7 December 2012

Namibia: Transport Master Plan Mooted

Article Views (non — The City of Windhoek and the Ministry of Works and Transport have embarked on an initiative to change the course of urban transport planning.

The plan is intended to ensure an accessible, efficient, safe and affordable transport system for Windhoek free of the current traffic hassles.

With the assistance of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, through its implementing agency, GIZ, these institutions are cooperating towards the development of the "Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan for Windhoek, including Rehoboth, Okahandja and the Hosea Kutako International Airport."

Windhoek is growing at a fast pace with a population growth of approximately 4.3 percent per year and within the next 20 years the city will have to cater for the mobility needs of about one million residents. A key task for the City of Windhoek and the government is to plan for future transport needs and to cater for the growing population.

Making the appropriate use of land and transport planning decisions now will make Windhoek a leading example in the sustainable development of the African continent, and will ensure that the mobility needs of current and future generations are satisfied.

Worldwide, cities and urban areas face increasing environmental, social and economic challenges caused by inefficient urban transport systems. This results in reduced accessibility for the urban poor, traffic congestion, road and parking facility costs, traffic accidents, high consumer costs, energy dependence and pollution emissions, not to mention inadequate mobility for non-drivers.

While the capital city operates on a smaller scale compared to other capitals in the world, it is still not exempt from these challenges. Inadequate consideration of non-motorised transport and public transportation has become key challenges for sustainable development in Windhoek and the entire Namibia.

Providing a world-class and sustainable urban transport system for Windhoek is not an easy task, however.

With the fast growing population, high accident numbers and an inefficient public and non-existing non-motorised transport system, Windhoek faces many challenges.

Currently the public relies on taxis and minibus services and a limited service of municipal buses. To address these challenges, the Ministry of Works and Transport and the City of Windhoek will develop a master plan that will enable authorities to develop an affordable, accessible, attractive and efficient public transport and non-motorised transport system within the next 20 years.

The master plan is expected to produce a clear and realistic vision for the development of a sustainable urban transportation system for the next 20 years, as well as generate strategies and policies to help make that vision a reality.

The plan is also expected to maximize the efficiency and safety of the existing public and non-motorised transportation system and to recognize the role that public and non-motorised transportation systems will have in contributing to the needs of different user groups, in particular the urban poor.

The master plan, which will help the transportation system to contribute to environmental and climate change related issues, will also serve as a basis for a national public transport master plan.

The City of Windhoek and the Ministry of Works and Transport have agreed to develop the plan in a participatory approach and have launched a website (www.movewindhoek.com.na) for all stakeholders, including the public, to make meaningful contributions.

The website will provide current updates on the development of the master plan, news and related events.

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