What is this action guide all about?

The purpose of the action guide

The purpose of this guide is to introduce urban transport issues to a wider audience than just professional transport planners and experts. 

Many community organisations, journalists and decision-makers need to have some awareness of the basics of urban transport. This book tries to make it easier to find out those basics. 

Demystifying urban transport Transport can often seem technical but this guide tries to demystify the issue. 

Transport planning has often been portrayed as something that must be left to the experts. However, at their root most transport decisions are political and they need to be in tune with a vision for the kind of towns and cities that we want. 

Impacts of urban transport fall heavily on people who are already disadvantaged. In most countries of Asia and the Pacific the social and environmental impacts of transportation are escalating. These impacts fall most heavily on people who are already disadvantaged, such as people living in poverty, people with disabilities, those with insecure housing rights, women, people living in inaccessible areas. Current transport priorities neglect the large proportion of the population in Asian cities who depend on non-motorised transport (NMT) and public transport.
Involve communities in transport planning Traditional approaches to transport planning usually distrust community involvement and insist that transport is a technical matter to be left to the experts. Communities, organisations and individuals CAN take action on the issue. Unless there is an effort to involve poor communities, pedestrians, bus riders and non-motorised vehicle (NMV) users in transport planning, only the voices of motorists and big business will be heard.

There is an urgent need to build capacity among communities, community organisations, and non-governmental organisations to address transport issues. Such groups need help to:
  1. assert their right to have a say on transport issues;
  2. gain a basic understanding and access to information so as to be able to exercise their say;
  3. know where to turn for advice, more information, or for contacts on specific transport issues.
Your comments are welcome Comments, suggestions and corrections from readers and users are most welcome to help us with future updates of this Guide. We welcome relevant material, experiences, links, stories, contacts - anything that can make this guide more relevant and useful. See the end of the book for a feedback form.