CIFAL Hosts Workshop on Financing Sustainable Urban Transport in Asia-Pacific
13 April 2011: A workshop on Financing Sustainable Urban Transport in the Asia-Pacific Region was held from 11-13 April 2011, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for over 20 cities. The workshop was hosted by CIFAL Kuala Lumpur (in French: Centre International de Formation des Autorités/Acteurs Locaux, or International Training Centre for Local Authorities), which is one of UN Institute for Training and Research's (UNITAR) nine CIFAL training centres focusing on building local capacity for sustainable municipal development.
The workshop focused on the theme of financing transport systems and aimed to provide an avenue for the sharing of lessons learned on meeting transport challenges, as well as to provide a platform for local governments to network and develop city‐to‐city cooperation to put the lessons learned into practice. The training integrated sharing of financing plans and lessons learned in planning transport systems. To train participants on key tools in the financial management of transport systems, financing modules from the UNITAR e-Learning course on ‘Sustainable Urban Mobility in Developing Countries' were integrated into the workshop. In addition, sessions were held on, inter alia: the private sector's role in providing green transportation; leadership in urban transportation planning; case study presentations on financing sustainable urban transportation; and planning for buses.
The workshop also included presentations and site visits to new projects from Kuala Lumpur's City Hall and public-private transport enterprises, such as the city's 2011 Integrated Transport Terminal, Bandar Salak Selatan. Using UNITAR's CityShare Methodology, cities also conducted a self-assessment exercise to identify common challenges and successes in upgrading and developing their transport services towards regional success models.
Common challenges identified under this theme of financing were local enforcement of tax policies, debt collection, and other transport violations and fees, as well as difficulties in attracting viable investors for new transport projects in cities located away from capital centres. Common success factors identified included a strong political vision from government leaders, as well as commitment towards using various means to lower carbon emissions, such as green corridors, bicycle programmes, congestion taxes and greener technologies such as liquefied natural gas. Participants agreed that building more roads is not the key, as this leads to more traffic congestion and cars, but rather developing policies and implementing approaches that favor workforces, such as subsidies for transport and upgrading of public transport systems. [UNITAR Press Release] [CIFAL Meeting Brochure]