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iRAP was delighted to contribute to the Asia and the Pacific ADB Transport Forum from 14 – 15 May in Manila, focussed on transport as an enabler of development in the region and ways to address the threats from climate change.

Transport plays a huge role in development for the region, reflected by transport taking up 25% of ADB spend. A large infrastructure gap still exists for transport, with significant investment needed and growing pressures from climate change. The region is particularly susceptible to extreme weather events and over the past two decades transport development has had to move quickly from a predominantly road focused approach to a broader framing of modes of transport, funding, and future proofing.

iRAP’s Global Programme Director Greg Smith and IndiaRAP Technical Manager Jigesh Bhavsar shared iRAP partners’ work in the region and contributed to a range of important discussions framing future development.

Donor Roundtable

Developing modern, sustainable urban transport systems that help combat the effects of climate change is a complex undertaking that requires the participation of a wide range of stakeholders. 

The Donor Roundtable sought to foster a dialogue among representatives from donors (Multilateral Development Banks and bilateral organizations) who provide technical and financial support to beneficiary countries and cities in Asia and the Pacific. Current trends, innovative approaches and new types of assistance were discussed that are crucial for a successful transition to clean, efficient, and sustainable transportation for all.

Donors representatives, including iRAP’s Greg Smith, provided insights on on-going initiatives, strategies and projects, as well as challenges and needs to improve donors’ assistance, particularly in emerging areas.

“It was great to hear all the donors recognising the importance of safety in action on climate change, and the reality that roads will still be built and they need to be safe for everyone,” Greg said.

Gamifying Safe and Sustainable Urban Streets

The Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO), in collaboration with iRAP and the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) delivered a new module in the Road Safety Capacity Building Programme to engage developing Asian country road safety staff and managers, technical practitioners and ADB staff. The active learning session was delivered in hybrid format structured through the lens of an implementation board game with expert presentations on key topics and tools.

The novel session aimed to build professional and institutional capacity for delivering safe city streets including the process for effective design and implementation, a people and place-based approach to creating contextual streets for all road users, and learnings from successful projects implemented in low and middle income countries.

Data insights for road safety

The Asian Transport Outlook (ATO) National Database is a collection of national-level indicators on the transport sector in 51 economies in the Asia Pacific region using about 400 indicators. Star Rating and iRAP feature in the road safety indicators. The database also includes relevant information on policy frameworks for transport in these economies.

Rebecca Stapleton, Senior Transport Specialist at the ADB shared lifesaving outcomes on the Shaanxi Demonstration Corridor in China, showing that safer roads really do save lives.

An AI Road Safety Answer Engine is currently under development in an ADB Project supported by iRAP. Pictured here is iRAP’s Jigesh Bhavsar testing the technology.

The biennial Transport Forum brings together key decision makers of governmental transport agencies and organizations; other government agencies in related fields such as energy, health, social development, urban development, employment, environment and climate change; infrastructure and asset managers of transport networks and systems; transport sector specialists; policy makers, regulators, and managers from the public and private sectors; representatives and experts in transport related technologies; and development and knowledge partners working on transport issues and solutions.

This year’s Forum provided an opportunity for stakeholders to learn more about ongoing updates to the Highway Development and Management analysis framework and tools (HDM-4.) Over 30 years, HDM-4 has provided the basis for justifying road investment in well over 100 countries but during that time much has changed in terms of vehicle technology, pavement construction and the pressures on roads from climate change.

Watch the Highlights Video:

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
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