Lourdes DIAZ OLVERA – Chargée de recherche du MEDDE au Laboratoire d’Economie des Transports, Université de Lyon (ENTPE, CNRS, Université Lumière Lyon 2)
Didier PLAT – Enseignant-chercheur au Laboratoire d’Economie des Transports, Université de Lyon (ENTPE,CNRS, Université Lumière Lyon 2) ,
Pascal POCHET -Chargé de recherche du MEDDE au Laboratoire d’Economie des Transports, Université de Lyon (ENTPE, CNRS, Université Lumière Lyon 2)
The conditions of effective access to daily activities and urban spaces in African cities remain badly known because of the scarcity of empirical data on daily travel and spatial behaviour. This paper aims to analyse the access to urban spaces by approaching it by the travel behaviour patterns of city dwellers. The secondary statistical analyses presented in this paper are based on data gathered in six household travel surveys undertaken in West and Central African cities (Bamako, Conakry, Dakar, Douala, Niamey, Ouagadougou) between 1992 and 2003.
All modes of transport included, the daily number of trips varies from 3.0 to 4.6, depending on the city. The mechanised modes of transport are used for 26% to 43% of trips and walking remains the main mode of transport. Therefore, between one third and a half of inhabitants travelled solely by foot during the surveyed day and the places near their home are the space of life for the great majority. In spite of the fact that the central districts concentrate a number of activities and public services and facilities, they are not a frequent destination for the non-residents of the city centre and only between 5% and 29% of their trips have at least one end in these districts. The unequal spatial distribution of activities and public services and facilities, on the one hand, and the restricted and selective access to the means of transport, on the other hand, raise the issue of the long term consequences of confined spaces of life for the search of economic and social resources and the development of human capital.