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UN ambassadors support sustainable transport

29-01-2013

On January 21st 2013 the Dutch and Thai UN ambassadors invited their colleagues for a second meeting on sustainable transport at the UN headquarters. The aim is to explore the interest for setting up a network, a Group of Friends of Sustainable Transport.

This network will support the UN Action Plan for Sustainable Development, that started at the Rio+20 conference, by delivering inputs regarding transport. The World Bank and 7 other multilateral banks and other international bodies cooperate with UN bodies for a fundamental transition towards sustainability. Now transport finally reached this UN agenda as a priority area.
More than 80 ambassadors and embassy staff joined the meeting with Enrique Peñalosa as guest speaker. Peñalosa is a strategist on social urban development who, as mayor of Bogota, implemented a radical redesign of his city. At the meeting he spoke about equity and poverty alleviation. He criticised the space given to and taken away by parked cars and proposed to charge car driving to raise money for investments in sustainable transport. He claimed that every user of public space should have equal rights, with e.g. as a consequence that a bus with 30 persons has 30 times more rights than a car carrying only one person. Further he gave examples of cycling and walking facilities from the Netherlands, Denmark and Bogota, that, according to Peñalosa, show how a democratic transport system should be designed. Participants said the meeting was an eye opener for them.

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