In Maputo, 75% of the population lives in peripheral neighbourhoods and relies on lengthy and strenuous daily commutes via collective transport and walking to access jobs, schools, and healthcare.

As such, while the city’s infrastructure priorities remain largely car-oriented, pedestrians are granted minimal street space, having to “weave through rubbish piles, parked cars and street vendors, and negotiate uneven and unpaved pavements and hostile traffic” (Massingue and Oviedo, 2021: 6). Recent efforts in national and local policy, however, show increasing awareness of these challenges and suggest a shift in the focus of the transport sector on improving the conditions for walking and cycling in Maputo. This included the development of the Maputo Metropolitan Transport Agency.

OWS will focus on Chamanculo, a low-income settlement, to develop a pilot intervention to promote safe adolescent walking and cycling. Chamanculo is a consolidated low-income settlement with a significant number of informal dwellings, it has experienced recent physical transformations as part of an ongoing programme of open streets led by OWS partners Architects Without Borders in collaboration with local communities and local government. With local schools at walkable and cyclable distances and a large share of the community depending on non-motorised transport, Chamanculo offers an ideal setting for testing interventions to promote safe walking and cycling among adolescents.

Furthermore, by working with implementation partners, OWS will seek to build collaborations based on equity and mutual respect to assess the appropriateness of adapting and implementing an AMTS pilot intervention. This will help build a baseline study and create an open dialogue environment aimed at the viability and sustainability of a pilot project adapted to local social, cultural, governance, and economic specificities.