Safe and livable cities start with giving voice to the community


All too often, international development and aid work meant to solve the challenges faced by low-income countries ends up failing to take into account the needs and voice of those who actually live there.

Invariably, local residents are not even consulted as to what solutions they themselves would propose, resulting in international development projects with devastating consequences on the daily lives of communities, from high-speed roads that tear through villages and increase the number of road accidents or buildings that prevent or hinder the economic activity of certain sectors, to urban planning that leads to gentrification or industry that churns out dangerous levels of air pollution, to name just a few examples of good intentions gone wrong.

Daily Journeys in Sub-Saharan Africa

However, cities are still planned for the minority: motorized vehicles

“I feel difficult to walk at night in Stone Town, because it is dark on the streets, there are no lights. Around 7pm up to 9pm is good but beyond that time I do not feel safe, because there are robberies and I am afraid to be raped.”

Zanzibari woman

Kukua Project Safe Cities

Community members as change agents in International development

A safe, livable, breathable and sustainably developed city calls for active participation in planning and development processes by the people who actually live there, with particular care for those most at risk.

What is community participation?

Kukua partners with the local community and all relevant stakeholders to transform cities and communities. We bring together community members, authorities and development specialists with an innovative approach that empowers the local population to develop effective and long-lasting solutions to improve quality of life.

Stakeholder Engagement Plans for Development Projects

Kukua works with international institutions such as the World Bank, multinational corporations and governments to develop and implement stakeholder engagement plans and community participation models to promote sustainable, environmentally safe projects that respond to the real needs of the community.

“Kukua’s work in Zanzibar, both on child safety on their way to school and on public participation in projects with the local administration or World Bank, is very important giving voice to groups that are generally not taken into account such as women, the elderly, people with mobility problems and children.

At the same time making citizens of all walks of life feel involved in the planning process of these development projects. With these participatory processes the projects gather the needs of the different citizens and achieve more accessible and inclusive cities.”

Carlos Cristobal Pinto

expert consultant in public transport and sustainable mobility, SPAIN

What can Kukua offer your development project?

“It should be known that people with disabilities have their special needs, so the social services need to be improved for them.”


What we do

Data collection and studies on number of accidents, consequences, and locations of greatest risk

Education on road risks, providing children with the right road safety knowledge for responsible use

Capacity building for schools, with professional teacher training and driver training for public transport services

Workshops to raise awareness among drivers and cyclists on the consequences of risky road use behavior

Community awareness-raising, promoting active involvement in the search for local solutions to the road safety crisis

Advocacy for the improvement of traffic laws and infrastructure, collaborating with public and private figures on a local and global scale

“The community should know the importance of the women and their contribution to the society.”

Woman during Kukua participatory workshop in Zanzibar

Community Participation Workshops

Kukua gives voice to vulnerable groups such as children, low-income individuals and families, women, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Kukua Project Safe Cities


Women identify unsafe zones and propose safe urban planning solutions; people with disabilities and reduced mobility identify areas with accessibility challenges and propose solutions.

Kukua Project Safe Kids


Children sketch their journey to school identifying unsafe zones due to traffic or predators; children themselves design improved learning and play areas.

Kukua Project Safe Cities


Community members design accessible and attractive public spaces meeting their own needs.

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