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REPORT: Promoting Non-Motorized Transport in Nairobi, Kenya – A study on users, safety and infrastructure

Nairobi is one of Africa’s fastest growing megacities, with a population of over four million inhabitants. If car-oriented planning continues to dominate, it will lock us into unsustainable carbon-intensive infrastructure and exacerbate the adverse effects of climate change. Non-Motorized Transport (NMT), also known as active transportation and human-powered transportation, provides an alternative pathway for the city and includes walking and bicycling as well as variants such as small-wheeled transport, cycle rickshaws, roller skates, skateboards, push scooters, hand carts and wheelchair travel.

NMT plays an important role in decongesting cities and, hence, promotes healthier lifestyles and better air quality. Despite NMT being the most popular means of transport in Nairobi, key challenges related to poor infrastructure and air quality, safety of users, and congestion remain. Thus, this study was commissioned to examine NMT in Nairobi and recommend ways of improving the NMT experience. 

The specific objectives of this report are to:

  1. Characterize users on Nairobi’s major NMT corridors
  2. Undertake safety audits on Nairobi’s top 10 deadliest corridors
  3. Identify infrastructural and safety challenges faced by NMT users and how to address them
  4. Identify trends that can be used in creating public awareness and support for NMT goals
  5. Provide recommendations to Nairobi Metropolitan Services and road authorities on what to consider in future NMT development in Nairobi

Suggested citation for this report: Odhiambo, E. (2021). Promoting Non-Motorized Transport in Nairobi: A study on users, safety, and infrastructure trends. Cape Town: Climate and Development Knowledge Network.

Read more about the project: Promoting Non-Motorized Transport in Nairobi, Kenya


Photo credits:

Cyclists (top): Critical Mass Nairobi during a pro-cycling campaign. Courtesy of Critical Mass Nairobi

Pedestrians (bottom): Pedestrians on a Kenyan street. Courtesy of Billy Miaron, Shutterstock

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