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Encouraging Sustainable Transport and Urban Development

Transport is the fastest growing source of new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unchecked practices in transportation and urban growth lead to pollution, decreased quality of life and increased demand for energy. Shifting transport and urban development to a more sustainable path will lower environmental costs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

ADB is investing in climate-friendly transport and urban development. Consistent with its Sustainable Transport Initiative, support to developing countries will increasingly shift to make modern, energy-efficient transportation more widely available.

Planning for sustainable cities and transportation. Urban sector planning is being integrated with new modes of transport, emphasizing accessibility and affordability. ADB is also promoting efficient, low-carbon, intercity transport, shifting from highways toward rail and sea transport.

Managing waste, reducing emissions. ADB is supporting technologies that curb the generation of GHG emissions, such as capturing the methane released from landfills and sewage to harness the resulting energy.

Featured projects

Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project

The Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project is expected to develop a sustainable urban transport system through the delivery of a 20-kilometer bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. The development of a modern mass transit system in the Greater Dhaka area is expected to benefit about 1 million of its residents, and also hopes to improve air quality and health co-benefits from clean fuel buses and reduced traffic and congestion; and improved community and pedestrian safety from improved walkways, storm water drainage and energy-efficient street lighting.

Hunan Xiangjiang Inland Waterway Transport Project

China, People's Republic of
Approved in December 2012, the $150 million loan project is expected to improve the waterway transport system in Hunan province by making the Xiang River more navigable for larger vessels, improving cargo terminals along the river, and providing landing berths for rural communities. The project will also tap the Xiangjiang River’s hydropower potential to provide 363 gigawatt-hours of annual clean energy for the province.

PRC Loan Program for Clean Bus Leasing

China, People's Republic of
This loan program for clean bus leasing will offer long-term funding to up to five financial leasing companies to support leasing of clean buses and information technology systems that increase fleet operating efficiency for urban, suburban and intercity bus services. The program will provide critical long-term finance and may help leverage co-financing to promote the development of clean bus leasing business. The project is expected to finance the leasing of at least 5,000 clean buses by 2018 and reduce GHG emissions of 1.31 million tons per annum starting in 2019.

Davao Sustainable Urban Transport Project

The Davao Sustainable Urban Transport Project was launched in the early part of 2013 to create an enabling environment for a modern, efficient, and affordable public transport system in Davao. Approved in October 2013, the technical assistance project allocated $1 million to improve the integration of the public transport system, widen the coverage area, and deliver more transport services to passengers.

Ho Chi Minh City Urban Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 Investment Program

Viet Nam
The Ho Chi Minh City Urban Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 Investment Program - Tranche 2 will support the local economic development in the city by initiating the first stage of a mass rail transit system. This is expected to improve urban liveability, reduce traffic congestion and accidents and improve the city's air quality.

More projects

Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement II Project

To improve the environment and the quality of life in Bangladesh, reduce GHG emissions, and strengthen the country's resilience to climate change, the project, launched in 2008, is improving urban governance and expanding access to urban infrastructure and services in target pourashavas. Specifically, the project is developing infrastructure and improving service delivery of municipal transport, drainage, solid waste management, water supply, sanitation, and municipal facilities.

Lanzhou Sustainable Urban Transport Project

China, Republic of
The project will generate certified emission reductions, increase average bus speed along the bus rapid transit corridor, increase the share of public transport, shorten average travel time, and decrease the accident rates of vehicles and non motorized transport. Consultation with communities has included focus group discussions, meetings with villages, and surveys of beneficiary and adversely affected households.

Railway Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy

China, Republic of
To enhance energy efficiency and energy conservation in the PRC railway system, the study, which commenced in 2008, assists the Ministry of Railways to prepare the Railway Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy by analyzing the energy efficiency of the PRC railway sector, identifying areas where the PRC can improve energy efficiency, and recommending actions and technologies that the PRC can adopt.

Urban Wastewater and Solid Waste Management

China, Republic of
The study, which commenced in 2007, is expected to mitigate GHG emissions and improve urban wastewater management and solid waste management by developing national policy frameworks for wastewater and solid waste tariffs, focusing on small cities and towns in the PRC. Specifically, the study assesses the volumes and pollution loadings of urban wastewater management and solid waste of small cities and towns; develops a methodology for classifying small cities and towns; formulates national tariff policy frameworks on wastewater and solid waste for each category of small cities and towns; pilot tests the national tariff policy frameworks with selected case study small cities and towns; finalizes the national tariff policy frameworks based on the results of the pilot testing; and develops an institutional framework and capacity building plan, and information dissemination program for implementing the national tariff policy frameworks.

Transport Efficiency through Logistics Development Policy Study

China, Republic of
ADB expects the study, which commenced in 2008, to develop an efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly transport logistics system through the preparation of a policy framework, action plans, and operational guidelines that can be adopted by the Ministry of Transport and local governments in the PRC.

