The Sustainable Urban Mobility in Asia (SUMA) program is supported by the Asian Development Bank through a grant from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. SUMA is implemented by the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities Center (www.cleanairnet.org/caiasia), in partnership with EMBARQ - the World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport (http://embarq.wri.org), GTZ Sustainable Urban Transport Project ( www.sutp.org), Interface for Cycling Expertise (www.cycling.nl), Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (www.itdp.org), and United Nations Center for Regional Development (www.uncrd.or.jp/est)
Year 2008, from the urban transport perspective, can be considered as a pivotal year as many countries began to realize the impact of transport on quality of life. The issues concerning urban transport received good media coverage thanks to Beijing Olympics, fuel price hike, continued air pollution and congestion problems, as well as climate change. In order to get results quickly, many cities are contemplating on a mix of carrot and stick policies such as increasing investments both on roads and public transport, fuel subsidies and congestion charging, and tightening new tail-pipe emissions standards while still struggling to implement in-use emissions standards, etc. The impact of such actions would be more visible and measurable in the future years but considering the year 2008, what is the status of urban transport? How did year 2008 rate on sustainable urban transport in Asia? What were the issues and the challenges?
At the end of the year when we in CAI-Asia try to recapture the highlights of 2008 related to urban transportation, air quality, and climate change, we can see many stories and images with mixed feelings of hope and despair. Some of the significant events/news/issues of 2008 are summarized below for policy makers, researchers, NGOs and other stakeholders working on SUT issues in Asia.
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For comments, questions, and suggestions, please write to Sudhir Gota ([email protected]).