SUTMP stands for Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan. It is a long-term plan meant to guide engineering and planning decisions about how to develop a sustainable (social, economic, environment and technology) public and non-motorised transport system for the City of Windhoek.
Frequently Asked Questions
Windhoek, like most other cities, is growing rapidly. Increasing population means more traffic (human and vehicle). Cities, both big and small require an organised and well thought-out way (ie, plan) to manage current and future growth in traffic. The SUTMP for the City of Windhoek will help the city grow along a sustainable path and become more livable and people friendly.
Experts assume that by 2030 the population figures of Windhoek will have increased by 3.1 % per year to a total number of more than 800.000. Yet, it is not just the population that will grow but more and more citizens will have the desire and the financial opportunities to purchase their own cars. Accordingly, it is estimated that traffic congestion in Windhoek by the year 2030 will be six times more severe, forcing people to spend up to an average of one hour in traffic per trip, if no major alterations in traffic management will be introduced.
However, despite all vigorous efforts, large parts of the population will still be unable to own their own car in 2030 and will have to rely on a public transport system such as buses or taxis. The current public transport situation with its thin bus network and high prices, however, excludes many citizens from participating in the economic, social and cultural public sphere of Windhoek. While the average car currently is occupied by 1-2 passengers buses can take up to 100 passengers. If the City is able to offer an affordable and high quality bus transport, many cars can be replaced and thus ease traffic congestion.
A comprehensive and affordable public transport system would thus contribute to a more equal, vibrant and enjoyable city which enables non-car-owners and car-owners alike to participate in the public sphere.
After the SUTMP has been designed in a participatory and inclusive way by a variety of involved institutions, experts and citizens, it is now time to make the vision of an accessible, affordable and sustainable transport system a reality. But before we rush out and buy, build and introduce a new transport infrastructure, we need to make sure that it will suffice for the objectives we have, that we have the necessary financial and human capacity to maintain the system, and that we have a system that does not harm current or future generations.
The coming year will thus be used to conduct a variety of feasibility studies as well as social and environmental assessments. These expert studies will enable us to plan accurately for our future needs without causing irretrievable damage to our environment or disadvantaging social groups.
But 2014 will also address the issue of sustainability through other measures. Besides the continuous development of tertiary educational facilities, MoveWindhoek plans to enable a variety of employees of Namibian institutions to attend professional training courses and develop their skills at international conferences and workshops. In this way, Windhoek will eventually be able to introduce, operate and maintain their own transport system without the need for outside experts.
One goal of the Master Plan is to provide a safe an efficient road network for all users, not just people who drive in motorised vehicles. We want to encourage greater use of sustainable transport by the community and create an inclusive transport system which puts special emphasise on the urban poor.
You can get involved right away either by posting your idea, opinion, or comment on the SUTMP Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/movewindhoek or writing to us directly at P.O. Box 8016 Windhoek. The City of Windhoek will also be holding Public Meetings/Consultation in all Constituencies during the month of November 2012. You can get involved by attending these forums and sharing your perspectives. Most importantly, you will be directly or indirectly involved in the plan's implementation as your travel decisions and patterns will take into account of the new and improved transportation system.
In the planning of the transport system at first the needs of pedestrians have to be considered, after that the needs of bicycles, public transport, special service vehicles and finally and only at last the need of other motorised vehicles. Safety and accessibility are primary goals.
An improved public and non-motorised transport system is by definition inclusive. It increases choices for travellers and commuters by providing for safe, reliable and efficient walking, cycling, riding (eg, on a bus or train), as well as driving experience. It is for the benefit of all road users.