International Development in the Research Networking Scheme - Creative Methodological Innovations for Inclusive Sustainable Transport Planning (CMIIST

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Stockholm Environment Institute


Poorly planned cities in developing countries create dangerous traffic environments and traffic congestion is growing in many of these rapidly growing conurbations. There is a need for plans and policies that ensure a more equitable appropriation of space for different types of travel modes, from the standpoint of equity, accessibility, safety and environmental protection. Inclusive travel options to allow access within cities to education, healthcare and employment is a critical component of sustainable urbanization; however, of the annual 1.25 million road traffic fatalities globally, 90% are in low and middle-income countries such as those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Africa has the joint highest road crash fatality rate of all global regions and transport-related deaths are growing and overtaking some major diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, leprosy, hepatitis and malaria. Over half of all fatalities are among vulnerable groups (e.g. pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users) and death and injury burdens are heavily skewed towards lower income groups.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for inclusive and sustainable urbanization including increasing the capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management. There is a specific request for improving road safety incorporating local level planning reform to ensure clean and safe mobility within urban systems.

Creative methods (e.g. the use of arts interventions, including drama, participatory map making, storytelling, creative writing, photography, etc.) have a particular contribution to make in revealing vulnerable peoples' needs and desires for urban mobility. They have demonstrated value in effectively communicating these needs between stakeholders addressing the need for inclusion in planning processes irrespective of age, gender, religion, origin or economic status. The arts and humanities have a role to play in bringing forward new viewpoints and generating novel solutions by providing a discussion space to explore these key issues. Sometimes providing a counterpoint or challenge to existing bureaucratic and technical knowledge and power processes.

This project will build a network of UK arts and humanities academics with their counterparts from East Africa alongside local urban planners, designers, NGOs, civil society groups and urban decision makers. The UK participants have experience of a range of creative approaches used to reveal different groups problems (in relation to mobility and travel); but methods that are also useful in helping identify novel solutions co-designed with these groups themselves. The network will identify how these approaches could be developed and used in East Africa to help address issues around sustainable travel options for all residents of the regions rapidly growing cities contributing to the delivery of the SDGs.

Planned Impact

This proposal is aimed at building a network that will link interested parties from the UK to counterparts in East Africa (EA) around the issue of sustainable and inclusive urban mobility. The network will undertake three activities:
1. Identifying knowledge gaps for local EA stakeholders on this issue that relate to delivering the relevant SDG goals;
2. A two-way knowledge exchange investigating how creative methods might be used to address these gaps; and
3. Identifying how information that could be generated through creative approaches could best be delivered to decision makers and the public to influence behaviour and planning choices to ultimately deliver change.

All three aims will lead to impacts for participants in the network through improvements in knowledge. This will also filter to their existing professional partners through further dissemination.

Beyond academics the network will include stakeholders from across the region including representatives from a cross section of third sector organisations, community groups alongside local creative practitioners: Road transport and planning lobby groups (NGOs); community group representatives.

Community groups will benefit directly from the transfer of knowledge on creative methods that they could usefully deploy to address topics of concern to their local constituencies (either in relation to mobility - but equally around other urbanization or development issues).

National and local city planners will be affected through their exposure to novel creative methods that may be usefully employed to reach communities they have found hard-to-reach. Information generated through greater inclusion of these groups in urban planning decisions should have medium and longer term impacts.

Practitioner's designers and architects will have their methodological knowledge enhanced through greater understanding of the potential for co-design of urban environments. This impact should ensure that those East African experts, perhaps best able to make use of the information and ideas generated by the creative methods discussed in the network, are enabled to implement these approaches locally.

Third sector and NGOs will benefit from participating in the network in two ways: Firstly through expansion of their skills-set in relation to creative methods and also communications to policy and decision makers. Secondly, the network will expand their connections within the region to local academics, policy and decision makers at various governance scales. This will enhance their ability to contribute to delivering the SDGs locally.


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Description In our follow on project The creative methods we discussed have been implemented in 4 case study sites (2 Nairobi, Kenya; 2 Kampala, Uganda) to enhance participation in urban road safety planning. These engagement exercises have been supported by Kampala Capital City Authority, Nairobi County Council and Nairobi Metropolitan Transport Authority (NAMATA). They also involved temporary infrastructure changes including 3D zebra crossings and pedestrianisation of sections of inner city roads.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Environment,Transport
Description British Academy Cities & Infrastructure Awards 2017
Amount £299,708 (GBP)
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 12/2018
Description Participation in Arts & Humanities International Workshop 7th Jun 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Workshop bringing together GCRF funded researchers and overseas partner to discuss impacts and use of arts and humanities approaches in development research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017