Advancing sustainable transport funding at the International Transport Forum 2013
As a mark of the headway that the concept of sustainable transport has made in recent years, today’s discussions focus no longer on the “why,” in regards to sustainable transport projects, but on the “how.”
EMBARQ Director Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ Mexico Deputy Director Salvador Herrera and Dr. Benoit Lefevre, EMBARQ’s Director of Transport and Climate program, joined international peers in advancing discussions on one aspect of the “how” -- transport funding -- during the International Transport Forum’s Annual Summit, which convened May 22 through May 24 in Leipzig, Germany. Armed with the knowledge of best practices from their respective cities and countries, conference participants focused on how to build the momentum for long-term engagement in funding, coordination and improvement of sustainable transport systems.
“In developing economies, consultation starts with information.”
--Holger Dalkmann, Director of EMBARQ
Dalkmann participated in a panel alongside Andreas Scheuer, Parliamentary State Secretary for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport; Carlos Mier y Teran, Mass Transport Coordinator at Banobras, Mexico’s state-owned development bank; and João Raminhos Tomé, Deputy Technical Advisor at the European Investment Bank. The panel was titled, “Public Consultation: Bringing Communities and Transport Users on Board,” which addressed the integral role community engagement plays in aligning transport investment policy with public interest, producing the desired outcome of efficient implementation of transport systems and successful operations. He highlighted the impact EMBARQ is making in the advancement of national urban transport policies on the local level in Mexico and India. In Jaipur, India, for example, EMBARQ experts helped the local government build their team of transport professionals, who mobilized to successfully and efficiently implement the city’s new bus rapid transit (BRT) system. In Mexico, a national program influenced by EMBARQ called PROTRAM, headed by Carlos Miera, is funding sustainable transport projects and was recognized with an honorary mention at the 2013 Transport Achievement Awards.
In these developing economies, Dalkmann explained, increasing urbanization is occurring and that combined with the need to expand, improve and repair transport in urban environment, cities need to make investments in infrastructure and change the way cities are built to avoid a lock-in. Dalkmann and his colleagues at EMBARQ hope these investments go to sustainable solutions.
Here, public consultation is less driven by national legislation than by grassroots, or voluntary initiatives. The panelists concluded that the greatest need currently lies in better information collection.
“One difference between marketing and public consultation,” observed co-panelist Glyn Jones, Managing Director of London’s Luton Airport, “is that marketeers are not faced with a strong core of opponents to their product.” The consultation process, the panel concluded, can be seen as a hybrid between a political and marketing campaign. Its objective is to increase support for, or at least a tolerance of, a transport project -- in contrast with the goal of persuading all parties to support a project.)
The panel joining was moderated by journalist Michael Portillo.
“Acceptance of investments in transport is a key policy objective. Consultation is the tool, and it should be applied pragmatically and address local concerns.”
--Andreas Scheuer, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Transport
Advancing national urban policy toward sustainable transport
EMBARQ partnered with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to organize a side event for conference participants, titled, “Advancing National Urban Transport Policy.” This panel discussion aimed to identify strategic barriers to funding sustainable urban transport and to highlight relevant roles for authorities to overcome these via planning frameworks and institutional reform.
Other issues that were highlighted in the session included the lack of coordination among the different levels of government, the need for more focused planning efforts through feasibility studies, and the need for innovative funding schemes. The key challenges are the necessities for knowledge transfer and the incentive to build the momentum required to have a long-term commitment for funding, coordination and improvement.
The session brought together representatives from national authorities and development banks to address these issues. Key elements of this discussion were the tools for monitoring and enhancing impacts, and the assurance of delivery from programs funded under this initiative. The session was intended to create space for common learning and collaboration between the national governments and the development banks.
Advancing developing banks’ commitment to sustainable transport
Dalkmann and Salvador Herrera, of EMBARQ Mexico, partnered with the World Bank and Banobras, the state owned development bank of Mexico, to host an additional side event. This session brought together representatives from national governments and development banks to discuss the objective and overall theme of the forum, “Advancing Developing Banks’ Commitment on Sustainable Transport.” Key elements of this discussion included mechanisms for monitoring and enhancing impacts as well as the assurance that programs funded under the $175 billion commitment made at the Rio+20 conference in 2012 would deliver their expected results.
The event included a moderated discussion, structured around three key areas of interest: operationalizing the commitment, bridging supply and demand, and leveraging the $175 billion.
“You can’t force the emergence of new, well-planned sustainable projects. We have to support governments in their in-country capacity building and with their coordination between ministries and agencies (environment, finance, transport, urban development and housing). We need to create this healthy pipeline of projects, so that transport money can be redirected toward sustainability” -Dr. Benoit Lefevre
For more information, please contact Benoit Lefevre, EMBARQ’s Director of the Transport and Climate program.