urban Transport and Development Planning, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit 

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