HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

Street, Market, and Open Public Spaces Implementation Projects


Public spaces, such as open public spaces, markets, and streets in low and middle-income countries are used for public life, commerce and interaction. However, lack of funds, planning, and maintenance, as well as priority for motorized vehicles, has turned many public spaces into unsafe, unforgiving and unconnected places.  In order to address this problem, we implemented pilot public space projects in:

  • Africa – Accra, Ghana; Niamey, Niger; and Kampala, Uganda
  • Asia – Dhaka, Bangladesh; Calicut and Kochi, India; HoiAn, Vietnam;
  • South America – São Paulo, Brazil.

The local partners we work with in each of these cities have strong, constructive relationships with local government officials and the community. In addition, the projects were a mix of public spaces and each reflect a different focus area or target population.  This provided us an opportunity to learn by testing different approaches that can potentially be applied to different communities and countries.



Accra, Ghana; Niamey, Niger; Kampala, Uganda; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Calicut, India, Kochi, India, HoiAn, Vietnam, São Pualo, Brazil



March 2018 to February 2019

Expected Results

The ultimate outcome that this project will contribute is improved safety, inclusivity and accessibility of public spaces for all, which supports more compact, integrated and connected, socially inclusive cities and neighbourhoods in partner cities.  This specific project resulted in:

  • 11049 people using the new public spaces
  • 210 improvements made to the eight public spaces chosen
  • 4486 hours of volunteer time contributed
  • 2034 hours of government official time donated
  • $466,500 government inkind financial committed to further improve the space

The impact of these small pilot projects are already proving to be far-reaching as several cities have committed to improving public spaces in their cities through better design using a participative approach and by allocating budget. The partners have all expressed happiness and excitement for the results of their projects and will continue to work on public spaces as part of their regular work.