On Tuesday 10th the UIC and the New York-based Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) held a Learning Centre Session at the 19th Meeting of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UN CSD) at the United Nations in New York.
The session entitled “Sustainable Development & Transport: Practical Solutions” was opened and moderated by Alex Veitch, Senior Advisor Sustainable Development of UIC. The session was attended by national delegates and UN officials, present for the UN CSD meeting, from countries as diverse as Columbia, Senegal and Japan.
Henning Schwarz, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit of UIC, presented the sustainability approach adopted in the rail sector, including recent policies, strategies and improvements, and Ramon Cruz, climate change policy specialist of ITDP presented successful sustainable urban transport projects all over the world.
Following the presentations, participants discussed the vision for future sustainable transport in urban, inter-city and freight markets, and shared their experiences of solving challenges (financial, political and technical) that can stand in the way of achieving this vision.
Participants agreed on the urgent need to act to improve the sustainability of transport systems, and agreed that measures should be tailored to specific local conditions, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, while at the same time learning from good practice in other places.
UIC concluded the session by underlining that “Railways worldwide are prepared to be the backbone of such sustainable transport systems” and offering the support of UIC to cooperate and share technical information on railway systems.