New collaboration aims to make cities better places to live and work.
The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN–Habitat) and EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s center for sustainable transport, are partnering to create more sustainable cities by working to provide universal access to safe, clean and affordable transport. The new initiative will focus on the needs of poor and vulnerable groups, and finding more ways to incorporate transport into broader land use planning and implementation.
The two groups signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase collaboration on sustainable urban mobility. The MOU was signed by Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ Director, and Dr. Joan Clos, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, during the World Urban Forum.
“EMBARQ has an ambitious goal to ensure that 200 cities, mostly in emerging economies, will adopt sustainable mobility into urban development by 2016,” Dalkmann said. “This partnership will help us reach millions of people worldwide and provide them with opportunities to live and work in a safe, clean and attractive urban environment, with easy access to high-quality transport systems that benefit both the environment and the economy.”
Under the terms of the MOU, both partners agree to build a network of experts that will collaborate on sustainable urban mobility solutions, including financing and funding opportunities, capacity building, knowledge management, research and joint participation at international events.
The first joint publication under this partnership, “Quick Guide: Establishing a Multi-Stakeholder Forum for Urban Mobility,” was released today at the World Urban Forum. This is one of a series of four step-by-step guides aimed at city officials seeking to improve urban mobility.
“Sustainable transport systems are extremely important for the productivity and livability of our cities,” said Dr. Clos. “The new cities of the 21st Century should be designed to drive growth and prosperity and our partnership with EMBARQ offers emerging economies an opportunity to put efficient, safe and clean transport at the heart of urban planning.”
As least 15 voluntary commitments were made at the recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) around sustainable transport. These included a Voluntary Commitment facilitated by UN-Habitat on “Building Institutional and Political Capacity for Sustainable Urban Mobility.” The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also announced transport as a building block in his “Action Agenda” for the development of a post-2015 Framework for Sustainable Development.
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The World Resources Institute is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. We work with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. WRI’s transformative ideas protect the earth and promote development because sustainability is essential to meeting human needs and fulfilling human aspirations in the future. www.wri.org
EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s center for sustainable transport, catalyzes and helps implement sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities. www.embarq.org
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme is the United Nations agency for housing and urban development. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. www.unhabitat.org
Erica Schlaikjer, EMBARQ, Tel. +1 (202) 729-7722, email@example.com
Jeanette Elsworth, UN-Habitat, Tel. +39 (0) 34 54 73 64 88
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