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Cities and climate

Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI)

Tram in Rabat, Morocco

The rapid growth of cities and the increase in traffic that accompanies such growth are contributing to climate change. The transport sector is responsible for 28 per cent of global end-use energy consumption, and at the same time, it is the sector with the fastest growing emissions. Without a global transformation of the transport sector, the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda cannot be reached.

Together with eight partner institutions, the BMZ launched the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) at the Habitat III Conference. At the centre of the mobility initiative is a climate-friendly, safe and affordable urban mobility infrastructure, which protects the climate and simultaneously provides the poorest sections of the urban population with a means of accessing work, health care and education. Better transport systems for the poor are crucial, as they often live in slums on the edge of the city, while hospitals, schools, and well-paid jobs are predominantly located in the parts of the city that are better developed. Public transport systems, or at least routes that are safe for walking and cycling, are the only means for people living in poorer settlements to access these vital urban services.

Since 2016, TUMI has been supporting the construction and expansion of sustainable mobility systems in developing and newly-industrialised countries. The initiative, for instance, focuses on bus routes, train and subway networks, as well as foot- and bike-paths. In addition, over 1,000 experts and managers from ministries, city administrations and universities in developing and emerging economies are receiving education and training in order to implement practical plans for sustainable mobility in a qualified way. Moreover, TUMI is carrying out a global competition to support innovative pilot projects in small and medium-sized cities.

At the pre-conference to the 2017 International Transport Forum in Leipzig, TUMI offered a platform to promote direct exchanges between city representatives from Germany and those from developing and emerging economies, especially in Africa. The central focus here was on the question of which strategies cities need to adopt to deliver successful change and achieve sustainable mobility.

Cities as pioneers: other examples of Germany's work in the field of urban mobility

Germany has been involved in development cooperation activities on urban mobility for many years – for example in Brazil. The country adopted legislation with guidelines on urban mobility as early as 2012. Germany is supporting the Brazilian ministry in charge of cities in implementing national urban transport policies, targeting transport management and planning in selected cities.

Building on this, four TUMI partners offered special training on sustainable mobility at the 2016 Brazilian city congress for sustainable development. The synergy between national and global projects is to ensure that global challenges, such as climate change, are given more consideration in local urban and transport planning processes.

Another example is India, one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. The country is still in the early stages of a boom in urbanisation. Yet, it is already grappling with enormous population growth rates and high rates of vehicle ownership. KfW is financing an integrated water transport system in the port city of Kochi on behalf of the German government. This system is not only seeking to link the city's many islands by means of energy-efficient ferries, but also to integrate the ferries' schedule and lines with the newly built subway and bus lines. This will give the people in the city better access to work, education and health facilities, while at the same time reducing levels of pollution.


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