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Sustainable Transport Festival kicks-off Wednesday in Lagos

 

By Enyeribe Ejiogu

The long-awaited four-day Sustainable Transport Festival is set to commence on Wednesday, September 20 in Lagos with series of live online discussions.
The upscale festival which is organized by a coalition of non-governmental organizations called the Let’s Get Lagos Moving Campaign , will create awareness and educate the public on the need for more sustainable modes of transportation like walking, cycling as well as public transportation as obtains in several developed urban settings like Amsterdam, Seoul, Berlin, among others.

The group started its advocacy for non-motorised transportation modes in the state when it celebrated the World Bicycle Day in 2021, which witnessed wide participation by enthusiasts. The positive impact made that year led the group to organise the first Car Free Day in Lagos in 2022, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation and LAMATA.

As part of the festival, Lagosians will participate in an assessment on the walk-ability, accessibility and air quality of streets in Ikeja, Lagos. This will be followed by an Open Mic session and documentary screening on 22nd September, which will focus on equity, gender and public transport, and give young people an opportunity to interact and share their experiences through spoken word, comedy, and performance.

In a press statement released by the Lagos Urban Development Initiative on behalf of the group , Mrs Olamide Ejorh said “transportation cannot be cut out from the fabric of urban development,” adding, “it gives us access to goods and services, opportunities for individual mobility and a better quality of life. It is essential to the economic and social development of our communities.”

However, she further stated that the population in Lagos is growing at a fast rate with an increased demand for transport services. To address the demand the population growth has on available transportation infrastructure, so far we have responded by creating more roads for cars. However, this development not only contributes to issues like climate change, air pollution, traffic congestion and road injuries but also often impacts the urban poor and most vulnerable. Considering that the majority of commuters rely on walking, cycling and public transport to access employment and services, prioritising cars in mobility planning will only increase inequality in Lagos and cities alike.

“To achieve sustainable development, there is a need to pursue sustainable transportation that is inclusive, safe, efficient, diverse (multiple modes), cost-effective, accessible and comfortable. A sustainable transport system should limit emissions and pollution, support a vibrant economy, improve the quality of life or livelihoods of the people and spread societal benefits to all.
On the 23rd of September, the festival will come to an end with a bike ride.

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