Sparking active mobility actions for climate-friendly cities

Walking and cycling are often overlooked in city planning, despite its growing importance as the most affordable, resilient, and clean form of transport. The “Sparking active mobility actions for climate-friendly cities” project (2022-2024) aims to promote active mobility strategies, policies and practices contributing to avoiding greenhouse gas emissions, improving safe connectivity in cities, and promoting climate-friendly mobility behavior in the Philippines.

Due to growing urbanization, economy, and motorization, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in the Philippines are projected to double by 2030. Transportation is responsible for 80% of air pollution emissions, costing 1.9% of GDP loss, and 27,000 premature deaths. Active mobility has the potential to reduce 3.46 million tons of emissions in highly urbanized cities while contributing to public health, equity, and green socio-economic recovery.

In response to the pandemic, cities in the Philippines are paying more attention to active mobility; however, cities need to overcome challenges such as limited data, lack of political support, limited capacity for local policy, and planning to move towards climate-friendly mobility systems. Resilient, equitable transport systems must become the norm. Walking and cycling, in particular, have been catalysts for redesigning streets and generating momentum toward people-centered cities.

Project approach

The overarching goal of the SPARK project is to increase the role of active mobility in building resilient and safe transport systems, contribute to national emission reduction targets, and promote climate-friendly mobility behavior in the Philippines. To achieve this goal, the project will work with two selected cities through four work packages:

UNDERSTAND CITIES’ CONTEXT AND ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS

Two cities and communities will be identified and a baseline will be created by conducting walkability and cyclability assessments, establishing non-motorized transport committees, and securing political support (Output I).

DESIGN MODEL INTERVENTIONS AND ENHANCE CAPACITY

The selected cities will widen stakeholder engagement and involve the community in co-designing model projects and raising awareness on climate-friendly behavior (Output II).

USE TACTICAL URBANISM AND OPEN DATA TO JUMPSTART IMPLEMENTATION

Cities and community-based organizations contribute to the implementation of tactical urbanism interventions, which are small-scale, low-cost, temporary improvements with the potential to catalyze long-term change (Output III).

SCALE TACTICAL URBANISM AND DISSEMINATE GLOBALLY

Building on the learnings from the model projects, active mobility strategies are integrated into the cities’ development plans and policy documents. Integrating tactical urbanism into sustainable mobility informs national agencies’ policies and programs, and experiences are shared through global dissemination and South-South and North-South city-to-city exchange (Output IV).

Project partners

The SPARK project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the implementing partner. ICLEI World Secretariat is responsible for general project management and coordination. ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat is responsible for building political support at the national and sub-national levels and promoting city and community engagement.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is an international non-government group advancing fair climate policy and low carbon, climate-resilient development. Based in the Philippines, it is engaged with the wider international climate and energy policy arena, particularly in Asia. It is recognized for its role in helping advance effective global climate action and the Paris climate agreement.