General Knowledge
UNEP Transport Unit: Patricia Kim and Elisa Dumitrescu
Published in
Submitted by
Sibylle Rupprecht
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
All Regions
All Countries

Share the Road: Investment in Walking and Cycling Road Infrastructure

Cities are in urgent need of a new paradigm for envisioning and implementing sustainable transport. While current roadtransport systems have served as an engine of tremendous economic growth, they have also incurred huge costs in airpollution, emissions of greenhouse gases, injuries and fatalities from road crashes, lost productivity from congestion and,in some cases, the severance of communities. Such problems will be further exacerbated with the projected growth inprivate light-duty vehicles, namely a tripling of the global fleet by 2050, unless we establish cleaner, safer and more efficienttransport systems. This kind of shift is urgent globally, but most acutely in the cities of developing countries where two-thirdsof the growth in motor vehicles is expected to take place and where high rates of urbanisation add to the pressures on theenvironment and society.
Despite the massive benefits of NMT (non-motorised transport), investments by donors and governments still do not sufficiently finance roads andtransport infrastructure to enable safe and enjoyable walking and cycling. The lack of investment in sustainable urbantransport is one of the most blatant gaps in government expenditures, development assistance and climate finance. Sharethe Road draws attention to the missed opportunity and proposes a broad-based partnership to develop the kind ofinvestment policies that will significantly raise the profile and delivery of NMT infrastructure. One possibility lies in linking tothe recommendation of the Commission for Global Road Safety that a minimum 10% of total project costs be allocated to safety, inclusive of NMT infrastructure.

The report puts forth the following key recommendations to the international community, in particular todonors and to governments, for promoting increased investments in walking and cycling infrastructure.

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