During the last day of the United Nations Habitat III conference that took place 17-20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, member states adopted the New Urban Agenda, which provides countries a 20 year plan for sustainable urban development.
Of note, the document highlights the key role for quality public transport in tomorrow’s cities.
During the conference, UITP, which co-chaired the policy unit responsible for much of the transport text in the adopted New Urban Agenda document, issued four recommendations for following through on urban mobility commitments: the integration of urban design and policy, the increase of public transport services, the management of private car use, and the procurement of adequate funds for needed services.
Public transport is the backbone of urban mobility in most world cities
Additionally, UITP spoke at several of the other events surrounding the Habitat III conference. One key topic discussed was the prominent role mass public transport should still have amidst new, urban mobility trends.
“Public transport is the backbone of urban mobility in most world cities. Everybody likes to talk about new transport services, which is an important conversation to be had, but we have to keep in mind that these services make as many rides in one year as public transport does in one day”, said Mircea Steriu, statistics manager at UITP.
Many of the conference attendees agreed that the New Urban Agenda will be a difficult challenge and that the success of the plan would depend on strong leadership from political decision-makers and politicians at all levels.
In the aftermath of Habitat III, UITP will continue to highlight the value public transport adds to urban areas, and focus its advocacy on creating a supportive framework for integrating urban design and policy.