Access to business, health, education and other basic services is becoming difficult in many developing cities due to a deteriorating transport environment. Also, worsening air and noise pollution, decreasing safety levels and overloaded transport systems are having a severe impact on the economy, social life and ecological conditions in a city. In many cases public transport systems and facilities for non-motorised transport users such as pedestrians and cyclists are particularly prone to negligence and under-funding. The urban poor who rely on these systems are seriously affected by this neglect and poor urban mobility management. Furthermore, transport problems are tending to worsen with economic development. Increasing motorisation is also leading to rising levels of harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, severely affecting the global climate.
Still, many developing cities exhibit a high population density, low levels of motorisation, relatively high public transport and bicycle usage, and generally mixed land uses. Such characteristics, while increasingly under the threat of rapid motorisation and urban sprawl, constitute a solid potential basis for sustainable urban development. Policy decisions today need to ensure that these cities retain these characteristics and keep or increase the share of sustainable transport modes.
To steer urban transport policy in a more sustainable direction, several challenges have to be tackled. In many cases, these challenges include:

  • Lack of appropriate information on good practice, innovative mobility solutions and data available to decision makers
  • Lack of appropriate capacity of staff on the municipal and national level to plan and implement sustainable transport projects
  • Lack of sufficient and sustainable funding to support the above
  • Low level of public participation in the formulation of urban transport strategies and car-oriented lifestyle of decision makers

This situation has reinforced the need for diffusion of information, capacity building and city assessment, and the need to compliment political will with technical expertise and know-how. It is to respond to these needs, that GIZ developed the Sustainable Urban Transport Project- SUTP on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

SUTP’s main objective is to assist developing world cities achieve their sustainable transport goals, through the dissemination of information about international experience, policy advice, training and capacity building and targeted work on sustainable transport projects within cities. The project started on 24 March 2003. It is hosted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its offices are located in Eschborn, Germany and Delhi, India.
The main activities of the project include:

  • Resources: Developing and disseminating resources on all aspects of sustainable urban mobility, which includes the SUTP Sourcebook series, Case Studies and Technical Documents as well as photo and video galleries on urban mobility
  • Capacity building: Designing and conducting training courses for organizations in developing cities, and providing an online guide to available training courses of partner organizations
  • Policy advice and international exchange: Together with partners, GIZ-SUTP provides policy advice on sustainable urban transport and supports the international exchange on best practice and innovative solutions for urban mobility (e.g. by participating in conferences, workshops and other forms of international dialogue)

The guiding principles of SUTP are “Avoid, Shift, Improve” (A-S-I): Avoid the need to travel e.g. through smart land use planning, Shift to more sustainable modes of transport such as transit or cycling, and Improve the efficiency of vehicles and the transport system in general. The SUTP webpage is available in three langugages (English, Spanish, Chinese), while many documents prepared have been translated in as much as seven languages.

SUTP is working closely with other GIZ projects implemented on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) , the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and others. An overview on partner projects implemented by GIZ can be found here. In addition, SUTP is working with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental partners.

Partnerships established and being developed include (in alphabetical order):

Our activities in a nutshell: The SUTP flyer

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