SLoCaT Partnership Urges Drafters of New Urban Agenda to Embrace Role of Sustainable Transport in Developing New Urban Agenda

Urban transport systems across the world are already under significant pressure, without a transformation in policy, and step change in effort, they will not be able to cope with the anticipated urban growth. If urban transport fails – urban development will not be sustainable. Lack of access to goods, services and opportunities is often the root cause of urban inequalities. Cities need to set a vision and specific targets for their urban mobility policy – in particular to provide access for all to “safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems” by 2030 (in accordance with the agreed SDG Target 11.2).

To facilitate the integration of sustainable urban mobility into the NUA the SLoCaT Partnership has identified, 5 Key Messages, 5 Specific Requirements for the NUA and 5 “Warning Signs” of unsustainable urban transport. These messages have been prepared and endorsed by the SLoCaT Partnership, following a detailed analysis of the Habitat III Policy Papers, Issue Papers, National Reports, Regional Reports, Regional and Thematic Meetings and the corresponding comments.

We need a massive transformation from the current pattern of “car orientated” development towards improved urban access for all delivered through better planning and a massive increase in public transport, walking and cycling. The transformation should be guided by a common global roadmap that delivers on both the SDG and the Paris Agreement as well as local needs. While the transformation and expansion will require significant investments they will bring significant social, economic and environmental returns.

To enable cities to deliver the significant change required national governments must provide the appropriate national policy frameworks and resources (in particular funding solutions and revenue raising powers). New integrated urban planning must deliver denser, mixed use developments and support the local provision of goods and services to limit the growth in transport demand. The necessary transformation of urban access will require the engagement of all stakeholders (national and local governments, civil society, financial institutions and the private sector). It needs to be developed and implemented through open and inclusive mobility policy and planning processes with the meaningful engagement of all stakeholder – in particular those in marginalised groups.”

5 Key messages on sustainable urban mobility

  • I – Access for All: Urban mobility must ensure “access for all”, especially for marginalised groups, to goods, services and opportunities.
  • II – Convergence: A common global roadmap is required to transform urban mobility and to deliver simultaneously on both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the greenhouse gas reductions agreed (COP21 Paris Agreement) in 2015.
  • III – Massive expansion of public transport, walking and cycling: A massive increase in the capacity of urban public transport and walking and cycling is required – to keep pace with expected increase in demand linked to urban demographic changes and economic growth.
  • IV – Good return on investments: Investments in sustainable urban mobility infrastructure and services deliver long term economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • V – Inclusive policy making: Comprehensive sustainable urban mobility policies and plans must  be developed in open, transparent and inclusive processes.

5 Specific Requirements for sustainable urban transport in the “New Urban Agenda”

  • 1 – The NUA should call on cities to set ambitious targets for safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems by 2030
  • 2 – In the NUA national governments should commit to provide cities with the appropriate, supporting national policy frameworks (including finance) to empower them to deliver SUT solutions.
  • 3- The NUA must call for new forms of integrated land use planning to reduce demand for urban transport and recognise the need to allocate road space to maximise mobility.
  • 4 – The NUA must call on and commit national and city governments and International Financial Institutions´ to provide sufficient and reliable financing as well as incentivise private sector to increase financing for SUT.
  • 5. The NUA should mainstream urban transport in all relevant sections and clarify the roles of the main transport stakeholders.

5 Warning Signs of unsustainable urban transport

  • 1 – Stop and reverse investments in car orientated transport infrastructure
  • 2 – Stop and reverse urban sprawl and low density developments
  • 3  Stop and reverse the lack of dedicated facilities for walking, cycling and public transport.
  • 4 – Stop and reverse high parking requirements for new developments
  • 5 – Stop and reverse unfunded sustainable transport policy mandates for cities

Should you have any questions, or we could be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact: Cornie Huizenga ( and/or Mark Major ( After the Zero Draft is published we will provide specific comments on the text, and will continue to support the process right up until Habitat III.

In addition to our members´ transport events SLoCaT will be hosting a “Transport Day” at PrepCom3 in Surabaya and at Habitat III itself in Quito where the broader transport community will highlight their activities to stimulate sustainable urban mobility, review progress and launch new initiatives. We hope you will be able to join us.