Improving Walkability

The 'Lagos Sidewalk Challenge' by TUMI in Lagos, Nigeria supported the vision of creating an enjoyable and walkable city. The aim was to address the existing deficit of the required walking infrastructure by improving access, safety and attractiveness of walking in downtown Lagos.


Project Description

With a high number of people walking daily in the mega-city of Lagos, there was a clear need to address the tremendous discrepancy between the existing versus required walking infrastructure. Under this scenario of missing infrastructure and even dangerous walking conditions, TUMI stepped in to help achieve the vision of LAMATA (The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority) of creating a city that everyone can enjoy and to support Lagos’ Non-Motorized Transport Policy. 

The pilot improves safety, access, and attractiveness of walking in downtown Lagos. A mobile app was developed, which collects data to improve infrastructure quality. Through our intervention, the TBS bus terminal, a school and a hospital are now connected by a sidewalk. Daily, 4,000 pupils can go to school safely, and 7,000 people have improved access to the St. Nicholas Hospital. Residents, visitors, public transport users, persons with reduced mobility, and low-income groups will be amongst the beneficiaries. 


Phase 1: Walkability AssessmentApp development: measurement and rating of existing walking infrastructure across the city. 

Phase 2: Stakeholder Engagement: by ensuring that the relevant governmental agencies and citizen groups are involved with the project and get their input to ensure long term success. 

  • Phase 3: Design and construction of the sidewalks by LAMATA  
  • Beautification of sidewalks by local artists and school children. 

Phase 4: Dissemination

Phase 5: without TUMI – LAMATA adopted the Lagos Non-Motorized Transport Strategy, supported by ITDP

Project's Objective

The main objective was to improve the walkability of Lagos, addressing also safety, accessibility and pedestrian attractiveness. Furthermore, it was also important to embrace the importance of the act of walking in the city and proving how with a small investment, the face of the city can be drastically improved. 

Key Solutions

  • ½ km of protected walkways with improved drainage 
  • Regulations and designs for the use of the streets such as speed limits, public transport, etc. 
  • Development of an easy-to-use app to assess walking infrastructure, through Walk 21 

Main Outcomes

  • Development of an easy-to-use app to assess walking infrastructure, through Walk 21 
  • Improved road safety and infrastructure: 500 m of safe sidewalks and 1 redesigned intersection 
  • Creation of approximately 20 temporary construction jobs 
  • Catalyst project that raised the debate on walking infrastructure in Lagos as well as the awareness of school children 
  • Improved air quality by increased share of sustainable trips by walking, cycling and using the public transport 
  • More than 11,000 people daily benefit from the intervention 

Challenges and Learnings


Lagos’ landscape is dominated by a host of users and vehicles, including pedestrians, cyclists, okadas (motorcycle taxis), kekes (three-wheelers), cars, danfos (minibuses), and heavy trucks. The diverse mix of transport services helps meet critical mobility needs but also creates a challenging environment for walking and cycling, considering that walking remains the main mode of transport for the majority of the 20million inhabitants of Africa’s largest city.  

Responsibilities for infrastructure are divided between many agencies in Lagos. LAMATA is ambitious and well organized. Together with other international donors, reformed the bus system in Lagos and introduced a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System. LAMATA‘s highly trained engineers and managers need to continue to work with a wide range of actors to guarantee the delivery of high-quality walking infrastructure. 

The NMT strategy has not been approved by the state government during the project period. As in many other places, more political backing is needed to scale improved walking conditions. The vibrant tech-scene in Lagos is revolutionizing transport, i.e. companies offering Uber-style transport services on motorbikes. The city of Lagos might benefit from a dialogue with these companies. 

Potentials for Scaling Up

The approach can easily be scaled in Lagos, with LAMATA ready to implement more walking infrastructure, if funding is made available. Constructing sidewalks has a considerable potential to be replicated in other cities in Nigeria as well as in any other city in the world. 

The developed “Walkability app” can be used by any interested city to gather data on their walking infrastructure quality. The app offers great potential to make walking safer in cities around the world. This proved true following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as more space for social distancing is needed. 

Oluwaseun Sonoiki

TUMI Challenge 2018 Winner

"The sidewalk infrastructure project will increase the visibility of pedestrians, identifying their needs and steering a coordinated programme of investment that focuses on reducing accidents, encouraging walking and improving ther environments."

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The Team

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


Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) is a multi-stakeholder partnership of over 90 organizations (representing UN organizations, Multilateral and Bilateral development organizations, NGOs and Foundations, Academe and the Business Sector). The thematic scope of the Partnership is land transport in developing countries, including freight and passenger transport. Both motorized and non-motorized transport are included. The policies proposed by SLoCaT are universal but the geographical scope of the Partnership is mainly for developing countries. The Partnership’s current focus is Asia, Latin America and Africa.

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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

GIZ provides services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations and governments of other countries all benefiting from these services. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the main commissioning party, but GIZ also works with the private sector, fostering successful interaction between development policy and foreign trade.

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Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is headed by the Minister, Svenja Schulze, the Parliamentary State Secretaries, Dr. Bärbel Kofler and Niels Annen, and the State Secretary, Jochen Flasbarth. When Germany provides a developing country with a low-interest loan, when German experts advise the government of a partner country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) or when private German organisations carry out projects in developing countries, these are all approaches involving direct development cooperation between Germany and its partners. Besides engaging in such bilateral development cooperation activities, Germany is also involved in activities for the benefit of the developing countries at the international level.

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