WINDHOEK - Last week Saturday a portion of Independence Avenue between Kasino Street and Sam Nujoma Drive became a hive of activity. This was due to it being temporarily closed off to motorists, so that the City of Windhoek (CoW) could host its first ever Open Streets Day.
The day, which was in support of non-motorised transport and the city’s Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan (SUTMP), allowed residents and visitors to “play, exercise, cycle, walk and move around freely in the open street space, without the nuisance of cars and the associated safety risks”.
According to City of Windhoek their SUTMP was developed together with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. CoW mayor, Muesee Kazapua explained in the city’s non-motorised transport strategy, as part of the SUTMP, that: “The need for a new planning approach is acknowledged, which provides sustainable transport options for all citizens, especially the destitute, children, elderly and disabled. A key component of this is the City of Windhoek’s aspiration to become a cycle and pedestrian friendly city.”
Open Streets Day is aimed at imparting a mind-set change, encouraging vehicle owners to start seeing city streets as public spaces and consider alternative modes of transport - leading to a greater focus on non-motorised transport (NMT) opportunities.
According to research done as part of the SUTMP, only about 20 percent of Windhoek’s households can afford to own a car. A significant number of Windhoek residents make use of NMT daily as they commute to and from bus stations, places of work, educational institutions and/or walk to water collection points in informal settlements.
Kazapua said the CoW is ready to take on the challenge to become a smart city by 2022.
2019-10-31 07:43:39 | 8 months ago