Moving Forward Series

The LEDS GP Transport Working Group has published a series of five papers co-authored by young people from around the world on sustainable recovery for the transport sector: Leveraging insights from COVID-19 response measures to drive more sustainable, inclusive and resilient transport systems.

The authors are aspiring scientists and young leaders from Kenya, India, Brazil, Ethiopia and the USA. Some of their articles change the way we look at sustainable delivery, job creation and renewables in the transport sector. Others speak of what is most dear to their authors’ hearts: walking, cycling and reclaiming the streets for people instead of vehicles. Most of the authors are also part of the Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport programme 2020.

Paper Series “Moving Forward: Sustainable Recovery in Transport”

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on mobility worldwide. With public transport authorities facing financial pressures and ridership dropping, equitable access through sustainable mobility is at risk. Guaranteeing access to economic, educational and societal opportunities through sustainable mobility options is at the center of equitable recovery. Protecting public transport, bike-sharing and other efficient and clean transport services will require concerted efforts from both the national and subnational levels. Economic stimulus packages by national governments and multilateral organizations offer an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the transformation to sustainable, low carbon transport. Cities are deploying immediate measures, such as tactical urbanism, to facilitate social cohesion while enabling physical distancing and supporting the shift towards sustainable modes of transport. Such measures can drive permanent transformations to low carbon mobility in developing countries: turning innovative best practices into a “new normal” of mobility planning and investment.

This paper series aims to provide an understanding of economic, social and policy opportunities that can equip policy makers to create a transformative post-COVID-19 sustainable transport agenda and complement measures to make a case for sustainable transport and mobility in economic recovery packages. Sharing knowledge on positive measures and their potential to drive long-term change can support stakeholders in capitalizing on this critical moment. The series covers five topics related to sustainable, low-carbon transport with the underlying theme of a more equitable and sustainable post-COVID-19 world. The papers focus on activities in Asia but are covering examples from around the world, making use of the most valuable insights and outcomes.

The first paper of the series, written by Érika Martins Silva Ramos, provides an understanding of how COVID-19 has impacted sustainable transport and explains how governments are supporting recovery in the sub-sectors that were most affected (e.g., public transport). The second paper, written by Angel Cortez, discusses the opportunity for a Green Recovery of the transport sector in the context of its impact on emissions worldwide. The third paper, co-authored by Agnivesh Pani, focuses on sustainable freight deliveries post-COVID-19. In the fourth paper of the series, Cyprine Odada highlights how cities can increase employment opportunities by investing in sustainable transport and mobility systems. Seble Samuel co-authored the fifth and last paper in the series which traces the origins of the opening streets for people model and how it is successfully applied around the world.

As recovery continues, research, analysis, and capacity building are vital to harness socio-economic and policy opportunities to sustainably transform transport systems and to ensure that responses to the crisis help us “build back better.”