Sustainable Transport Equity Partnerships (STEPs)

The International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low Income Countries (INTALInC) is funded jointly under the GCRF Networks call 2017/18 by the ESRC and DfID. It seeks to explore the sorts of transport systems that will meet the travel needs of low income urban populations in the Global South and to roll-out a future programme of research into practice to meet these needs.

One of the gaps INTALInC identified is the severe inadequacies of walking environments in transport policy in the Global South. Walking can constitute up to 75% of all journeys in Low Income Countries, as the only available and affordable mode to access work, markets, healthcare and education. But, fundamentally many of the environments in which people are walking are unsafe and unpleasant.

Ongoing construction of auto-dependent travel environments is creating soaring traffic deaths, chronic congestion and poor air quality. The poorest populations, and especially women, children and older and disabled people suffer more restrictions on their travel and are more vulnerable to violence and harassment in the public sphere. This means that Global South cities urgently need to promote pedestrian environments that are inclusive, safe and connected to achieve a number of their related Sustainable Development Goals, such as reduced inequalities, gender equality and improved access to services.

Our proposal will initially work with communities in two Global South cities (Dhaka, Bangladesh and Nairobi, Kenya) to help them to design and deliver the pathways for improved walking environments through Sustainable Transport Equity Partnerships (STEPs). We will work with local communities on the ground on the methods to promote stakeholder dialogue and instigating and managing evidence-based, so that they are able to engage key decision-makers, including transport policy managers and municipal police forces, and investors in their plans.

The pump-prime funding will allow our partnership cities, private businesses and NGO’s to identify ways to better coordinate and consolidate their efforts to invest in walking projects and to evaluate the contribution of these initiatives in line with their SDGs. These funds will be used to facilitate the development of details plans to develop the local knowledge-base, capacities and collaborative arrangements to develop local programmes and practical initiatives to address the transport and mobility needs of targeted slum communities located in different parts of their cities.

Through INTALInC we have already signed up network of 250 organisations representing researchers, policy-maker, delivery agencies and NGOs to assist us in the delivery and promotions of this research agenda.