Tuesday, 01 December 2015 00:00

GIZ Indonesia city partners shared experiences in Connective Cities

"Every city has a unique character and different problems. Development of a sustainable transport system must retain the unique and characteristic of the city" -  a statement by the representative of the Mayor of Cebu, Rafael Christopher, which sets the opening of 3rd Connective Cities Dialogue in Asia – Practitioners’ Workshop in Cebu, Philippines on 17 to 19 November 2015. Connective Cities is an international cities platform, the Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Development facilitated by the German government through GIZ and the German Association of Cities with the aim of promoting sustainable development through discussion and sharing of experiences between cities in the world. The Dialogue was attended by stakeholders working on city development, ranging from city governments, NGOs and educational institutions, from three countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, and Germany with a total of 25 participants from 9 (nine) cities. The Indonesian representatives include city government of Semarang, Malang (accompanied by GIZ Paklim) and city government of Bogor and Surakarta (accompanied by GIZ SUTIP). Cebu City Mayor, Michael Lopez Rama, was also present during the discussions and emphasize the importance of learning from other cities to encourage Cebu become the most livable city for all like the city motto.   Green Cities' Implication for Sustainable Urban Mobility as the theme for this dialogue has given important lesson learnt for the participants. First lesson, the commitment of city leaders is a key element to provide a reliable, safe, and comfortable public transport. Sustainable transport system requires a lengthy and costly time and process. Private sector involvement in financing like the case in Europe, especially Germany, should be encouraged, even though the co-financing process through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to provide public transport does not always run smoothly and sometimes could limit the government to control the tariff. Secondly, it is important to have participation, gender and collaboration among stakeholders in each process. In Indonesia, reflecting from Semarang City experience, women tend to have limited access to private vehicles (either own vehicle or using the vehicle), which make women rely more on public transportation. Gender integration in the public transportation planning becomes important to provide more gender sensitive public transportation system. Thirdly, the application of technology and social media as in transportation information system to provide more option for the passengers in terms of transportation mode, schedule, travel time, route and cost. The use of technology can offer a "One Stop Mobility Shop" for transport system, which has been implemented in Hanover, Germany and provide a variety of options and convenience for users. Providing a public transport system that is safe, reliable, convenient and affordable, is a priority that must be achieved by all cities.