Expanding reach: Aizawl, India; Kaduna, Nigeria; and Fundación Despacio empower the Partnership


Written by Giuliana AMBROSINO

As of March 6, 2024, MobiliseYourCity has 72 member cities in 16 countries and nine Knowledge and Network partners, following the valuable addiction in the Partnership of Aizawl, India; Kaduna, Nigeria and the Colombian Fundación Despacio.

Alongside Ahmedabad, Kochi, and Nagpur, the Municipality of Aizawl is the fourth Indian city to join the Partnership. Aizawl's transportation modal share (Walk – 19.6%; Public transport and four-wheeler and two-wheeler taxi – 21.3%; Personal vehicle- 59.1%) underscores the importance of this partnership in steering the city towards a more sustainable future. The substantial reliance on personal vehicles creates numerous challenges, such as limited road space, constrained road geometry, lengthy routes, congested areas, and heightened demand for parking. However, reluctance among citizens to use public transport due to cost concerns and its deteriorating state, as well as unsafe pedestrian facilities, pose additional hurdles. Aizawl has undertaken various initiatives to address these challenges, including upgrading bus shelters, constructing a railway passenger terminal, and enhancing facilities like a new railway station. Thanks to funding from the ADB, under the umbrella of MobiliseYourCity, Aizawl will receive technical assistance to build technical solutions for cable car/ropeway. This capacity building should include a study tour and a workshop. The technical assistance to Aizawl increases the number of MobiliseYourCity's interventions in India to four, following the completion of Ahmedabad's SUMP, and India, Kochi, and Nagpur technical assistance.  




Kaduna marks a significant new addition to the MobiliseYourCity Partnership: it is a new member city and the first representative of Nigeria. Located in northwestern Nigeria, Kaduna grapples with diverse vehicular traffic, ranging from rickshaws to lorries and motor vehicles to tankers. Similar to Aizawl, cars dominate traffic flow in Kaduna, comprising 38.97%. The city's poor urban mobility exacerbates issues such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and limited access to employment and services. The Agence Française de Développment (AFD) is currently supporting the city in developing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), along with additional transport infrastructure projects. By joining the Partnership, Kaduna aims to address its urban mobility challenges by promoting sustainable urban transport, enhancing air quality, and combating air pollution, a significant health concern. The ultimate objective is to foster more liveable cities for Kaduna's residents by planning the transport sector to meet the needs of a growing city. The added value of MobiliseYourCity for Kaduna is the access to knowledge and expertise, collaboration with the Community of Practice - implying opportunities for dialogue with other cities and countries that share similar transport concerns, and the opportunity to access funding and resources to implement its projects.

Our partners make providing technical assistance and support across various regions possible. Hence, after a longstanding collaboration, it's an honour to welcome Despacio as a Knowledge and Network partner officially. A research centre that has existed since 2008 and was legally constituted as a non-profit entity in Colombia in 2011, Despacio aims to promote quality of life in cities and during all life cycle stages through applied research and with an emphasis on challenging intuition. Its philosophy is similar to that of the Slow Movement. It seeks to improve the well-being of communities and individuals from the most individual and familiar aspects to the most collective. Despacio has operations internationally, but especially in the Latin American region. Despacio has worked in different cities and countries that, in turn, are members of MobiliseYourCity: Havana, Cuba; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Arequipa, Perú; Córdoba, Argentina; Baixada Santista and Teresina, Brasil; Puebla, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia. Despacio's interest in joining MobiliseYourCity resides in improving its international leverage by sharing its global transport expertise, collaborating to improve the quality of life in cities and enhancing sustainable urban mobility planning to contribute to developing low-carbon and resilient transport systems worldwide.