10 Principles for Sustainable Urban Transport

Framework for cities worldwide to guide decision-making and prioritise actions

A city is more civilised not when it has highways, but when a child on a tricycle is able to move about everywhere with ease and safety.

Enrique Peñalosa

An efficient transport system is one of the factors making urban areas competitive. It provides access to jobs, education, and health care. However, in many cities people suffer from health problems triggered by exhaust fumes and noise. Traffic jams wast people’s time, resulting in considerable financial losses for the economy. Car-based urban transport systems relying on fossil fuels consume enormous amounts of energy and contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly. Road accidents take their toll especially among vulnerable groups such as pedestrians and cyclists. Last but not least, millions of urban poor are excluded from safe and efficient transport services – they cannot afford a car and must rely on inadequate public transport services and poor facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Our approach to urban mobility can be described in a few short words: Moving people, not cars!

Originally developed in 2013 for a training of officials from Chinese cities, the GIZ team revised the 10 principles in 2023 to accommodate the latest research and experiences. The principles provide a framework for cities in developed and developing countries to guide their decision-making and prioritise actions that support sustainable mobility. It shows selected sustainable urban transport policies and measures which will make cities a better place to live in.

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If you want to translate the infographic into your language, please get in touch with us: transport@giz.de

If you want to find extra resources for each principle, check out this overview:

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Language: Albanian, English, French, Indonesian, Romanian, Spanish