The CoW’s Sustainable Urban Master Plan for Windhoek (SUTMP) was developed together with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. CoW mayor, Muesee Kazapua explains in the City’s non-motorised transport strategy, as part of the SUTMP, that: “The need for a new planning approach is acknowledged, which provides 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 to become a cyclist and pedestrian friendly city.”
To support this, the City of Windhoek (CoW) held its first-ever Open Streets Day on 26 October 2019 in Windhoek. To accommodate the event, a portion of Independence Avenue – between Kasino Street and Sam Nujoma Drive – was temporarily closed off to all motorised traffic from 8.00 to 13.00. Windhoek residents and visitors were 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. Activities that took place included games, arts and crafts, Zumba, yoga, an open gym, a fun-filled kiddies’ corner and so much more for the public to enjoy. A bmx track was set-up for the kiddies and citizens experienced some cycling on bicycles offered by local bike shops. The event started off with a leaders ride led by the Mayor of City of Windhoek. Various leaders such as councillors and leaders from the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Governor for the Khomas Region joined.
Open Streets Day is aimed at imparting a mind-set change, encouraging vehicle owners to start seeing city streets as public spaces and consider alternative modes of transport – leading to a greater focus on non-motorised transport (NMT) opportunities.
The event was sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), and the First National Bank of Namibia and organised by the Private Sector Road Safety Forum, SunCycles Namibia, Automobile Association, MVA Fund, Namibia Cycling Federation and the Namibia Public Passenger Transport Association. The Open Streets Day idea is envisioned to rotate to different parts of the City.
Contact: Ursula Hein
The project is supported by the German government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its implementing agency GIZ.