POP-UP Pedestrianization

In addition to responding to the COVID 19 pandemic, the project in Mombasa, Kenya supports the piloting and acceptance of active mobility and thus the development of sustainable and inclusive cities.


Project Description

TUMI is working with ITDP, UN Habitat and the County Government of Mombasa (CGM) to upgrade Biashara Street, located in Mombasa’s Old Town to a safe, organised, well-managed, and people friendly street for all.

Biashara street, like many streets in Old Town, some of which date back to the 16th century, is a narrow street, bustling with vending activities. Pedestrians buy from the vendors who have put out their wares as they pass by.

Movement along the street has been difficult especially during the COVID-19 period due to lack of clear space allocation for pedestrians and vendors.


TUMI plans to reroute the traffic and close the road for cars. This barrier will be opened and closed daily (in the afternoons) to allow morning and day traffic to flow thru, and afternoon and evenings to be given to pedestrians.

The city of Mombasa is an important partner for the implementation of the pilot.

Project's Objectives

© 2023 GeoBasis-DE/BKG, Google

Image: The study area consists of Biashara St (-4.0572483576721625, 39.67396169003667), from Abdel Nasser Road to Nehru Rd, a length of approximately 300 m.



  • Improving the walking experience by reallocating a clear right of way for pedestrians along the street
  • Public space improvement: providing storm water drainage, paving the street, and providing shade since it can get very hot and humid on the island.
  • Improving commerce by customising the vendor stalls based on the diverse needs of the vendors while maintaining clearly allocated spaces for vending.
  • Enhancing the economic potential of the corridor through the provision of lighting, facilitation of garbage collection thereby also improving tourism in the old town area.

Main Outcomes

By providing a car-free zone, it will allow the citizens of Mombasa safely enjoy the street food at a safe distance. This space increase will also provide vendors with increased opportunities to have a safe and vibrant space to sell more food and create inclusive streets.

500m of pedestrianized streets enable outdoor eating on Makadara Road, facilitate physical distancing and improve access.

Create an inclusive and conducive area where pedestrians and vendors can interact safely. The end result would be Pop-up pedestrianization.

The success of this project is expected to improve economic activity by increasing the flow of pedestrians and transforming Biashara street into a 24hr shopping space.

The initiative also serves as a pilot project as the city plans to pedestrianize old town, and transform it into an inclusive, conducive, and commercially vibrant space, improving livelihoods for the residents.

The project also serves a case study showing the benefits of car free streets which lead to reduced congestion and improved business activity.

The Team

Herman Kwoba

Advisor, Transport and Climate Change

Graduate in environment and climate change policy who worked extensively in transport and climate change policy development in Kenya. He is based in Nairobi Kenya and is actively working on the transformation of public transport in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Frederic Tesfay

Project Manager

Mechanical Engineer who immediately went into project management within the field of construction; having worked two years in USA and a further five years for GIZ in Africa focused on project implementation. After developing a strong focus on monitoring and controlling, he successfully began managing projects in the field of technical education and capacity building in Asia.

Focus Areas: TUMI Data, TUMI Labs, TUMI E-Bus Mission

Supported by


Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) works around the world to design and implement high quality transport systems and policy solutions that make cities more livable, equitable, and sustainable. ITDP is a global nonprofit at the forefront of innovation, providing technical expertise to accelerate the growth of sustainable transport and urban development around the world. Through our transport projects, policy advocacy, and research publications, we work to reduce carbon emissions, enhance social inclusion, and improve the quality of life for people in cities.

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United Nations program working towards a better urban future

UN-Habitat is the United Nations program working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed, and efficient cities and other human settlements, with adequate housing, infrastructure, and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation. To achieve these goals, derived from the Habitat Agenda of 1996, UN-Habitat has set itself a medium-term strategy approach for each successive six-year period.

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