Training for Local Governments in the Asia Pacific – Improving Public Transportation System as a Means to Achieve Sustainable Human Mobility towards Resilient Cities

Undoubtedly, cities are the face of progress where it is predicted that by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas, with close to 90% of this increase in Asia and Africa (UNDESA, 2018). This is due to the rapid growth of the urban population, following a transition from rural to urban life. This transition, commonly known as urbanisation, tends to occur as interest of city-life has increased. Decent public facilities are available in cities as a centre of commerce, seats of government, places where people exchange goods, services and ideas to generate income – a place of hope and opportunity.

However, according to the UN DESA’s report and the rapid rate or urbanisation, many cities and automatically cities are facing challenges in meeting the various needs of our growing urban population. This includes housing, energy systems, employment, basic services such as health care and education, as well as one that is no less important: transportation.

This indicates how urbanisation needs to be well-planned managed, hence a powerful tool in contributing to sustainable development for both developing and developed countries. Taking into account transportation, it is now one of the essential needs for city dwellers’ public mobility, which is as simple as catering to needs of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people per day, who commute for work, school, commerce and others. (IISD, 2021)

Mobility as Key Dynamic of Urban Life

Therefore, we can see how mobility is vital for people to live prosperous and just lives as they work, study and establish meaningful relationships with others. In other words, people are more connected by infrastructure and transportation system even more than we realize. Furthermore, the availability of safe and inclusive public transportation in cities is imperative to ensure sustainable mobility, as part of efforts in achieving SDG11 on Safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities. In fact, this important SDG has inspired policy makers to realize a safe and inclusive public transport system, reflecting on the words of UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport as:

“…the provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods – advancing economic and social development to benefit today’s and future generations – in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient and resilient, while minimising carbon and other emissions and environmental impacts.” (HLAG-ST, 2016).

Meaning, public transport is not merely an issue of provision as it must be able to move people at a more efficient, affordable cost, with the least amount of emissions as possible – compared to more individual mode of transport such as privately owned cars which are major contributors to pollution, congestion and carbon footprints.

As a result, urban planning and design should always be directed at intersecting people and places in cities that also value accessibility, hence cities play a crucial role in setting up a sustainable public transportation system that ensures more humane and safer mobility in their territory. Local public policy should address the needs of more spaces and infrastructures of access to public transport that also caters to disability rights.

In the context of Asia Pacific, many growing cities in the region have been tackling challenges in transportation such as heavy traffic, polluted air, massive numbers of cars, and other challenges – albeit to some success such as the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. Once known for its woeful traffic jams across the city, the city administration launched the TransJakarta bus rapid transit (BRT) with dedicated lanes in 2004 connecting downtown business centres to surrounding satellites. Currently speaking, the city is facilitating the public with a more integrated BRT system that is connected to other modes of transports such as the LRT, MRT, and smaller buses. The fare is economically cheap, with stations serving the public from 05:00 to 22:00 every day. THis progress has led Jakarta to become the first Southeast Asian city to win the Sustainable Transport Award for its integrated public transportation system. TransJakarta, the city’s BRT, reached a milestone of serving one million passengers per day in February 2020. (ITDP, 2020)

The Sustainable Mobility Training

Building on the needs in providing a learning forum and peer knowledge exchanges among local governments on sustainable mobility and public transport, Seoul Human Resources Development Center (SHRDC) and UCLG ASPAC are organising a training aiming to increase understanding on what it means to provide accessible, safe, and inclusive public transport towards more resilient cities.

This programme will provide a range of knowledge exchanges from video lectures to group discussion, as well as practical implementation for local governments, which also includes addressing challenges at the local level using theoretical and practical approaches.

The training itself, which will take place on 19-21 July 2022 will cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction to sustainable mobility and public transport
  2. Role of local governments to promote sustainable mobility
  3. Non-motorised transport as an alternative option for sustainable mobility
  4. Spatial and city planning
  5. Sustainable mobility and SDGs implementation
  6. Social investment and alternative financing in support of sustainable mobility

Target Participants and Recruitment

30 slots will be available for this training programme with expected participation from local governments of UCLG ASPAC members. By inviting the local governments, the training will contribute to improving local policies on public transportation and people’s mobility.

SHRDC/UCLG ASPAC will send invitations to the targeted local governments, priority will be given to UCLG ASPAC members in the Asia-Pacific region. Invited participants are to send their application through UCLG ASPAC. In the application form, the participants are requested to elaborate on their commitments and contributions to this training programme, and plans to transfer the training results and experience to the local development policy, programme, and approach.

Minimum qualification:

  • Participants should be officially recommended by the head of local government, or supervisors from relevant agencies (development planning, environmental, transportation or other related agencies).
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Has a strategic position in relation to local development planning. Understanding the SDGs localisation is an asset.
  • Willing to participate fully in the whole activities of the course. Certificates will be given to those who have full participation. Prior to the real time workshop, the participants are requested to watch 3 e-learning lectures and get 60/100 in the quiz of each e-learning lecture to get practical knowledge on city policy cases.
  • Prior experience and/or knowledge of sustainable mobility and public transportation is an asset.

Course Phases

Video Lectures

The training programme will commence on the first and second week of July with an introduction video which provides an overview of the promotion of non-motorised vehicles and public transportation use in the efforts to achieve sustainable mobility.

In the first week, participants will watch 2 series of videos on Climate Change Action Plan towards the 2050 Carbon Neutrality, and overview of Seoul’s public transportation and transport demand, and the second week participants will watch a series of videos on walking and cycling promotion practices of Seoul and prepare themselves for the training in the third week.


The training will be held online, thus requiring a personal dedicated time of maximum 3 hours per day through the Zoom meeting platform. Taking into account the time difference, the training will start at 1 PM Jakarta time, and other countries/regions will adjust to their own time zones.

There will also be group discussions using the breakout room to divide participants into two or three groups. Each room will have a facilitator who will moderate the discussion of a dedicated topic according to the agenda.

Training Evaluation

Preconditions for receiving a certificate:

  • Participants to complete the pre- and post-test assessments.
  • Participant to complete watching 3 e-lecture videos and get 60/100 in the quiz of each lecture.
  • Participants to fill in the list of attendees and attend the training at least 90% of dedicated time of the training.
  • Participants who have another appointment shall need to inform his availability one day before training.
  • Participants to submit course assignments.
  • Participants to complete the evaluation survey


Register here

For more information, please contact Rendy Primrizqi (Resilience Officer) via
Mobile/WhatsApp: +62-897-8337-120.

You can also visit the Seoul Human Resources Development Center (SHRDC) website at: