Lagos Sidewalk Challenge

Walk21 secured funding from TUMI to pilot the Global Sidewalk Challenge in Lagos, Nigeria in 2018.

Walk21 worked in partnership with LAMATA (the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and SLoCaT. The aim was to assess the existing walking conditions and engage local people to define future investment priorities.

LAMATA, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority in Nigeria, was the  first to test the STRIDE app, a tool designed by Walk21 to engage with communities. More than 2,000 public transport users on Lagos Island shared their walking experiences to 19 key walking destinations and in response LAMATA invested in new infrastructure to improve the walkability for school children and those visiting the main hospital in particular.

Professors from CEDEUS, the Sustainable Transport Research department of the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile, helped Walk21 with the technical components of the project by creating a pioneering new tool to help with data collection and engaging communities called the STRIDE app. Specifically, the tool allows walkers to geographically pinpoint where their walking needs are not being met.

The project then worked with Dr Asenime from Lagos University to invite 500 to share more than 5,000 of their walking experiences on Lagos Island.  The data points, mapped by age, gender and ability, illustrated where there were clusters of concern in Lagos .

In response, LAMATA demonstrated their commitment to delivering on their draft Non-Motorised Transport Policy by creating a new sidewalk on Lagos Island in response to the data generated by the concerns of their citizens.

It is hoped that the longer term outcome of the project will be for Walk21’s to continue supporting LAMATA to encourage walking in Lagos, to be measured, valued and provided for as an inspiration to many other low and middle-income cities.

As the largest city in Africa, and the second fastest growing, without sidewalks walking trips and public transport trips fail to reach their full potential and appeal as a viable alternative to private motorised travel. In too many parts of the city sidewalks either don’t exist at all or are inadequate, fragmented or neglected.  If we can help walkers in Lagos, we can help walkers everywhere.