Tough Questions, Smart Answers

New Challenges, Same Urgency 

As the urgency of taking action towards sustainable, low carbon transport becomes increasingly apparent in the face of deepening climate and sustainability challenges, our community must position itself as a leader in implementing context-adapted cost-effective solutions. 

From the challenges associated with achieving a just transition, leaving behind our current unsustainable patterns of economic behaviour, to overcoming the impact of the global health crisis on sustainable mobility, there are certainly many tough questions that the transport sector is currently grappling with which require meaningful answers. It is from within our Partnership and the wider sustainable, low carbon transport community, as well as from an enhanced collaboration with other communities, that such answers can be found. 

In the spirit of addressing tough questions to find smart answers, SLOCAT is committed to enabling collective knowledge, advocacy, dialogue, and engagement to catalyse the necessary transformation of our transport and mobility systems.

Photo from Unsplash/Minh Pham
Photo from ICLEI/CityTalk
Photo from Unsplash/Minh Pham

Creative Activities, Useful Tools

A series dedicated to enhancing cooperation within the community, among its sectors and modes, and between transport and other communities.

A blog series featuring opinion pieces on sustainable, low carbon transport.

Informative webinars around key climate and sustainability processes and engagement opportunities.

Recent Highlights

Shared by Henrik Nolmark, Director, Volvo Research and Educational Foundations

We need to encourage young leaders and experts to listen and learn beyond their comfort zones. Hanging with your peers, following your well-known information and learning channels is absolutely fine, but to deepen our understanding of context and how to drive transition we also have to meet people with other perspectives.”

Shared by Sheila Watson, Deputy Director, FIA Foundation

We in the sustainable mobility community know what needs to be done. We have been arguing for it for years. This is our moment to bring all of that knowledge to bear, and to press the case to governments, policymakers and the public alike that a sustainable city, with clean and low carbon mobility is one that works for ourselves, our communities and our planet.”

Two generations of SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport come together to discuss the ongoing challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transport and mobility. Each Young Leader zooms in on the solutions to the crisis on which they are working, and their expectations for the future of mobility after the pandemic subsides.

Shared by Kalpana Viswanath, Co-Founder and CEO, Safetipin

“Not everyone can work from home – it is the privilege of certain kinds of occupations. Factory workers, domestic workers, health workers, street vendors, the hospitality sector  – in reality all blue collar workers as well as those in the informal sector, will need to venture out of their homes to be able to earn money and survive.”

Shared by Aimee Gauthier, Chief Knowledge Officer, ITDP

“Now is the moment when we need to come to terms with transportation as political… We as a sector have had a harder time coming to terms with transportation as values, as power dynamics writ large through our cities, as manifestations and perpetuators of historical and current inequities, including colonialism, racism, xenophobia, etc.”

Shared by Sergio Avelleda, Director of Urban Mobility, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

“Public budgets must consolidate the amounts spent on individual motorised transport. This is the first step to qualify the discussion on funding measures for public transport based on charging the use of cars and motorcycles. Expenses with individual motorised transport should be presented in a single budget line so as to give visibility and transparency to the expenditures.”

Shared by François Davenne, Director General, UIC

UIC has launched the COVID-19 Task Force, which held its kick-off meeting by video conference on 5 March 2020. Since then, and in the spirit of sharing current practices, UIC members and partner organisations have provided the Task Force with relevant information leading to the publication of a series of guidance documents.

Shared by Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21

“COVID-19 forcibly separated us, but it should also bring us together: both the energy and transport sectors need to cooperate to seize this unusual moment, so that we put in place innovative strategies and policies that allow people and goods to be transported cleanly and efficiently – and better than before.”

Shared by Mohammed Alsayed, Manager, Public Private Partnership Division at Islamic Development Bank, and published in the IsDB SDG Digest Special Edition on COVID-19

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) allocates US$ 2.3 billion for its Group Strategic Preparedness and Response Programme for COVID-19 pandemic which aims to support Member Countries’ efforts to prevent, contain, mitigate and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Written by Tsu-Jui Cheng, on behalf of Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General

“Public transport is keeping cities moving through the crisis, getting essential workers to their jobs and supporting essential services. However, this is high risk work for drivers and operators even as they step up use of personal protective equipment and hygiene measures.”

Shared by Bronwen Thornton

SLOCAT Board Chair and Walk21 CEO

“Our shoes are the essential low carbon ‘vehicles’ that need priority over other modes, to get the world back on its feet and provide the foundation for the recovery of all other sustainable mobility and more liveable urban streets and public spaces for everyone.”

Transport and mobility can play a central role in improving the quality of life. In this Fireside Chat episode of Let’s Talk Transport, experts from the sustainable, low carbon transport community, together with others working on public health, air quality, and behaviour change, discussed these topics in light of complex societal challenges.

This global health crisis is a game changer, shining a light on the inextricably linked social, economic, and environmental matters our societies must crucially address, as well as on our poor emergency management and preparedness. Against this backdrop, the sustainable, low carbon transport community must capitalise on the nerve struck by this emergency and evolve our narratives, advocacy efforts, and interaction with other communities in the interest of integrated approaches.