Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport

This is a literature review on public transport


This document reports the results of a literature review undertaken as part of a larger project focused on harnessing land values as a way of funding urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. The field of the literature review was public transport infrastructure in Sub-Saharan African cities. The questions that guided the literature review included:

  • What role do public transport systems play in facilitating the productivity of city economies, and the provision of equitable access to city labour markets?
  • What is the state of public transport systems in Sub-Saharan African cities, and through what historical processes did the status quo emerge?
  • What alternative approaches to improving/reforming existing public transport systems have been implemented or considered, and where implemented, what is the evidence of their impact?
  • What are the implications of the different approaches to public transport system improvement/reform for financing arrangements, and equity?

It is concluded that the available literature, while showing encouraging growth in recent years, has many gaps. Much attention is still required to explore the details of contextually appropriate mechanisms for public transport improvement and reform, and to record the many challenges and lessons that existing programmes have encountered. The distributional equity and city productivity impacts of different approaches to improvement and reform are also poorly demonstrated, as are the institutional preconditions for success.


Urban infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa – harnessing land values, housing and transport: literature review on public transport

Published 1 January 2015