"City of Almaty Sustainable Transport" project’s experts worked out recommendations for the active mobility development in Central Asia

Oct 12, 2016

UNDP-GEF “City of Almaty Sustainable Transport” project held the international conference «Cycling and walking. My path. Future of my city» on 22-23 September, 2016 in Almaty (Kazakhstan) with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the Republic of Kazakhstan and in cooperation with the Urban Talks. The conference was timed to coincide with the worldwide "Day without cars".

Bronwen Thornton, Walk21 development director (Great Britain): stressed the need for pedestrian traffic development policy at both national and international levels, as well as the walking development, which contribute to achieving the Paris agreement objectives on climate change mitigation.

Manuel Proell, Vienna city administration (Austria): gave practical examples and data that encourages people to walk more and use bicycles for longer distances, introduced specific measures on urban infrastructure change to provide comfortable mobility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Jeroen Buis, JB Mobility (Netherlands): described the main trends in cycling infrastructure design in developing countries, analyzed urban cycling development cases and noted the key factors of its promotion.

At the end of the discussion experts have identified the following issues in the cities of the region:

- No cycling inclusive approach while designing streets and green zones reconstruction and repair;

- The shortage of qualified staff in government agencies and design organizations leading to an inability to integrate the bicycle as a mode of transport into the existing infrastructure, the lack of quality infrastructure and integrated urban development plans;

- Unclear lines of projects’ responsibilities in the city authority. Thus, urban mobility development responsibility falls within several departments and supervised by different Akim deputies, and so on.

The conference was attended by over 100 participants, including experts from the Russian Federation, the UK, Austria and the Netherlands, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as representatives of the eight cities of Kazakhstan.

As additional activities to the conference were also provided:

- "Design of safe cycling infrastructure" workshop by Jeroen Buis, the Dutch expert, and Dmitriy Korniyevskiy, UNDP-GEF "City of Almaty Sustainable Transport" project expert, and Adil Azhiyev, Light Space architect.

- «Bike vs. cars» movie free screening at the Bekmambetov Cinema ("Almaly" shopping center).

- Almaty downtown walking tour with Dennis Keen.

- A 10-kilometer bicycle sightseeing Almaty with Alexander Gabchenko.

The final event - Tour de Kids was held on 24th September, assisted with the "Velo-Almaty" initiative group. 180 children aged 2 to 7 years took participation in the race.

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