Urban Mobility Implementation Action Days, Berlin - Day 1

In April 2016 SOLUTIONS held a two-day event that showcased some of the activities of cities working together on sustainable mobility as part of the SOLUTIONS project. It also aimed to take this further into a programme of implementation action delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda, and discuss the steps towards implementation, including concept development, the set-up of pilot projects, finance and policy options.

Urban mobility and the New Urban Agenda

On the 14 April, during the first session of the event, Franz-B Marre from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, together with Ashish Rao-Ghorpade from ICLEI spoke about the role of transport and mobility in delivering on the New Urban Agenda.  Rao-Ghorpade, in his presentation (available here) said that the New Urban Agenda should mobilise and facilitate the transformative potential of every community and jurisdiction to advance the national and global goals and commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals.

Programmes and initiatives to deliver on the New Urban Agenda

In the next session a number of short presentations were given on programmes, networks and initiatives on sustainable urban mobility in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Insa Eekhoff from GIZ introduced the German Partnership for Sustainable Urban Mobility, and partner for supporting international dialogue and cooperation in mobility and logistics. Debashish Bhattacharjee from UN-Habitat presented the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative, which pledges to phase out conventionally fuelled vehicles and increase the share of electric vehicles in cities to at least 30% by 2030 and achieve a 30% reduction of CO2 emissions in urban areas by 2050.

Ivo Cre spoke about the Polis Global Platform, which fosters cooperation between European cities and their counterparts from all over the world to learn about European urban transport research and best practice; while the EcoMobility Alliance, a group of cities creating and implementing urban mobility strategies that prioritise people and the environment, was presented by ICLEI’s Itzel Obregon.

Carly Koinage talked about UNEP’s Share the Road programme, which promotes and supports systematic investments in walking and cycling road infrastructure, while Dr. Gerd Rücker from DLR-PT presented on the international cooperation opportunities of the Federal German Ministry of Education and Research and the number of funding calls that are made available.

Sustainable urban mobility in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America

The following session presented concepts on sustainable urban mobility solutions. Himadri Das from WRI India together with Rao-Ghorpade spoke about first and last mile connectivity in Cochin, India, while Shritu Shrestha from the Wuppertal Institute addressed how non-motorised transport is faring in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Stephanie Holzworth from UN-Habitat explained how the city of Ruiru in Kenya is taking steps to put people at the heart of sustainable urban mobility planning through a number of different initiatives, and Dirk van Amelsfort from WSP presented how, using the examples of Stockholm and Gothenburg, they are helping to implement road-user charging in Jakarta, Indonesia, to ease severe traffic congestion.

Next Marcelo Cintra do Amaral and Eveline Prado Travisan from BHTRANS described what they were doing to support cycling in Belo-Horizonte, while Michael Glotz-Richter from Bremen, spoke about his experiences during city-to-city co-operation under the SOLUTIONS project.

Road-mapping session

The final session of the first day focused on the key thematic areas for further international co-operation on sustainable urban mobility, which included a panel discussion on the key topics and methodologies to foster urban mobility action, and the key areas where international cooperation can add value to urban mobility action.


Urban Mobility Implementation Action Days – Day 2

The first session of the final day of the SOLUTIONS event addressed urban mobility in action, specifically implementing sustainable mobility solutions and the role of international cooperation. The panel discussion included highlights from Europe, Asia and Latin America, and addressed the common challenges of cities; identified where the differences were; discussed what makes solutions really transferable and the key criteria for transferability; and what Europe and Germany can learn from other parts of the world.

The following session presented a number of solutions that have been identified and how they were currently being pursued. Saúl Alveano from WRI Mexico spoke about public transport and non-motorised transport infrastructure, and gave examples of successful initiatives on 30 km/h zones and pedestrian infrastructure.

Susanne Böhler -Baedeker from Rupprecht Consult discussed how sustainable urban mobility planning can help cities address their transport problems and improve the quality of life of citizens, while Annick Roetynck from AVERE and Florian Kressler from Austria Tech explained how cities can embrace and promote electric vehicles. Kristian Brink from NextBike, meanwhile, gave an update on how the public bike rental manufacturer was progressing around the world.

SOLUTIONS e-learning: reflections from the e-learning winners

Following a coffee break, the conference was introduced to the two most active participants in the SOLUTIONS e-learning programme, Portugal's João Sancho and Zheng Chuan Yap from Malaysia, who as their prize won a trip to be present at the event in Berlin. Together with Kristin Tovaas from Rupprecht Consult – who presented the results of the SOLUTIONS e-learning courses - they took part in a discussion on how online learning can be used to foster broader international cooperation on sustainable urban mobility

The conference participants then split into three groups for a “walk-shop”, discussing during a walk around Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei  how to develop a concept for a sustainable mobility solution into a pilot project and then into a larger bankable project.

The next steps towards implementation

After lunch a panel discussion with city representatives and practitioners discussed the barriers and opportunities to implementing pilot and large-scale projects. The panellists were asked where they saw the main obstacles to turning a good project concept into reality, if local funding would be available if there is sufficient political will, and whether external funding would help even if there wasn’t sufficient political support.

The final session of the day focused on cities, networks and policy partners developing an implementation programme for urban mobility action, specifically how to join forces to boost local implementation action and identifying cities, concepts, partners and programmes to keep up the momentum.

Sabine Drees from the Association of German Cities spoke about the Connective Cities initiative, an international community of practice for sustainable urban development, Chee  Anne G. Roño from Clean Air Asia spoke about the Cities Clean Air Partnership, Arzu Tekir from WRI spoke about Impact at Scale and Claudia Kiso presented on European Mobility Week.