The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Developing inclusive transport infrastructure

At COP28, UNOPS and partners launch new guidelines for developing inclusive transport infrastructure to help advance climate action and ensure no one is left behind.

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Guidelines for developing inclusive transport infrastructure

Co-authored with the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Women and Arup, the publication provides practical guidance on how to implement inclusive approaches to transport infrastructure development.

“From climate change to conflicts, the world is facing grave challenges that place the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in jeopardy,” said Samantha Stratton-Short, UNOPS Head of Strategic Initiatives.

“Infrastructure development must be accelerated to respond to these challenges and address development gaps – and transforming the way transport infrastructure is planned, designed and managed is key to addressing climate change and ensuring no one is left behind,” added Samantha Stratton-Short. 

To help, the guidelines propose a participatory and integrated approach that considers sustainability and resilience alongside inclusion. This includes three main concepts that underpin the entire publication: leave no one behind, meaningful participation, and an integrated approach to quality infrastructure development.

Inclusive transportation infrastructure must respond to women’s different mobility needs, including related to their household and care responsibilities.

Kalliopi Mingeirou - Chief, Ending violence against women section, UN Women

“Gender responsive infrastructure must also respond to women’s safety needs, as we know that women around the world experience sexual harassment when using public transportation, when waiting for buses and when walking through the streets of their communities,” added Kalliopi Mingeirou.

In addition, the guidelines highlight four approaches to address implementation challenges faced by transport practitioners in the Global South.

Drawing on project case studies in Afghanistan, Chile, Lebanon, Tanzania and Timor-Leste, the guidelines can help practitioners build their understanding of root causes of transport inequalities, and identify inclusive approaches and actions that can empower women and marginalized groups.

“ILO’s unique approach of integrating employment-intensive approaches in infrastructure development ensures that investments in infrastructure – including in transport – are human-centred and sustainable,” said Mito Tsukamoto, Branch Chief, Employment in Investments, for ILO’s Employment Policy, Jobs Creation and Livelihoods Department.

“Optimizing (decent) job creation in public investments creates local multipliers in achieving many of the SDGs and ultimately promoting social justice where it is most needed,” she added.

This publication is the first volume within a series providing guidance on inclusive infrastructure development. Upcoming publications in the series will address inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, energy infrastructure, health infrastructure and education infrastructure.

The guidance series follows on from UNOPS Inclusive Infrastructure for Climate Action report, which provides a detailed overview of the systemic barriers that diverse social groups face and the conceptual framework for the inclusive infrastructure principles.

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