The European Union (EU) has promised to work with authorities within the Greater Kumasi area and key stakeholders for the successful implementation of the ‘Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP)’ initiative.
SUMP, being executed under the Mobilise Your City Project, is designed to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses in Ghana’s second-largest city and their surroundings for a better quality of life.
The objective is to develop more inclusive, liveable and economically-efficient cities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby building resilient urban areas to withstand the test of time.
Mr. Roberto Schiliro, Team Leader in-charge of Infrastructure and Sustainable Development, EU Delegation to Ghana, addressing a stakeholders’ meeting in Kumasi, said, the Plan sought to build on existing planning practices.
Being funded by the French and German Governments with the support of the EU, the initiative takes due consideration of integration, participation and evaluation principles to attain the ideals of the Plan.
“With urbanization increasing so fast, supporting the transition to sustainable, smart and just cities has to be at the heart of our priorities and actions.
“A functioning mobility system is the backbone of a functioning city,” Mr. Schiliro said.
He said if well planned, SUMP could optimize the socio-economic benefits of living in urban areas.
Ms. Ann-Sophie Ave, France Ambassador to Ghana, said her country was proud to be associated with the SUMP initiative given how mobility had become critical for accelerated economic growth.
She said the French government had over the years been supporting the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to advance projects meant to promote commercial activities, citing the construction of roads and markets.
Mr. Samuel Pyne, the Mayor of Kumasi, said congestion in the city was increasing at an alarming rate due to population growth.
This has impeded vehicular and pedestrian movement, affecting socio-economic activities, he observed.
“This challenge is going to get worse with the growing population if a sustainable plan of action is not put in place,” the Mayor stated.
He assured all that the KMA would therefore give the SUMP the needed backing to bring progress to the city since urban mobility had always been a priority to the authorities.