Bangalore Metro Rail System Project

Approved in 2011, this private sector project is expected to develop and operate an urban metro rail transit system in Bangalore City. The project will develop 42.3 km of metro rail corridors, 40 stations, 2 station depots, signaling, electro-mechanical system and all ancillary and rolling stock. The project is expected to reduce vehicular emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, and hydrocarbons by at least 2.5% by 2020 from 34 mg/m3 of nitrous oxide and 4 mg/m3 of carbon monoxide in 2006.

Central Uttar Pradesh Gas Limited

The project, launched in 2006, involves the construction of city gas distribution networks in and around Kanpur, India to deliver CNG to vehicles and PNG to commercial, industrial, and residential users. The project is designed to reduce air pollution and improve ambient air quality by switching vehicles from gasoline and diesel to CNG and residential, industrial, and commercial users from kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas to PNG.

Rajasthan Urban Infrastructure Development

ADB expects the project, launched in 2008, to improve the access of about 1.6 million people to sustainable urban infrastructure and services, to strengthen the capacity of the urban local bodies to manage urban services, mitigate GHG emissions, and thereby strengthen resilience to climate change. The project is improving water supply systems; constructing new sewerage and drainage systems; collecting, processing, and treating solid waste; developing sanitary landfills for disposal; rehabilitating roads; enhancing social infrastructure; and building capacity of local government and improving financial performance of local bodies.

Uttaranchal Urban Development

ADB expects the program, launched in 2008, to mitigate GHG emissions and improve quality of life for the urban residents of Uttarakhand by providing them with increased access to better quality urban infrastructure and services by 2016. To achieve this, the program is rehabilitating, improving, and expanding water supply, sewerage and sanitation, solid waste management, urban transportation, and roads, and upgrading slums, as well as enhancing the capacity of urban service providers.

Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project

The ADB has approved a $10 million loan and a grant of up to $10 million, both from ADB’s Special Funds resources, for the Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project to help improve the urban transport system and help reduce congestion and pollution in Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. Among the key improvements envisaged under the project are the reorganization plan of the public transport network system in Kathmandu and the introduction of two pilot bus routes financed through the government-managed Town Development Fund.

Rawalpindi Environmental Improvement Project

ADB expects the project, launched in 2008, to mitigate GHG emissions, improve living conditions, quality of life, and health of the people of Rawalpindi through water supply and sanitation, solid waste management, wastewater treatment, and slaughterhouses improvement. Specifically, the project is doing the following: installing major sewerage networks and a sewage treatment plant, remodeling existing drains and constructing new drains as storm water drainage, improving the collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste, building additional hygienic, environmentally acceptable slaughterhouse facilities on the existing slaughterhouse, constructing properly designed, suitably located public toilets connected to nearby sewer network, improving water supply by replacing and rehabilitating inefficient tube wells and distribution systems, and providing staff training on financial and technical management.

RA Development Framework for Sustainable Urban Transport

ADB expects the study, which commenced in 2007, to promote sustainable development through sustainable urban transport systems in the region. Specifically, the study is developing a strategic vision with clear directions for sustainable urban transport; preparing a strategic regional development framework for sustainable urban transport; and providing a regional plan for clean and efficient energy use in transport.

Local Government Infrastructure Improvement Project

Sri Lanka
To mitigate GHG emissions and improve the urban environment and living conditions of selected local authorities in Sri Lanka, the project, launched in 2005, is doing the following: strengthening urban management, planning, and financing capacity of the sector institutions to ensure sustainable provision of urban infrastructure and services; enhancing urban livelihoods through the extension and rehabilitation of existing piped supply and construction of new schemes, construction and maintenance of roads, improved drainage and community sewerage, and efficient collection of solid waste; and increasing government and local authorities' capacity for administering urban infrastructure supply and maintenance works.

North-South Railway

Approved in 2011, this $125 million project is ADB’s first loan to Turkmenistan. This project will procure and install power, signaling and telecommunications  systems for 311-km completed railway line between Bereket and Buzkhun. The project will reduce hauling of freight and passengers by road and therefore will contribute to reducing emissions from the transport sector. By 2020, the project is expected to contribute to 26,800 tons of CO2 emissions reduction.

Ho Chi Minh City Metro Rail System

Viet Nam
To improve the quality of urban living and reduce reliance on private modes of travel, the study is developing plans to implement the first two lines of a proposed mass rapid transit (MRT) project for Ho Chi Minh City. Specifically, the study is preparing a consolidated MRT network master plan and land use strategy that maximizes MRT use and reflects anticipated demand. It is also drawing up preliminary engineering design, technical and operational standards while also proposing institutional and implementation arrangements and financing options. The goal of the MRT is to provide convenient, comfortable, safe, affordable, and clean urban travel that improves the quality of urban living and reduces reliance on private modes of travel.