Street Shaper December 12, 2018

Street Shaper – December 2018

GDCI Street Shaper of the Month 

Ayikai Poswayo

Program Director, AmendAccra, Ghana (but working across Africa)


Ayikai manages and directs Amend’s School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) Program, including overseeing and training teams to improve safety for children on the roads around their schools. Her favorite part of this role is visiting schools to meet the children at risk of road traffic injury who are directly impacted by Amend’s work.

Please tell us about your work on urban streets and/or mobility.

The SARSAI program involves identifying schools where children are at high risk of road traffic injuries on their journeys to school, carrying out quantitative and qualitative assessments at the schools, coming up with infrastructure proposals to improve safety, and supervising the construction of low-cost yet life-saving measures outside the schools. Road safety lessons are then given to the children at the schools. All these activities are carried out with permission from and in collaboration with the relevant government entities, as well as other stakeholders. The program is currently being implementing across nine countries on the African continent.

What are the biggest mobility and/or road safety challenges in your city?

The lack of consideration and hence provision for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, is a big concern. Many times, pedestrians have to compete for road space with vehicles traveling at incompatible speeds. This puts them at particularly high risk of road traffic injury and death.

What is it like to be a pedestrian in your city?

Scary! Visiting one of the schools where we were working in Ghana, I traced the journey of some children who crossed the infamous N1 Highway in Accra at grade in order to get to school. It was a terrifying experience and it made me wonder how children less than half my size and one-fourth my age manage to make that journey five times a week, without more injuries and deaths occurring than are already known.

Tell us about an innovative urban project(s) or approach(es) that has inspired your work.

One of my inspirations is the woonerf (living streets) concept from the Netherlands, which offers a safe shared space environment for various road users. My dream is to have one of these ‘shared spaces’ outside a school in an African city, where the majority of children walk or cycle.

What is the biggest challenge or most common roadblock you face in implementing innovative projects in your city?

One of our challenges is the lack of government receptivity to new approaches to tackle road safety challenges around schools.

What mobility, public space, or road safety improvements would you like to see in your city by 2030?

I would like to see roads and streets designed with considerations for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, and with special consideration given to children and persons with disabilities.

    • Road safety education in Tanzania. (Photo: Edward Echwalu)
    • Children crossing road in Zambia. (Photo: Jason Mulikita)
    • Two girls on footpath in Ghana. (Photo: Edward Echwalu)
    Fill 1 caret-right

    More Updates

    My Way to School: Making kids’ journeys to school in Santiago, Chile, safer and more enjoyable

    January 23, 2023

    My Way to School: Making kids’ journeys to school in Santiago, Chile, safer and more enjoyable

    In 2019, the GDCI team selected the capital city of Santiago, Chile, as a Streets for Kids Technical Assistance project. Together with Ciudad Emergente, a Chilean nonprofit, we selected Enrique Soro street as the project site. The project’s main objectives were to establish safe intersections, extend sidewalks, and reduce speeds.

    Quito: A Cycling Success Story

    December 14, 2022

    Quito: A Cycling Success Story

    The Global Designing Cities Initiative is committed to reimagining streets as places for people, shaping cities that are healthy, accessible, and equitable for everyone. We also recognize cycling as a safe, efficient, and sustainable mode of transportation. Despite the lack of safe cycling infrastructure that hinders many would-be cyclists around the world from relying on their bikes, there are a number of cities that have made significant progress in recent years. Committed to making its streets more cycle-friendly, Quito, Ecuador, has implemented large-scale, successful cycling infrastructure projects that make it a cycling success story.

    Sixty leaders, twenty cities, one focus: How to make better streets for kids

    December 1, 2022

    Sixty leaders, twenty cities, one focus: How to make better streets for kids

    GDCI’s first-ever Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator welcomed 60 professionals from 20 cities around the world, all working at the intersection of children’s wellbeing and transportation. This competitively selected group came together for twelve online sessions over a six months period for an intensive course in street design best practices. Perhaps most importantly, this was a unique opportunity for them to share ideas, questions, and strategies with each other. Here’s a look back at what went into this program.