Newsletter 3 (Feb 2017): UN increases focus on sustainable transport & land use implications

    The UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 26-27 November 2016, aimed to bring together key stakeholders in sustainable transport, and identify how integrated mobility improvements can contribute to the SDG 2030 goals. The World Bank was represented by Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, SVP of the 2030 Agenda, UN Relations and Partnerships, and Ms Nancy Vandycke, Economic Advisory (Transport & ICT Global Practice) in a 90-minute consultative session on 26 November.


    The conference was organized together with the publication of “Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development” from the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport. Their recommendations prioritize accessibility to needs rather than absolute mobility, which is at the core of TOD strategy:

    • Page 12: “Transport is not an end in itself, but rather a means allowing people to access what they need: jobs, markets and goods, social interaction, education, and a full range of other services contributing to healthy and fulfilled lives… For decades, transport policies focused on providing mobility based on motorized transport and improving traffic speed. Using the word ‘access’ in the context of transport was synonymous with building new roads and other infrastructure mainly benefitting the use of private cars. The motivation was access to transport. With the shift to sustainable transport comes a paradigm-shifting focus on people and their quality of life – the concept of access through transport, as well as increased attention to safety and social equity in transport.”
    • Page 16: The Avoid-Shift-Improve Approach, esp.
      • “Avoiding inefficient or unnecessary travel or transport, where appropriate, e.g. by improved and integrated urban planning, compact city form, transport demand management…”
      • “Shifting travel/transport to improve trip efficiency through most efficient or environmentally friendly mode or combination of modes..”
    • Page 23: “National urban policies that focus on mixed land use, compact city forms and transit-oriented development can advance sustainable transport objectives.”
    • Page 42, under financing: “Introduce innovative approaches, such as land value capture programs, green bond investments, and transit-oriented development grants as applicable and appropriate.”


    According to Ms Vandycke, one of the key deliverables for the World Bank is to develop a “zero draft” that proposes a global tracking framework for the SDGs that brings together global goals for sustainable transport and country-level performance monitoring to achieve 4 goals – access for all, efficiency, safety, and green. The intent is to bring all actors toward a set of common and clear objectives “to generate the transformational changes required for sustainable mobility”.