Five key findings from five years of implementation


With ongoing projects in 34 countries, our member cities and countries are diverse. Taking a bird eye view for the Global Monitor 2021 gave us 5 key findings.

1) We work in a quickly-changing, complex environment

MobiliseYourCity Members tend to be large, fast growing cities. In the 31 cities where the MobiliseYourCity Partners are supporting Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), the average urban population is over 2.5 million with a growth rate over 2% - compared to, for example, Germany’s annual growth in urban population of just under 0.2%.

Despite a large diversity of institutional and political contexts, a number of our members face several shared policy and fiscal constraint: at least 7 cities do not have any existing transport plan; at least 6 do not have the mandate to finance public transportation through their local budgets; at least 8 have no access to international financing due to regulatory and legal restrictions; and more than half face medium or high risk to the impacts of climate change.

2) Public transport dominates both investment needs and finance mobilised for implementation

The aggregated investment requirement for the full implementation of  7 completed or nearly completed SUMPs is 9 billion euros, of which almost 80%, or €6,730 million euros, is needed for public transport infrastructure. About 700 million euros that were leveraged was secured for public transport investments earmarked as priority in these SUMPs: more than 500 million euros for mass public transport infrastructure and an additional 200 million euros for procuring public transport vehicles. These investments include metro lines, BRT and bus corridors, cable cars, tramlines, stations/hubs/depots, and a large number of rolling stock, i.e. vehicles.

3) Paratransit is a key sub-sector to address for more inclusive and green urban mobility in MobiliseYourCity geographies  

Through the urban mobility diagnosis conducted as an essential phase of every SUMP and NUMP, MobiliseYourCity is helping local and national authorities to close this knowledge gap in order to make informed decisions on how to improve this vital sub-sector. For example, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 72% of buses operate at the margin of the law. In other words, the majority of public transport services in Dominican Republic's capital is informal. In Douala, Cameroon, paratransit services capture 65% of all motorised trips. And approximately 200 thousand Jeepneys operate in the Philippines and generate 15.5% of the transport sector’s GHG emissions. 

Decarbonising paratransit vehicles is essential for greening the entire transport system. Paratransit fleets are found by the tens of thousands throughout cities in the Global South. They are characterised by small scale vehicules fleets, usually highly polluting and in many cases road-unworthy. Many vehicles surpass an age of 15 years. The results: air pollution, GHG emissions, unsafe and uncomfortable operations. The Philippines Urban Mobility Policy (PUMP) has shown that to electrify paratransit, it needs first to be professionalised and modernised in terms of improved business models, organization, labour conditions and regulatory frameworks. Currently, paratransit operators lack the knowledge, financial resources, and incentives to become electric. The adopted SUMPs in Douala, Yaoundé, and Santo Domingo and the Tunisian and Philippines National Urban Mobility Plans (NUMPs) are helping to create the ideal conditions through the identification of systemic approaches for paratransit reform and integration. 

4) Walking is often one of the most important means of movement to the residents of our member cities, and SUMPs helping to mobilising finance to increase its attractiveness and safety

The SUMP approach ensures that walking is not overlooked in urban transport planning and, just as importantly, our standard terms of reference ensures that walking is also considered during investment planning. Twenty-six of our member cities have some level of information on modal share, of which 18 have data specific to walking; and all of them show that walking is a key transport mode, especially for the poorest.

In some of our member cities like Casablanca and Dakar, a significant majority of all trips within the city are made by foot; in these cases approximately 60% and 70% respectively. Even in cities such as Kochi and Nagpur where a relatively low percentage of trips are made by foot, at 12% and 10%, walking is still an essential way for people to get to where they want and need to go.

While nearly 60% of the investment needed for walking infrastructure that was identified for the SUMPs has been mobilised, the Partnership would like to do more on this topic, which is why this theme also has a prominent position in the new strategy for the Partnership. 

5) Despite being limited in most of our members cities, cycling has great potential for growth

Latin America continues to be at the forefront of cycling. In the Brazilian cities of Baixada Santista and Teresina, cycling accounts for 15% and 12% of total trips, respectively. In Asia, the city of Mandalay, which is historically a cycling city, has also a relatively high modal share of 22% for cycling. Beyond these handful of cities, most other MobiliseYourCity members are not making the most of cycling. 

Unexpectedly, the significant disparities between cities does not seem to be solely linked to the climate and topography of the cities. While the champions of cycling are relatively flat cities (Mandalay, Teresina, Baixada Santista), other cities with similarly favourable topographical and climatic conditions, such as Dakar, Antofagasta, have almost no cycling.

Further work should help to highlight how much enabling factors, such as developing cycling infrastructure that enables safe and efficient travel, providing e-bike options or promoting cycling to users, can be used to significantly increase the use of cycling as an attractive, safe and healthy means of transport.

Thrilled about what you’ve learned? Discover many more key facts and successes in our Global Monitor 2021