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Setting guidelines for identifying sustainable transport challenges in medium-sized cities in Indonesia

Nijenhuis, Guido (2012) Setting guidelines for identifying sustainable transport challenges in medium-sized cities in Indonesia.

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Abstract:In the recent climate change debate much focus is placed on low carbon development. The transportation sector is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gases. Therefore CO2 mitigation is a key issue in transport planning. On a local level however other transport externalities receive more attention. The use of co-benefits captures the effect on CO2 emissions from transport measures. The concept of sustainable transport includes low carbon development concerns and these co-benefits. In the next decades the energy use in the world is expected to further increase, especially in the developing world, and the share of energy uses in transport is also expected to increase. These two developments stress the need for more sustainable transport strategies. In developing such strategies the evaluation of the sustainability of transport systems plays an important role. Medium-sized cities in developing countries are however often not capable of performing such evaluations due to a lack of institutional capacity, knowledge and funding. This research aimed at developing an evaluation framework for medium-sized cities in Indonesia and applying this to the Indonesian cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta to test the feasibility of identifying sustainable transport goals. The results were used to set guidelines for future evaluations. The framework applied in this research started with making an initial long-list of possible indicators. Criteria that related to the methodological quality of indicators and the relevance of these indicators to the concept of sustainable transport were used in the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to select a set of indicators. In the process of selecting indicators stakeholder participation was found to be important. In this research transport experts’ judgments were used for selecting the indicator criteria and the surveys for the AHP were conducted among transport experts and users. Application of this framework in the cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta has shown that in both cities it was difficult to find the necessary data and that available data was often unreliable. This made it hard to perform a good evaluation of the sustainability of transport systems and the sustainable transport goals. With the growing need for cities to develop sustainable transport strategies it is important that these cities start addressing the issues that hamper the development of such strategies. Evaluation of the sustainability of transport systems is a first step in identifying sustainable transport goals, but is also important in tracking progress. The data that was available has been used to identify sustainable transport challenges in the two cities. The biggest challenge in both cities is dealing with the increasing motorization of the transport system, which leads to congestion, air pollution and traffic accidents. A second challenge will be to improve the functioning of the local governments. Sustainable transport planning requires that governments share information. The lessons learned from the application of the evaluation framework in Yogyakarta and Surakarta has been used to develop guidelines for future sustainable transport evaluations in medium-sized cities in Indonesia. These guidelines also apply to cities in other developing countries, when they have to deal with the same issues. The following guidelines can be used as a road map by these cities: 1. Adopt a sustainable transport strategy Evaluating the sustainability of transport systems is important as input for sustainable transport strategies. The local government that has decided to start developing sustainable transport strategies should have a clear idea about the concept of sustainability and how it applies to transport. 2. Strengthen institutional capacity and knowledge From literature and this research it became clear that the medium-sized cities in Indonesia do not have the capacity and knowledge at the moment to evaluate the sustainability of transport systems. The use of indicator data is only useful when this is available and reliable. Therefore an important task is to strengthen institutional capacity and knowledge. International organizations can help local governments doing this, but also national knowledge centers can be established, where knowledge and best practices are shared. 3. Choose an evaluation method The evaluation framework has to specify how the transport system is evaluated. First the context should be established as input for the selection of indicators. In this process stakeholders should be asked to evaluate the set of indicators. The framework should also specify how the data is collected and processed. 4. Choose the right indicators In the evaluation indicators have to be used to provide information on the sustainability of the transport systems. For the selection of indicators from a long-list criteria have to be used to assess the methodological quality of the indicator. The final set of indicators should be balanced, covering all dimensions of sustainable transport. An indicator set should contain 10-15 indicators to be comprehensible. 5. Standardize the measurement of indicator data The measurement of indicator data should be standardized temporally and spatially. This will allow making trends that provide useful information. Also the same units should be used, to be able to compare the data. For each of the indicators targets will have to be defined. 6. Structure public participation Through the whole process of evaluation there should be public participation. This is advocated by many literature sources, but it is not clear how this should be done. As it is difficult to include the public in this process, interest representatives can be asked to join. Examples of such representatives are pedestrian or cycling associations, public transport passenger associations and motorist associations. These associations are more concerned with transport issues and have a better understanding of sustainable transport implications.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Pustral-UGM: Pusat Studi Transportasi dan Logistik
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:55 traffic technology, transport technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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