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With the recent global agreements on climate change mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), transport and urban development specialists are saying that now is the right time to implement green transport projects.

During the Asia Leadership Program’s second Knowledge Sharing Series (KSS) on 19 February 2016, it was acknowledged that the transport sector is among the main contributors of air pollution.  Reducing CO2 emissions would therefore significantly contribute to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

“There has never been a better time to be coming out with low-carbon concepts.  Green freight, inter-city railway, bus rapid transit (BRT), pedestrian facilities, cycle ways, parking management—any of those areas that are promoting a low-carbon path, they are going to get priority,” said Lloyd Wright, ADB’s Senior Transport Specialist.

Wright said that aside from ADB, other mechanisms that provide grants and concessionary loans for these types of projects are the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Climate Investment Funds, and the Green Climate Fund.

'Integrated approach to urban transport planning and management'

Ki-Joon Kim, another Senior Transport Specialist of ADB, highlighted the need to have an integrated approach to urban transport planning and management.

Citing the case of the BRT project in Yichang China, Kim said that the first steps towards integration are to incorporate the public transport project’s physical and operational aspects, as well as intermodal integration.

With the theme “Sustainable Urban Transport: Realizing the New Climate Change Agenda and Initiatives in BRT and Road Safety,” the recent KSS event introduced an innovative approach by having speakers from different parts of the world come together through videoconferencing.  

The speakers and discussants included:

  • Cornie Hulzenga, Secretary General of Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), who was in China;
  • Amit Bhatt of the World Resources Institute (WRI), who was in Washington DC; 
  • Xiaomei Duan, Transportation Director of Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, who was also in China;
  • Dario Hidalgo, Director of Transport Practice for WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, who was in Bogota, Colombia; and
  • Keeyeon Keith Huwang, Professor of Hongik University and former president of the Korea Transport Institute, who was present in the ADB Headquarters in Manila.

The event was also participated by officials from Myanmar and Viet Nam who attended the session online via their respective ADB Resident Missions offices.

The KSS are regular video conferences of the Asia Leadership Program wherein featured speakers and discussants facilitate learning and lessons sharing on topics related to sustainable development and climate change.  It primarily targets the alumni of the Asia Leadership Annual Programs, but is also open to other interested stakeholders.

 

View the full session below

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Sustainable Urban Development: Full Session (19 February 2016)