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UN-HABITAT report launches


A UN report, reviewed by Arup specialists, calls for a focus on making public transport accessible and acceptable.

Launched by UN-HABITAT, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Planning and Design for Urban Mobility argues for a conceptual leap in the design of sustainable urban transport systems.

“Mobility is not just about developing transport infrastructure and services; it is about overcoming the social, economic, political and physical barriers to movement, such as class, gender relations, poverty, physical disabilities and affordability. UN-Habitat works closely with our partners to provide relevant and informative information that can be used to drive policy and help to ensure that urban residents around the world have access to efficient, safe, affordable transport.”

— UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos

“Following a meeting with Robert Kehew from UN-Habitat in Addis Ababa in 2011, where Arup was delivering the C40 UrbanLife workshop, we discussed ways in which we could assist UH-Habitat in its’ work. As a result of these discussions Arup agreed to peer review the Global Report on Human Settlements (GRHS) 2013.”

— David Singleton, Arup’s Global Planning Leader

The report says that urban planning and design should concentrate on how to bring people and places together by creating cities that focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or goods.

With the private car often seen as the most desirable travel option, the report also calls for action to enhance the acceptability of public transport. It argues that more must be done to improve the reliability and efficiency of public transport services and to make them safer and more secure.

“Because Arup is involved in delivering transport projects on the ground, we were able to bring a different perspective and contribute real-life project examples and experiences to the report.”

— Associate Director Susan Claris, who co-ordinated Arup’s volunteer reviewers

The publication is the latest in the Global Report on Human Settlements (GRHS) biennial series – the first to focus on this topic - it was reviewed by Arup on a pro bono basis. A reviewer with expertise in transport and mobility led each of the report’s ten chapters, with some 20 specialists involved altogether over an 18-month period.

The GRHS is UN-HABITAT’s flagship report series, providing the most authoritative and up-to-date assessment of conditions and trends in the world’s cities. Written in clear, non-technical language and supported by informative graphics, case studies and extensive statistical data, the reports are essential tools and references for researchers, academics, planners, public authorities and civil society organisations around the world.


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