Cities SHIFT

The overarching goal of the “CitiesSHIFT: Capacity building and networking for climate- and people-friendly mobility” project was to support cities to identify challenges and opportunities of urban mobility system in the hope that the city could shift towards more ecomobile modes of travel, i.e., walking, cycling, shared and public transport. Hewlett Foundation and the EcoMobility Alliance funded the two-year project (2018 to 2020).
Download the project report here to learn about the project findings and recommendations for the policymakers.

Current urbanization trends in the Global South are exerting unprecedented pressure on the urban mobility systems. In fact, many developing cities see a decline in the modal share of active mobility and public transportation as cities are increasingly automobile-dominated. The transport sector is already one of the highest CO2-emitting sectors representing 23% of global emissions; lack of strategic action may exacerbate the situation, causing more health, safety, and equity issues.

While city administrations plan and implement policies and plan to improve mobility services and infrastructure, one of the common challenges is the lack of direct feedback on the effectiveness of the system. It is commonly acknowledged that the need to measure is critical to avoid ineffective solutions. Hence, to make ecomobile modes of transport attractive, such services not only need to be planned and operated well, they also need to be assessed on a continual basis.

Project approach

The overarching goal of the “CitiesSHIFT: Capacity building and networking for climate- and people-friendly mobility”project is to support cities to identify challenges and opportunities of urban mobility system in hope that the city could shift towards more ecomobile modes of travel i.e. walking, cycling, shared and public transport. To achieve this goal, the project worked with six selected project cities from China, India and Uganda through three intervention points:

Performance measurement

You cannot manage what you do not know – Michael Bloomberg, Former New York City Mayor

The EcoMobility SHIFT+ was adopted to measure the performance in urban mobility and make informed decisions based on the areas that require improvement. As part of the SHIFT+ process, stakeholder groups were formed to deliberate on mobility issues in their city and collectively identified and prioritized short-term and long-term interventions towards ecomobility.

The EcoMobility SHIFT+ is an updated version of the EcoMobility SHIFT methodology, which was developed in 2013 for European cities. The updated EcoMobility SHIFT+ is customized for both developed and developing countries. A comprehensive toolbox was developed for advanced management strategies and best practices on sustainable mobility.

Capacity building

A total of 127 city stakeholders from the six project cities participated in the capacity building programs, involving city workshops, webinars, study visits, and mentoring program by peer cities. The different elements strengthened the institutional capacity and understanding of the urgent need for ecomobility, benefiting various stakeholders, ranging from the highest level of political and administrative leadership, informal transport organizations, urban planners, traffic police, research institutes, and the local NGOs. Participation in the various stakeholder groups enriched the discussions and sharpened the key messages.

Representatives from the Barcelona Metropolitan Government, City of Leipzig, and Nairobi City Council visited the Chinese, Indian, and Ugandan cities respectively and exchanged insights and experience, inspiring the project cities to improve their transportation policies or projects.

  • 2 Thematic Working Groups
  • 3 webinars with 140 global participants
  • 127 stakeholders
  • 4 conferences or forums
  • 5 study visits
  • 3 workshops
  • 3 mentoring program

Global dissemination

Learning outcomes and experiences are collated and disseminated through knowledge products and at international workshops/ conferences. We invite interested cities to learn more about the SHIFT+ process and findings from the project cities in the following documentation and resources.

  • 6 city profiles
  • 6 SHIFT+ reports
  • 1 CitiesSHIFT report: Recommendation for policymakers

Project cities

Pages from Cities SHIFT Final report

Last update: 7 May 2020

Project Report

This report demonstrates how the EcoMobility SHIFT+ tool can be adopted to assess and measure the transportation system of six cities in China, India, and Uganda. The EcoMobility SHIFT+ is a useful tool for local authorities to measure, assess, and act to improve ecomobility. Furthermore, evaluation and monitoring is an essential step in the process of developing sustainable urban mobility plans.

Project partners

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world.

For more than 50 years, the Foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective.

The EcoMobility Alliance is a network of ambitious cities, led by innovators and visionaries, supported by experts and businesses, committed to building a sustainable mobility future that is efficient, people-centered, low emission and environmentally-friendly.