Getting on the Right Track – the Future of Urban Mobility
Development Finance Forum 2018
The Development Finance Forum is KfW Development Bank's most important annual event that each time focuses on a current topic related to development cooperation. This year it was about sustainable mobility. The meeting was entitled "Getting on the Right Track – The Future of Urban Mobility" and took place on 18 and 19 December at KfW in Frankfurt. Around 200 experts from all over the world attended the congress. In the industrialised countries, the discussion is already in full swing, while in the developing countries it is only just beginning. With the Development Finance Forum, KfW sought to give this debate additional impetus.
The key concepts included expansion of public transport, electromobility, car sharing, mobility apps, expansion of non-motorised transport and integrated urban planning. Only by shifting to sustainable mobility options can we respond adequately to urban growth – accompanied by increasing traffic – without further burdening the climate. It would be the wrong signal to continue to have cities dominated by cars and mopeds. Many urban centres around the globe are already suffocating in traffic jams, suffering from noise and particulate matter and intensifying global warming. In addition, motorized individual traffic also fails to serve the mass of city dwellers who lack the money for their own vehicle.
Satisfying the mobility needs of poorer people in particular is an important prerequisite for economic growth. Only those who are mobile can participate in social and economic life. But at the moment individual transport is still far too much a priority for the wealthier: more than a billion cars are already driving on the roads of the world, and the number continues to rise. This trend must be stopped. Urbanisation offers a good opportunity to do so. Because when cities grow and new districts emerge, this is an excellent time to also look at bus, tram and underground lines, along with cycle paths and walkways and see if they are sufficient.
For this very reason, experts from politics, business, science, non-governmental organisations and development institutions discussed in detail what options developing countries have to keep their growing cities mobile while being environmentally friendly. Only this will allow them to become or remain truly creative, innovative, economically strong and livable centres.