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Philippine Cities Take Lessons from Latin America on Sustainable Urban Mobility

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Mobility in the Metropolitan Manila in the Philippines is a serious concern for millions of commuters who spend many hours  traveling to and from work every day. Public transportation moves 80% of the people, which is among the highest shares in the world. Yet, the preference for public transport is threatened by the increasing use of private vehicles, and the lack of improvements in the speed and comfort of public commuters.

With this background, CDIA together with the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) of the German government and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) organized a seminar-workshop on Sustainable Urban Mobility on 23-24 May 2017, targeting representatives from 5 cities in Metro Manila. It was conducted by Dr. Dario Hidalgo, a mobility expert from Bogotá, Colombia, who leads the Ross Center for Sustainable Cities of the World Resource Institute (WRI) in Washington DC. Dr. Hidalgo delivered an introduction to sustainable urban mobility as a key component of urban development and discussed experiences from Latin American cities.

The seminar brought together 60 participants from the cities of Pasig, Marikina, Quezon, Makati and Taguig; as well as from several national agencies and development partner institutions involved in mobility planning. They had the opportunity to exchange information and discuss complex planning and coordination issues as cities in the Philippines are expected to deliver their respective Local Public Transport Plans soon. Studying the experiences of several mobility reforms made in Latin American cities was very helpful especially that the contexts were similar to the situation in some of the cities in Metro Manila.

“CDIA and TUMI have provided the capacity building opportunity for local governments as it was very focused on empowering and improving the capacities to do their own planning and achieve sustainable development,” said Mrs. Claudia Hermes, GIZ-CDIA Program Coordinator. “We saw from the experiences of Latin American cities that better transport systems allow commuters to save 60 minutes or more of their daily time,” she added.

“The preference by the majority to use public transport is an asset to be preserved, and to do so requires the provision of high quality services to encourage use,” said Dr. Hidalgo.

 

 

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