With start-up meetings held in Nairobi, Kampala and Addis Ababa in January, UN-Habitat and UNEP have launched a new regional model initiative to promote the implementation of sustainable urban transport solutions in East African Cities.
The project will be implemented by UN-Habitat and will support the national and local governments in the capital cities of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. It will develop and apply strategies for better public transport services, improved infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists and travel demand measures, such as parking management or plans to reduce the need for motorized travel in metropolitan areas.
The meetings in the three project cities were attended by senior government officials, stakeholders from the public transit industry, representatives of development institutions and local universities.
In his keynote remarks at the Nairobi meeting, Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, welcomed the new initiative and emphasized that sustainable urban mobility is critical if we want successful cities.
“Mobility is crucial, especially if we want to take advantage of the multiplier effects of cities”, Clos said and added that the success of productive relationships in cities is immediately linked to mobility.
“In addition to its importance as an urban service for moving people and goods, the transport infrastructure and service sector itself is a significant generator of wealth and employment. It is also important to recognize that “mobility” is more than only designing mass transportation systems since it directly affects the design of cities. Consequently, we have to shift from offering “transport” to “mobility management”.
Representing the UNEP-based Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which is providing funding for the project, Mr. Peerke de Bakker, Task Manager at UNEP-DGEF emphasized that, “If we want to tackle the global problem of rising carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, we have to include the urban transport sector in our responses, especially if we think of the challenge of sustained motorization in fast growing cities of the South.”
“Therefore, we have to support national and local governments in providing attractive low-carbon mobility solutions that represent alternatives to conventional car-based transport strategies”, said de Bakker.
For more information on the project, please contact:
UN-Habitat, Urban Transport Section/Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure Branch
Ph.: +254-20 762-5043
Fax: +254-20 762-3588