The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have engaged G20 leaders on ways to unlock the potential for green urban transport in a joint policy paper, Cities at a Crossroads: Unlocking the Potential for Green Urban Transport. This paper, commissioned by the G20 Mexican Presidency, lays out a set of new initiatives which were supported in the G20 Leader's Declaration.This paper places urban transport in the overarching context of the rapid urbanization underway in developing countries, and how it can be harnessed to support a greener and more sustainable development path. Over the next forty years, the world’s urban population is expected to increase by 2.8 billion, with the majority in low- and middle-income countries. Cities are the drivers of global growth; they also contribute 70 percent of energy-related carbon emissions, most of which come from transport.
Developing countries still face a large gap in transport infrastructure. However, there is more than one way to span this gap: low-emission public transport or a car-dependent model. If public transport is included as a major part of the modal structure in urban mobility, there is no trade-off between a low-emission transport sector and rapid growth of cities.
The World Bank and ADB have identified six critical – and challenging – aspects to ensure the sustainability of urban transport systems:
- Visionary leadership and political will
- An integrated strategy for land use and urban transport
- Local technical and administrative capacity to implement transport solutions
- Regional transport coordination across government levels
- Cost-recovery to cover long-run variable costs
- Private participation in the operation and construction of urban transport systems.
In 2011, total multilateral development bank commitments for urban transport amounted to US$4.3 billion (or 20 percent of total transport commitments). Regionally, urban transport lending has been concentrated in two regions: East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Bank, ADB, and the Inter-American Development Bank have been the largest financiers in urban transport in recent years. Guided by a new infrastructure strategy, the World Bank Group will continue to seek opportunities for transformational impact in expanding cities.
For more information on this effort - Changing Gears: Green Transport for Cities.
For additional information concerning the World Bank's support to the 2012 G20 Leader's Summit in Los Cabos - G20 Leaders's Summit 2012: Papers and Reports