In 2016, Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT) partnered with the WWF Nedbank Green Trust to help create a new mindset about movement on city streets. This is an exciting development as we continue to explore the potential of our streets and the power of experiential learning in promoting sustainable transportation. The main goal of this project is to increase the use of public and non-motorised transport by challenging the perception that car ownership is inevitable in South Africa.
Specifically, we are working to:
- Scale up Open Streets Days and institutionalise them as a programme within local government.
- Roll out a series of public awareness campaigns with partners in the sphere of transportation that challenge perceptions of safety and usability of lower-carbon urban transport modes.
- Produce and disseminate a series of policy briefs that contribute to local policy formulation.
- Build on the success of our Talking Streets walks as opportunities to compile first-hand information about individual transport behaviour, and elicit feedback on particular parts of the city and from interest groups.
Transport accounts for 50% of the energy consumption in Cape Town and 27% of its carbon emissions. That's why we believe these activities can be a catalyst for decreasing the city's carbon footprint.
Using an empowering model that invites people to experience streets and modes of transport differently, OSCT highlights opportunities for individuals to address climate change. Our research and the experiential learning provided by a regular city-wide programme of Open Streets Days, achieved in collaboration with City officials and public awareness campaigns, can help set the stage for a paradigm shift in urban mobility.