Low Emissions and Urban Development Program

Asia is urbanizing fast. In China alone 350 million people will be added to existing and new cities in the next two decades – more than the entire US population. As a result, vehicle numbers, energy use and emissions are rising steadily. Rapid motorization combined with poor urban and transport planning have also reduced the use of public transport, walking and cycling. To decouple emissions increase with urban growth, we need better urban planning that integrates land use with systems for sustainable transport and clean energy, combined with policies and measures to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.

Projects and Activities:

Our Low Emissions Urban Development Program consist of three components:

  1. Mainstream low emissions transport strategies in policy and investment decisions. A wide range of “avoid-shift-improve” strategies can lead to low emissions transport systems. Future transport emissions for Asian countries and cities and reduction strategies were determined with various emissions tools. Building on these efforts, Clean Air Asia will support national and city governments to integrate these strategies into policy and investment decisions and in urban master plans.
  2. Knowledge management and exchange on land use, transport and energy. Clean Air Asia will establish an Exchange Platform for Land use and Transport together with development agencies, governments and other partners. To support this, we will continue to collect for Asian countries and cities data that underpin air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions indicators for transport and energy, and develop land use indicators, such as availability of green space, km sidewalks and bike lanes, and percentage of mixed land use in cities.
  3. Bring walkability higher on the development agenda. Clean Air Asia will continue to work with city mayors to introduce Car Free Days in one or more streets in cities across Asia to create awareness about the need for urban space for people, better pedestrian facilities and the importance of walking and cycling to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This will be supplemented with surveys and awareness raising on the state of walkability in Asian cities and collaboration with government and development banks to increase investments and improve policies for walking and cycling.

    For more information on our walkability work in Asia, see Walkability Asia Website.

Goals 2016 for Asia

  • Asian countries adopt "avoid-shift-improve" transport strategies that support low emissions urban development.
  • Asian countries and cities of more than 1 million people issue regular reports on key air pollution and greenhouse gas emission indicators for transport and energy.
  • Asian cities of more than 1 million maintain or improve the 2000-2010 percentage share of trips by non-motorized and public transport.

Contact Persons:

Sudhir Gota, sudhir(at)cleanairasia.org
Alvin Mejia, alvin.mejia(at)cleanairasia.org

Program Partners:

Cambridge Systematics
Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University, India
Changan University, China
Chreod Ltd.
Department of Land Transport, Thailand
Department of Natural Resources, Environment and Housing (DoNREH), Vietnam
EMBARQ (World Resources Institute Center for Transport and the Environment)
Hanoi Transport Development Strategies Institute (TDSI)
Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies (HIDS)
Interface for Cycling Expertise (I-CE)
Institute for Transportation Development Policies (ITDP)
Partnership for Clean Air, Philippines
Pollution Control Department, Thailand
Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
University of California, Berkeley
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
Urban and Rural Construction Commission, China


Asian Development Bank
Institute for Transportation Development Policies (ITDP)
Institute for Transport Policy Studies (ITPS)
Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Institut Veolia Environnement
Korea Transport Institute (KOTI)
Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV)
Shakti Foundation
Transport Research Laboratory (TRL, UK)
United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
USAID Philippines
World Bank

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