Transport planning for climate adaptation
Transport planning for climate adaptation

With climate change already happening and affecting the lives of individuals, not just in developed cities but most especially in developing cities, this study examines the potential role of indigenous transport towards increasing community resilience while minimizing vulnerability.

Indigenous transport modes are defined as modes developed by locals to suit the needs of a specific local population, and well-adapted to a specific local context, condition and culture. Some examples would be paratransits such as the Philippine jeepneys and Indonesian angkot, two-wheeler ojeks and non-motorised three-wheeler pedicabs. While indigenous transport modes have been operating for decades in various developing cities, regulations tend to limit their presence without considering their overall contribution to the transport system. This, however, does not paint a complete picture as indigenous transport does contribute in various capacities. For example, cycle-rickshaws complement mainstream public transport by serving as to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Bogota (Colombia); motorcycle taxis serve as a transport alternative often competing with existing public transport in Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam); and in areas with a pronounced lack thereof, cycle-rickshaw Dhaka (Bangladesh) fills in the service gap, even claiming to offer better service than mainstream transport while at the same time enhancing mobility of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women and children. Their continued presence in developing cities, either formally or informally, further justifies their importance to the transport sector.

Previous interventions to mitigate climate change were not adequate, therefore, planning for adaptation has become an important agenda to address climate change impacts wherein indigenous transport provides a feasible strategy to increase the adaptive capacity of communities. For example, IT modes provide mobility during the annual monsoon flooding period in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During this period, only rickshaws have the operational capacity to provide the much needed mobility and access to different parts of the city.

This Study offers a different perspective in exploring and understanding the meaning and role of indigenous transport in four Asia-Pacific cities, namely: Ho Chi Minh City (Viet Nam), Baguio City (Philippines), Bandung City (Indonesia) and Bangkok (Thailand). The study aims to: (1) document the presence of indigenous transport system within selected Asia-Pacific cities; (2) identify the role of indigenous transport modes in climate change adaptation and its potential for mainstreaming into the policy context; and (3) explore its wider socio-economic impacts in developing countries. Outcomes of the study will provide policy-relevant insights to better understand the role of indigenous transport and establish trends and prospects in climate change adaptation within developing cities in Asia and the Pacific. It will advance the knowledge base in transport planning, contribute to preserving local transport knowledge and provide a link to past, present and future generations.

Funding: Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies - International Cooperative Research Activity (EASTS-ICRA)
Researchers: Dr Iderlina Mateo-Babiano (Australia),Dr Danielle Guillen (Philippines), Dr Tri Basuki Joewono (Indonesia),Dr Yusak Susilo (Sweden, Indonesia), Dr Brian Canlas Gozun (Philippines),Dr  Michelle Parumog-Pernia (Philippines), Dr Jane Romero (Japan, Philippines) and Dr Sorawit Narupiti (Thailand).

Last updated: Mar 20, 2014