Urban transport consumes 40% of total transport energy. It is estimated that 50bn tonnes of CO2 will be emitted by urban transport in the next 30 years if current motorisation trends are not reversed. However, many countries across the world, including most EASST partner countries, are still undergoing rapid motorization and construction of new high-speed roads, which is only exacerbating the problem.
One of the quickest and most effective ways of decreasing emissions from motorized transport and reducing the reliance on fuel is to “invite people back to the streets” by improving access to more sustainable modes of travel – including public transport, walking and cycling.
Supporting communities to move away from a reliance on car travel not only brings environmental benefits. It also promotes social equity and reduces exposure to road risk more widely.
In 2023, the 7th UN Global Road Safety Week called on governments and stakeholders to #RethinkMobility – focusing on the need to shift to alternative modes of transport and highlighting that “road safety is both a prerequisite for and an outcome of this shift.”
Across the EASST region, reducing speed limits to 30km/h is an essential first step for many countries ‘rethinking mobility’ in terms of a shift away from car dominance towards prioritising the safety of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.
Reclaiming Space for Walking and Cycling in Central Asia
With the support of the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme and in collaboration with Global Youth Coalition on Road Safety we have been implementing a long-term project since 2020 to reclaim space for walking and cycling in Central Asia. The initiative aims to mobilise young people across Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in advocating for a shift away from motorised travel towards zero-carbon active mobility and giving youth a voice when it comes to planning and decision making around sustainable urban mobility.
Active Travel News
Teachers at School no. 12 in Sumgayit City in Azerbaijan welcome lower speeds and new pedestrian infrastructure ahead of the new school year.
Infrastructure can have an important impact on guiding pedestrian and driver behaviour. This must be an important consideration when developing a road safety strategy.
On 3rd June EASST partners in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan marked World Bicycle Day with fresh calls for safer cycling infrastructure and awareness.
EASST partners marked the UN Global Road Safety Week by organising events and activities and calling on governments to #RethinkMobility.
Step by Step: EASST Safe Crossing Initiative implements small-scale pedestrian infrastructure interventions for high impact: transforming unsafe roads into safe, accessible, and liveable public spaces.
With the support of Shell Kazakhstan and Eni, EASST and local partners Gauhar Zhol have created a new pedestrian zone at Uralsk railway station to improve road safety.
Last week, EASST partners across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus took part in a global Week of Action calling for safer roads and streets for life.
With the support of the FIA Road Safety Grants Programme, EASST has been working with local partners in Central Asia to better understand the barriers that currently prevent people from walking and cycling in their countries – with a focus on young people.
With the support of Dr Carl Smith and students at the University of Arkansas YGT have been using art to engage with young people and identify opportunities for local action to promote active travel in Dushanbe.
To coincide with World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, EASST partners NACU organised a roundtable meeting calling for an integrated approach to addressing road safety in Uzbekistan.