Livable Streets – Merkato, Addis Ababa

Merkato is the most important market centre in Addis Ababa and the whole of Ethiopia. It is located in the centre of the city and has a large concentration of commercial shops, government and private offices, street markets, wholesale markets and warehouses. The Merkato area is regularly frequented by over 400,000 people and 50,000 vehicles per day.

The aim of this project was to improve overall mobility in Merkato. To this end, surveys were carried out on traffic, public transport, freight transport, pedestrians and parking in order to determine the baseline situation for the operation of Merkato. Based on these surveys, 5 concepts for Merkato were developed and evaluated by a number of project experts. All concepts differed in terms of vehicle traffic and the arrangements for public transport, freight transport and private car parks.

The chosen concept provided for more efficient facilities for public transport and freight transport and limited parking facilities for private transport. This efficiency and these restrictions allowed for a significant increase in public space for pedestrian and market facilities.


  • Surveys on public transport, including passengers
  • Surveys on turning traffic
  • Surveys on pedestrian traffic
  • Freight transport surveys
  • Classified cross-section surveys
  • Analysis of existing requirements for pedestrians, public transport, freight and private transport
  • Concept development and evaluation
  • Development of road typologies including sketches
  • Design of junctions
  • Microscopic modelling in Vistro and development of signal timetables in Lisa+ for selected junctions



Addis Ababa City Roads Authority