The first sessions of Transforming Transportation 2013 opened today with a common theme: Big Opportunities. International experts, elected and appointment officials, and a set of key stakeholders kicked-off two days of interactions to discuss these big opportunities in transport as keys to changing urban landscapes and transport globally. Capturing these opportunities for sustainable transport requires “a paradigm shift,” as called for by EMBARQ Director, Holger Dalkmann in his welcoming remarks to 500+ attendees. His call for leveraging the US$175 billion for sustainable transport, committed by multi-lateral development banks (MDBs) at Rio+20 in 2012, was echoed and augmented by other panelist with the need for policy reform within the sector and within government.
“Leveraging this investment will be critical to scaling-up what is a yearly a trillion dollar industry,” stressed Dalkmann. In addition to calling on governments, banks and MDBs, Dalkmann and ITDP director, Michael Replogle, further called for transparency in the delivery of this investment, receiving general approval from the panelists.
Creating a coherent and comprehensive policy for sustainable transport in an increasingly more urban reality has made it “urgent to help cities not lock themselves in unsustainable paths,” urges Jose Luis Irigoyen, a transport economist with the World Bank.
The geographies of sustainable transport are truly global as evidenced by Russian Deputy Transport Minister Nikolay Asaul and the Augusto Barrera, Mayor of Quito, both of whom called for policies that limit car use in cities. Though consensus is not built around the definition of sustainable transport, it was made clear that fostering alternatives to the private auto is the keystone of sustainable policy initiatives.
Transforming Transportation 2013 is a conference on sustainable transport and sustainable urban development co-organized by EMBARQ and the World Bank. Attendees and international experts are invited to engage with speakers and moderators (Google Moderator is available here) to help shape the agenda for the industry. TheCityFix.com will be covering the 2-day event, and also invites you to follow @EMBARQnetwork to receive live updates.