Have fun in CoW’s open streets

18 October 2019 | Local News

Windhoek’s first ever Open Street Day takes place on Saturday 26 October in support of the
municipality’s Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan (SUTMP).
On that day, a portion of Independence Avenue between Kasino Street and Sam Nujoma Drive, will
be closed off to all motorised traffic from 08:00 to 13:00. In this time, residents and visitors are
invited to come play, cycle, walk and move around freely in the open street space, without the
nuisance of cars and the associated safety risks.
Games, arts and crafts, Zumba, yoga, dance classes, a fun-filled kiddies’ corner and much more is on
the programme for the public to enjoy.

Urban transport
The CoW’s SUTMP was developed together with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the
Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
At the time, mayor Muesee Kazapua said that the need for a new transport planning approach is
necessary. “It will provide sustainable transport options for all citizens, especially the destitute,
children, elderly and disabled. A key component of this is the City of Windhoek’s aspiration is to
become a cycle and pedestrian friendly city.”
The Open Streets Day is aimed at imparting a mind-set change, encouraging vehicle owners to start
seeing city streets as public spaces and to consider alternative modes of transport, leading to a
greater focus on non-motorised transport (NMT) opportunities.
According to research done as part of the SUTMP, only about 20% of Windhoek’s households can
afford to own a car. A significant number of residents make use of NMT daily as they commute to
and from bus stations, places of work, educational institutions and walk to water collection points in
informal settlements.
Kazapua says the CoW is ready to take on the challenge to become a smart city by 2022, and that
includes smart mobility solutions. “A working public transport system, supported by an inter-
connected NMT network, is essential to provide the community with the necessary flexibility to
travel around the City,” he said adding that walking, cycling or using public transport should not be
seen as secondary to driving your own vehicle. People who make use of these modes of transport
should be able to do so in a dignified manner.
The Open Streets Day concept will rotate to different parts of the City over time.
The event is sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and
the FNB Namibia, and organised by the Private Sector Road Safety Forum, SunCycles Namibia, the
Automobile Association, MVA Fund, Namibia Cycling Federation and the Namibia Public Passenger
Transport Association.

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