There is significant, ongoing rural-urban migration in the region, as people move to urban areas in search of economic opportunities and a better quality of life. As Asian cities develop urban transport systems and infrastructure to cater to the needs of growing urban populations, the rise in transport demand and the use of personal vehicles have led to significant growth in negative externalities in urban areas, such as increased energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and worsening air quality, road safety and congestion.
This priority area focuses on urban transport planning and public transport that can improve accessibility, reliability of service and safety, as well as increase clean and energy-efficient vehicle use. ESCAP uses regional and multistakeholder cooperation, data analysis and technical assistance tools to address:
- Integrated urban and transport planning.
- Efficient, sustainable and resilient urban transport systems.
- Active mobility and non-motorized transport, in particular following the paradigm shift of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Transition to low-carbon public transport.
- First and last-mile accessibility for public transport users.
ESCAP is also supporting the assessment of urban public transport systems using the ESCAP Sustainable Urban Transport Index (SUTI). This framework can support countries and cities in overall mobility planning, allocating resources to improve weak performance against indicators and monitoring improvements.