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The Role of Transport in Urban Resilience: Responding to COVID-19, Climate Emergency and Other Crises

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As governments focus their attention on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries, it will be of utmost importance that other priorities such as climate change or road safety are not scaled back. The fear is that the threat of COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on public transport and prompt more people to choose individual car-based transport.

But the world cannot accept further delays and cancellation of planned legislation and infrastructure implementations that impact on sustainable urban mobility. Post-COVID-19, cities will have to promote more sustainable pathways, in which economic development is decoupled from private motorization – in order to enhance the cities’ resilience of future crises.

Previous crises have shaped how cities are planned and how people move in them. We have a window of opportunity to learn from the current pandemic and to build back better by making our mobility systems more resilient and responsive to crises.

This session discusses how cities can future-proof their mobility systems and become stronger and ready to address climate change, air pollution, road fatalities and future pandemics.

In this session, national and local policy-makers can identify measures to recover from COVID-19 and rebuild resilient urban mobility systems, improving accessibility for all and reducing risks of disease transmission in public transport systems.


  • Oliver Lah, Head of Research Unit Mobility and International Cooperation, Wuppertal Institute

Keynote speaker

  • Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety


  • Andre Dzikus, Coordinator, Urban Basic Services Section, UN-Habitat
  • Fernando de la Torre, Director of the Alternative Transport Modes Department, Mobility Secretariat, Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito, Ecuador (video input)
  • Syafrin Liputo, ATD. M.T., Head of Transportation Agency, DKI Jakarta Province, Indonesia
  • Hien Nguyen Thi Thu, University of Transport Technology, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Ronald Lwakatare, CEO, Dar Rapid Transit Agency, Tanzania
  • Regatu Solomon, Addis Ababa Transport Bureau, Ethiopia