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Regional Program on Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
April 8, 2005. Washington DC.

The seminar took place at World Bank headquarters in Washington on April 8, 2005. It was attended by over 60 participants, including Latin American government officials at the local and national level, members from International NGOs and academia, and World Bank officials. The main objective of the workshop was to discuss the future of transport in Latin American cities and the need to implement policies that are sustainable aiming at:

  • Reduction of GHG emissions by promoting public transport and non-motorized means of transportation, improving transportation efficiency, reduction of km traveled, and changes to cleaner sources of energy
  • Integration of land uses and transportation systems into a city development strategy that benefit the majority of the population.

In the afternoon, the Regional Program on Sustainable Transport and Air Quality was presented by the World Bank and received the feedback from participants. The regional urban transport and air quality program will focus on providing assistance and funding for innovative projects to: (1) improve transport efficiency, reduce local and GHG emissions; (2) promote long term shift to more efficient and less energy intensive modes of transport; (3) coordinate land-use and transport planning to reduce dependency on motorized transport, especially cars, through land use policies that increase the number of accessible opportunities within a short distance; and, (4) implement cost-effective transport solutions, manage mobility more efficiently, reduce congestion and provide equality of access to transport for the entire community.

As a result, most participants showed great interest in the Regional Proposal and appreciated the approach the Bank is taking by introducing a more comprehensive urban mobility and environment strategy that includes the integration of land uses with other means of transport, with especial emphasis on public transport and non-motorized modes of transport.

Summary of conclusions:

- Decision makers were urged by Lerner to start making projects. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best design, as long as we start executing projects aimed at improving transportation and urban life.

- Cities such as bogota are investing a lot in their people – the money they have for infrastructure they are using mostly to improve infrastructure related to expanding sidewalks and making parks (make the city more livable) and to reduce the dependence on automobile.

- There were 3 suggestions we should follow to improve the life in the cities: (i) separate our garbage, (ii) use our cars less, (iii) live closer to work.

- Importance of air pollution – benefits gained from reducing GHG should be enough to make projects interesting for private investors (rate of return close to 80%)

- Some of the most urgent comments from the participants were to start doing something, we don’t gain anything from spending several years making the most beautiful studies if we don’t move and start building. It doesn’t matter if the work is not perfect, we need to act now.

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Session 1: Welcome

Letitia Obeng, Director of Strategies and Operations, LCRVP
John Redwood, Director of Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, LCSES
John Henry Stein, Director of Finance, Private Sector, and Infrastructure, LCSFP

Session 2: What do we want? A Vision for Transport, Environment and Urban Development

What is the Banks vision in implementing integrated urban transport, environment and urban development projects and why is this so important? What key stakeholders where and need to be involved? What where some of the key factors for success and what are some of the challenges?
Moderator: John Redwood (LCSES)
Speakers: Abel Mejia (LCSEN), Jose Luis Irigoyen (LCSFT

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Session 3: What have we learned? Experiences from Latin America. CAI-LAC and Bank Projects

During this session, a number of experiences and lessons learned will be presented discussed in this session. A number of cities have been successful in implementing integrated strategies that include development and transport planning, but many have not. Lesson learned and World Bank and GEF experiences in urban transport projects in several Latin American cities will be key for the success of this program. The Clean Air Initiative for Latin America, a partnership launched by the World Bank that includes the main Latin American cities, bilateral agencies and the private sector can play a pivotal role and disseminate the knowledge and enhance capacity in the region to address transport, energy efficiency and air pollution problems.
Moderator: Abel Mejia (LCSEN)
Speakers: Jaime Lerner (Curitiba), Oscar Díaz (ITDP)

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Session 4: What do we need? Importance and challenges with integrated sectorial strategies

The regional strategy focuses on promoting long term modal shift to more efficient modes of transport. Although many local policies, plans, and programs may be oriented to promote efficient transport, there are normally many barriers in the actual implementation of these plans and/or related projects. This session will focus on the feedback from local stakeholders and government agencies regarding challenges related to lack of support from local political groups and stakeholders (i.e. transport operators), market risks (i.e. concession bidding), performance risks (i.e. tariffs and demand), technology risks and financial restrains? Latin American experts will present and discuss some of the needs of cities and help to introduce innovative interventions that integrate environment, transport and urban development concerns into a common framework.
Moderator: Richard Scurfield (TUDUR)
Speakers: D. Hidalgo (Bogota), Martín Orduña (Buenos Aires)

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Session 5: How are we going to move ahead? Institutional Arrangements and Strategic Approach

The session will present a preliminary strategy to create a regional fund, where potential participating cities may prepare and apply for grants to co-finance eligible expenditures oriented to sustainable transport and air quality. It is basically a demand-driven process. To encourage ownership and local commitment, eligibility criteria will be defined for cities to apply for the project funds and an expert panel will advise on selection of cities. CAI-LAC will play a pivotal role in generating demand and managing and collecting information from potential cities interested in funding from the program, building capacity and disseminating lessons learned.
Moderator: Konrad Von Ritter (WBIEN)
Speakers: Juan Lopez-Silva, LCSES & Pierre Graftieaux LCSFT; Luis Cifuentes (U. Catolica, Chile)

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Session 6: What resources do we need? Support for implementation

This session will focus on the next steps and discuss the need for developing evaluation tools to assess the impact of the regional project from a local and global point of view. The proposed selection criteria for cities will be discussed, as well as possible mechanisms to screen cities.
Moderator: Todd Johnson (ENV)
Speakers: Paul Procee (WBIEN), Gianni Lopez (Santiago), Walter Vergara (LCSEN)

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Session 7: Wrap-up and Conclusions. What are the next steps?

The final section will summarize the outcomes of the day and discuss the endorsement of stakeholders and other funding agencies in developing a regional program.
Moderator: Maryvonne Plessis-Fraissard, Director of Transport and Urban Development, TUDDR
Speakers: Abel Mejia, Sector Manager (LCSES); Jose Luis Irigoyen, Sector Manager (LCSFT)

See Also
Policies and instruments
Cleaner vehicles
Cleaner fuels and energy sources
Sustainable transport
Governance and sustainable transport in general
Sustainable transport policy
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