Developing Asia will need to invest $1.7 trillion per year until 2030, if the region is to maintain growth, tackle poverty, and respond effectively to climate change. ADB is working throughout the region to promote safe, accessible, and green transport infrastructure and services.

ADB's Work in Sustainable Transport

Developing Asia will need to invest $1.7 trillion per year until 2030, if the region is to maintain growth, tackle poverty, and respond effectively to climate change. More than 30% of that investment needs to be in transport. Transport is an operational priority for ADB under its Strategy 2030 development framework. ADB will continue to prioritise access as part of a more comprehensive approach that delivers transport systems that are more sustainable and better at meeting the region’s growing needs.


Urban Transport

About 44 million people annually become part of Asia's urban population. While Asia’s cities generate around 80% of the region’s economic growth, urban vehicle numbers are currently doubling every six years, a major source of greenhouse gases and congestion. Many of the region's cities suffer from very high air pollution, with as much as 80% attributable to transport.

To address these challenges, ADB is working with its member countries to develop comprehensive and integrated transport systems in many of Asia’s growing cities. Priority is given to public transport, walkways, cycle paths, and efficient traffic management systems.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
Elevated walkways keep pedestrians high above the rush hour traffic at Bangkok's Silom street. Photo: Lester Ledesma/ADB

Climate Change

In 2006, Asia accounted for 19% of global transport CO2 emissions. By 2030 that share will rise to 31%. ADB is supporting transport investment that reduces energy consumption and promote the shift to zero emission transport systems. This includes partnering with the public sector, privately, or through public–private partnerships.

ADB is also mainstreaming climate adaptation into its transport operations. This includes ensuring engineering specifications, master planning, maintenance and contract scheduling all take into account climate adaptation measures. Rises in sea level, changes in permafrost and precipitation, and storms, floods, and droughts are all becoming more common in Asia and the Pacific. These climatic changes all impact on the design and construction of roads, railways and other transport infrastructure. To address these challenges, ADB is currently developing improved analytical tools to systematically integrate adaptation measures into its transport operations.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
Sunset over traffic on the bypass road in Zhambyl, Kazakhstan. Photo: Igor Burgandinov/ADB

Cross-Border Transport and Logistics

Transport has a critical role to play in regional economic integration. ADB will continue to prioritise lending for regional transport infrastructure that makes trade between countries quicker and more efficient. The economic benefits of better cross-border transport have been enormous and include the expansion of new industries and special industrial zones along regional road corridors. Seamless regional transport networks also require simplified border formalities and customs processes. ADB works with member countries in these areas, as well as ensuring national cross-border procedures, operations, and documents adhere to international standards.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
Built in 1874, the port of Hai Phong is the most crucial port serving the north of Viet Nam. The port connects to the 244-kilometer Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway. Photo: Ariel Javellana/ADB

Social Sustainability

Of an estimated 1.18 million annual deaths due to road accidents globally, 60% occur in Asia and the Pacific. ADB is increasing the scale, quality, and duration of its support for road safety. This includes support for a comprehensive safe-system approach for.

To help achieve the overarching goal of poverty reduction, ADB’s transport work strives to include poor communities in project planning and implementation, as well as safeguarding their lives and livelihoods. Protecting communities from dangers such as HIV/AIDS and human trafficking is also mainstreamed in ADB’s transport project work. The social objective is to make transport accessible and safe for all, including women, the elderly, the youth, vulnerable groups, and minorities.

Photo: Asian Development Bank
Women and children are riding the Lahore Bus Rapid Transit (Lahore Metro Bus) service. Photo: Madiha Aijaz/ADB

Asian Transport Outlook

Photo: Asian Development Bank

The ATO is an open data resource that creates an institutionalized process for transport data and policy information collection, analysis and documentation. The ATO collects, organizes, and shares data on the transport sector in 51 countries using more than 450 indicators.

Operational Priorities

Book cover: Strategy 2030 - Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

Strategy 2030 sets seven operational priorities, each having its own operational plan. The operational plans contribute to ADB’s vision to achieve prosperity, inclusion, resilience, and sustainability, and are closely aligned with Strategy 2030 principles and approaches.

Transport Sector Directional Guide

Book cover: Strategy 2030 Transport Sector Directional Guide - Transport as an Enabler of Development

This Transport Sector Directional Guide provides the strategic direction of the Asian Development Bank for the transport sector.


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James Leather

Director, Transport Sector Office

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Bertrand Goalou

Principal Transport Specialist

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Michael Anyala

Senior Road Asset Management Specialist

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Alexandra Pamela Chiang

Senior Transport Specialist

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R. Duncan McIntosh

Senior Regional Maritime Specialist

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David Shelton

Senior Transport Specialist (Road Safety)

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Diana Marie Hernandez-Louis

Transport Officer

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Franzella Pinky Villanueva

Associate Operations Analyst

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