MobiliseYourCity Asia Regional Event: Urban Mobility for a Just and Low Carbon Transition

asia event

Written by Giuliana AMBROSINO, MobiliseYourCity

Igniting Transformation: MobiliseYourCity Partnership Comes Together in Manila

The first MobiliseYourCity Asia regional event, hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines, has just started today. This three-day event is co-organised by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and ADB. It brings together about 80 participants from the MobiliseYourCity Asia community of practice, including local government officials, mobility practitioners, experts, and partners of MobiliseYourCity.

In the Event's opening session, Sasank Vemuri, Coordinator of the Global Secretariat for the MobiliseYourCity Partnership, emphasised the importance of being in Manila together, taking stock of what has been done so far and which the next steps and results the Partnership wants to achieve are. Benedicte Gazon, AFD Country Director in the Philippines, remarked that “Thanks to MobiliseYourCity, we tackle all project difficulties together, emphasising the importance of global impact through partnerships” and, on the same note, Kanzo Nakai, Director of the Transport Sector Office at ADB, agreed on the importance of the partnership and its role in driving sustainable urban mobility in Asia and highlighted ADB's long-standing commitment to sustainable urban mobility in Asia.

The opening session concluded with a call to action for all stakeholders to work together to accelerate the transition to sustainable urban mobility in Asia.

The morning of the event was marked by the signature of a new Memorandum of Understanding between AFD and ADB, which renewed their interest in working together towards sustainable urban mobility under MobiliseYourCity Asia. Jamie Leather and Reda Souirgi signed the MoU and expressed their commitment to continue working together for Asian cities.


Asia low-carbon transition: challenges, opportunities and good practices

Asia is a Region where the urgency of transitioning to low-carbon transport is becoming increasingly evident. Being home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the world, Asia’s rapid urbanisation is driving up demand for transportation. However, much of this transportation is currently provided by fossil fuel-powered vehicles, which contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Lack of investment in sustainable transport infrastructure and insufficient public awareness of the importance of sustainable transportation have been major challenges to achieving low-carbon transportation in Asia over the years. However, besides the fact that “the route towards zero-emission transport is not a one-way track”, as underlined by Mathias Merforth, Project Manager at GIZ, things are moving. Sudhir Gota, the head of the digital and mobility division at AFD, highlighted that, over the years, infrastructure investment has increased in Asia, which is a sign of the region's interest in sustainable urban mobility.

Asia has already witnessed remarkable examples of cities leading the way in the transition to sustainable urban mobility. The MobiliseYourCity Asia Community of Practice proudly showcased some of these examples. The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) developed in Medan and Peshawar were spotlighted. Both cities have faced several challenges during the development of the SUMP, but in both experiences, the support of the partnership was vital to proceed with the SUMP.

Once the plans have been developed, the challenge remains to implement them. Financing the selected measures and projects is essential to ensure the successful transformation of the mobility system. After completing the SUMPs, MobiliseYourCity Partners continue to support cities to access finance. The Partnership offers specific support for implementing measures related to governance, active modes, and paratransit. The last session of the first day focused on ensuring the implementation of a meaningful SUMP and its success.  The three essential elements that emerged are policy agreement and general political commitment to the cause, attention to the initial and final phase of the development and implementation of the SUM; and awareness of possible adjustments that may be needed according to the needs that arise during the journey. Finally, Syed Hussain Haider- Principal Transport Specialist- just suggested checking MobiliseYourCity SUMP guidelines to have all the directions and answers to possible questions!

Check out the pictures of day one and stay tuned for more updates on the event.