Introducing Tactical Urbanism concepts in Tajikistan

Active Travel and Healthy Streets, News, Safe road infrastructure, Tajikistan

Last month, Young Generation of Tajikistan (YGT) organised an introduction to Tactical Urbanism for road engineers and engineering students, as well as key road safety stakeholders from the Ministry of Transport and Traffic Police in Tajikistan.

The training forms a crucial part of our ‘Reclaiming Space for Walking and Cycling’ project (funded by the FIA Road Safety Grant Progamme). It covered an overview of road safety and active travel in Tajikistan as well as an introduction to the core principles of tactical urbanism projects and the benefits they can bring to local communities. Later this summer, YGT and EASST will build on this training to implement Tajikistan’s first ever Tactical Urbanism pilot in the Rudaki district. This is an area around 30 minutes from Dushanbe with a large commuting population and high number of road casualties.

During the training, FIA Clubs from Azerbaijan (National Automobile Club of Azerbaijan) and Moldova (Automobile Club of Moldova) presented examples of Tactical Urbanism projects that they have implemented in their respective countries and in Kazakhstan including lessons learned and the impact these have had on improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Read more about these examples here:

Designing streets for slower speeds: the transformation of School #2 in Sumgayit City and what we can learn

Tactical urbanism provides safe space for pedestrians at Uralsk railway station

Upgraded road crossings in Chisinau help people with disabilities feel safer on the roads

Professor Carl Smith from the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas, who will be supporting the design of our Tactical Urbanism intervention along with a local Urbanist and construction company, also gave examples of projects implemented in the USA and Latin America. These examples had a strong focus on community participation and embedding cultural features into the design: an element we are keen to replicate in our pilot project this summer.

Tajikistan is committed to promoting walking and cycling as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution for carbon reduction as per the Paris Agreement. It was also one of the leading countries behind the UN Resolution on the establishment of a World Sustainable Transport Day. However, pedestrians and cyclists remain among those most ‘at risk’ from road casualties across the country. Research conducted by YGT in 2021 also found that a lack of road safety was the biggest barrier for people making a more permanent switch away from private cars to more sustainable modes of transport.

Using the Avoid-Shift-Improve paradigm and Tactical Urbanism our project aims to increase the use of more sustainable forms of non-motorised transport through improving road safety and providing safe spaces for urban mobility. Based on local input, encouraging local road safety stakeholders to rethink mobility through demonstrating how city spaces can be designed in a way that meets the needs of road users and communities. With this in mind, we look forward to implementing the first Tactical Urbanism project in the country and seeing the results.