Paulo Anciaes – University College London, London ;  Judite Nascimento & Salif Silva – University of Cape Verde, Praia, Cape Verde


Urban areas in lower middle-income countries face specific challenges in mobility and accessibility. As cities expand in area and income grows, centres of attraction become dispersed and dependence on motorised transport increases. In this context, walking may be regarded as a residual activity, of lower priority to urban policy. However, insufficiencies in the walking environment in some neighbourhoods may reduce physical activity and restrict the accessibility of some groups to jobs and services. Planning for walking is then an important instrument for promoting public health and social equity. This paper analyses walking conditions in the capital of Cape Verde islands. It contributes to the literature on walkability by measuring indicators relevant to cities in developing countries and to fast-growing African cities in particular. The indicators measure the availability of destinations accessible on foot and the quality of walking trips in each neighbourhood. These types of measures are a useful tool for policy-makers to identify areas with particular problems of pedestrian mobility. When analysed alongside the income level and the degree of urban consolidation of each neighbourhood, the measures also provide insights into how mobility problems relate with social exclusion and with land use policies.