Inauguration Site Pikine Dakar

Citizen involvement and urban transformation: the example of the UFI Dakar

Inclusivity in the design of public spaces is essential to ensure that all citizens, regardless of ability, social background, age or gender, can fully enjoy their urban environment. This requires a holistic approach that incorporates the diversity of needs and uses into the planning and design of urban facilities.

Promoting pedestrian mobility and safety for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) users

In several districts of Senegal's bustling capital, the UFI Dakar has focused on pedestrian mobility and safety, particularly for users of the Bus Rapide Transit (BRT). This article takes a look at two projects carried out around the Parcelles Assainies secondary school and in the Unité 4 district of Golf Sud. Characterised by a participatory and collaborative approach, the projects involved residents at every stage, helping to create local urban environments that meet the needs of local communities.

Lycée des Parcelles Assainies (LPA): pedestrian areas, pavements and public benches

In Dakar, the UFI has several community mobilisation in the vicinity of the Lycée des Parcelles Assainies, to involve the community in the design of developments to improve their living environment and facilitate pedestrian access to BRT stations.

Inauguration LPA

Diagnosis and participative co-design
To engage a wide range of stakeholders, co-design activities and discussion sessions were organised to design inclusive and functional urban spaces.

Using Minecraft for co-design
In collaboration with UN-Habitat, the game Minecraft has been used as a tool for community participation, so that young secondary school students can contribute to the design of developments and give their opinions in a fun and interactive way. UN-Habitat's experience around the world shows that Minecraft is a good way of involving hard-to-reach groups such as young people, women and people living in precarious neighbourhoods in urban planning processes. The process involves converting the space into a digital version, training project teams to use the game, and then running workshops to create public spaces. At the Lycée des Parcelles Assainies, 6 sessions of 2 hours each with 41 women and 37 men, including 75 people under 35 and 3 over 35, were organised in the lycée's computer room.

Utilisation Minecraft Lycée

Making a fiction film with local shopkeepers

To complement the co-design activities, and to raise awareness and get local shopkeepers involved in the forthcoming changes, a telenovela-style film, very popular in Senegal, was shot, depicting everyday situations.

The script was written in such a way as to express, in a humorous and concrete way, situations from everyday Senegalese life, conflicts of use and lively interactions when people have to get around using different modes of transport, often old ones, on degraded roads. This fictional approach made it possible to illustrate the issues at stake in an accessible way and to encourage people to support the development projects.

Tournage fiction commerçants quartier

Artistic enhancement and greening

In collaboration with the Africulturban association, an artistic enhancement project has been launched on site, with murals addressing key themes such as citizenship education and road safety. At the same time, planting activities have been undertaken to beautify the environment and provide pleasant places to relax. With the support of the Lycée's headmaster, the representative of the Golf Sud town hall and the community representative from the BRT project's information and monitoring committee, the Lycée's students and the project team carried out reforestation activities on the Lycée's premises. In all, almost 350 flowers were planted. The horticultural technician took the opportunity to train around sixty pupils, who took part voluntarily in the activity.

Végétalisation LPA

Promoting soft mobility by developing a busy alleyway in the Unité 4 district of Golf Sud in the Dakar suburbs

70% of Dakar residents prefer to walk when getting around, but less than 5% of urban developments take this into account, with pavements often non-existent outside the main roads. Neighbourhoods lack dedicated spaces, which poses safety problems for pedestrians in the face of motorised vehicles.

Choix site U4 Dakar

Selection of the site for the initiative in consultation with local communities
The UFI project site in the Unité 4 district of Golf Sud was selected in collaboration with local communities. The aim was to improve the accessibility and user-friendliness of a thoroughfare used by many pedestrians. This decision, guided by the site's proximity to a major BRT station, was taken after extensive consultation with residents, local authorities and community groups.

Utilisation de Minecraft U4

Use of Minecraft to co-create layouts
The UFI organised co-creation sessions using the video game Minecraft to actively involve residents in designing the layout. To run the sessions, the team recreated a computer room in a tent, usually used for traditional ceremonies. Participants were divided into small groups, by age and gender. Three 2-hour sessions with around a hundred people were organised after the working days to enable more people to take part. These co-design sessions were supplemented by focus groups, individual interviews and feedback and validation meetings to ensure that the needs expressed by the users and the proposed improvements to the alleyway were taken into account.
The sessions provided an opportunity to gather ideas and suggestions for improving the living environment in the neighbourhood, focusing on elements such as solar street lighting, vegetation and good waste management.

A site management system based on a local association
The PRODEV 4 association, representing the local community, played a key role in the planning process, participating in the diagnostic and co-creation activities. The association also contributed to the manufacture and allocation of rubbish bins and flower pots made from recycled materials. Working with this neighbourhood association, which is active and well known in the project area, has helped to ensure the sustainability of the improvements and strengthened community ownership of the project.