This lab was initiated as part of the Osaka University (Japan) – University College London (UCL) International Joint Research Project on a street-based approach to informal settlement improvement in African cities. The inItial funding for the lab was provided by the Osaka University Global Knowledge Partnership Grant (GKP) Type A with additional support from the Social Solutions Initiative (SSI) of Osaka University as well as from the Development Planning Unit UCL.
An interdisciplinary group from Osaka University and UCL set out to investigate how low - income urban citizens give meaning and sense to their walking environment, creating their own routes and facilities to improve their everyday walking experiences and practices. The first case study took place in Moyiba, one informal settlement in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Learning from this experience, the lab aims to extend this research to similar urban contexts across the African region.
Walking Cities Lab
A scale from objective to subjective conditions of the urban built environment that affect walking was defined to explore the characteristics of the everyday walking environment in informal settlements (see figure). Framing the understanding of walking conditions within an objective to a subjective range of elements introduces flexibility to move along the spectrum, depending on the resources available and the aim.