Capacity building and networking for climate- and people-friendly mobility

Current urbanization trends in the Global South are exerting unprecedented pressure on the urban mobility systems. In fact, many developing cities see a decline in the modal share of active mobility and public transportation as cities are increasingly automobile-dominated. The transport sector is already one of the highest CO2-emitting sectors representing 23% of global emissions; lack of strategic action may exacerbate the situation, causing more health, safety and equity issues.

While city administrations plan and implement policies and plan to improve mobility services and infrastructure, one of the common challenges is the lack of direct feedback on the effectiveness of the system. It is commonly acknowledged that the need to measure is critical to avoid ineffective solutions. Hence, to make ecomobile modes of transport attractive, such services not only need to be planned and operated well, they also need to be assessed on a continual basis.

The overarching goal of the “CitiesSHIFT: Capacity building and networking for climate- and people-friendly mobility”project is to support cities to identify challenges and opportunities of urban mobility system in hope that the city could shift towards more ecomobile modes of travel i.e. walking, cycling, shared and public transport. To achieve this goal, the project will work with six selected project cities from China, India and Uganda through three intervention points:

Performance measurement

The EcoMobility SHIFT+ is an updated methodology designed for cities to measure the performance in urban mobility and make informed decisions based on the areas that need improvement. Upon completing the SHIFT+ assessment, cities will be better positioned to create and strengthen mobility plans by making informed decisions.

(Note: The EcoMobility SHIFT+ is an updated version of the EcoMobility SHIFT methodology which was developed in 2013 for European cities. The updated SHIFT+ is customized for both developed and developing countries.)

Capacity building

This project strengthens institutional capacity through thematic working groups, workshops, and mentor program by peer city to facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer amongst project cities, EcoMobility Alliance cities and with external partners.

Global dissemination

Learning outcomes and experiences are collated and disseminated in through knowledge products and at international workshops/ conferences. The goal is to encourage other cities to replicate the process.

Project cities



Population: 70,219 (2014 census)
Situated in Wakiso District in the south west of Kampala



Population: 72,931 (2014 census)
81 kilometers east from Kampala, has the second largest economy in the country



Population: 1,728,128 (2011 census)
Known as Vizag, is Andhra Pradesh’s largest city



Population: 1,618,879 (2011)
The fastest growing city in the State of Punjab in northern India

Thematic Working Groups

A key part of the project includes capacity building, which is delivered through thematic working groups. A thematic working group (TWG) is a small group of cities and experts dedicated to finding practical solutions for a particular need or a topic related to sustainable urban mobility/ ecomobility.

The primary objective is to provide cities a platform to collectively deliberate on several issues of ecomobility and find ways forward to implement them in cities. Activities in the TWG include webinars and face-to-face workshops, peer-to-peer learning and sharing and access to resources. The two TWGs established are:

Building a healthy living environment

Urban form and sustainable mobility system contribute to a healthy urban environment. Studies have shown how urban sprawl and poor urban form induces automobile-dependent travel culture, which in turn contributes to poor air quality, unsafe environment, and unhealthy lifestyle and at extreme cases, the mental stress of urban dwellers. There is a strong linkage between transportation, health, and climate resilience. This TWG helps cities to get a big picture of what the residents need and the kind of city that the policymakers would like to create. In this context, three main aspects will be addressed: managing urban form and public space to benefit all residents; providing integrated, multimodal and ecomobile travel options that prioritize active mobility and the use of public transport and considerations on informal transport.

Emerging mobility trends

The emerging mobility trends that cities have seen in recent years range from electric mobility to shared mobility systems, presenting new opportunities to reduce individual ownership and usage of private vehicles. As local governments are regulating the industry to create a level playing field, consideration of the needs of commuters is necessary. The goal of this TWG is to support local governments to understand the different policy and market drivers to maximize the benefits of electric mobility and new mobility services to support an ecomobile vision.


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