The street has played an major role in cities over time by being a space for mobility, communication, exchange and social interaction. Today, the multi-functionality of the streets is often ignored, they are usually seen as pure links in a road network rather than as public spaces for pedestrians.
A report by the Zanzibar Urban Municipal, Zan plan (2015), indicates that the current road network in Zanzibar town does not adequately support non-motorized transport yet walking is by far the most dominant mode of transport in the town. This has affected the economic activities of this town which require the movement of pedestrians between residential areas and jobs, leisure and shopping. Whereas this is the case, Siravo, (1996), describes the streets of the historic area of Stone town to be narrow and winding through brilliant sunshine into cooling shadows and overally intended for the pedestrians.
This study therefore seeks to examine selected shopping streets within two towns in Zanzibar town; Stone town and Ng'ambo in order analyze their suitability for pedestrians and to ultimately develop guidelines for pedestrian friendly shopping streets.
After, a global survey of urban theories regarding factors that determine the success of pedestrian shopping streets, parameters and variables were identified and are used to conduct the fieldwork. The data collected from the field was done through observations, interviews, questionnaires, measurements and data logging. From the fieldwork findings it is evident that the shopping streets of the historic area of Stone town are more favourable for pedestrians compared to those of the newer town of Ng'ambo. However, they are not completely ideal and could me made better environments for pedestrians.
This study therefore concludes by providing recommendations that address the so called 'modern' challenges facing shopping streets but with considerable lessons being borrowed from the historic area of Stone town which seems to have grasped the concept of pedestrian friendly streets centuries ago. Some of the key recommendations include: total pedestrianization of shopping streets, introduction of a series of social nodes along the street to pull pedestrians, having narrow streets with tall buildings (3 to 4 storeys) high to act as solar buffers and introduction of street furnishings such as sitting areas along the street that can attract pedestrians among many others.