Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Non Motorized Transport (NMT) is a dominant mode of transport in African cities, and there are a number of institutional issues and challenges that confront African governments in mainstreaming the mode into the overall planning of cities. This paper acknowledges the progress made in the mainstreaming of NMT in planning, including inherent institutional issues and challenges, based on preliminary findings from a study on NMT provision in Nairobi. The paper argues that, in spite of several attempts aimed at mainstreaming NMT in policy and planning, the process is confronted with institutional issues and challenges which affect implementation. After an extensive discussion of the NMT drivers, institutional issues and challenges, the paper concludes that there is an innovative trend emerging which bears hope for mainstreaming NMT within the city of Nairobi. As discussed in the paper, there is awareness among various actors of the need to accommodate and integrate NMT into the existing modes of transport. However, a number of challenges impact on this effort, including: the slow pace of processing the National Integrated Transport Policy, an existing biased inclination towards motorised transport, poor coordination of the drivers of NMT, and, poor enforcement of regulations. These constraints make it difficult to conclusively determine the direction of NMT mainstreaming within the city of Nairobi.
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