Guest blog: Kaohsiung Strategies for the Future of Urban Mobility brings SDGs to cities

Monika Zimmermann is Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and has led the preparation and adoption of the Kaoshiung Strategies which shall guide ICLEI Members towards the future of urban mobility

The brand new Kaohsiung Strategies shall inspire local governments to transform their transportation systems and mobility patterns to become more sustainable, low-carbon and people-centered and less automobile dependent. They also present ICLEI’s call to apply the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda to local mobility policies.
Traffic and related impacts are one of the biggest problem for all cities, in all parts of the world: Air pollution, reduction of public space, accidents, congestions, cars “taking over”, we can see these developments in cities of all sizes. GHG emissions from the transport sector grow, and even the most ambitious cities – they often grow in population – realize their transport related emissions bring them away from carbon neutrality goals.
The Kaohsiung Strategies, adopted at the end of the EcoMobility World Congress in Kaohsiung on 4 October 2017, shall bring a strong message on urban mobility and climate to the UN Climate Conference COP 23 in Bonn next week. Their 12 key statements also translate SDGs into concrete action required locally.  (
The Kaohsiung Strategies are based on the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, launched by 13 organizations in Kaohsiung in October 2017. ( They explain what these principles shall mean in practice for local decision-makers and experts.
Short but crisp, the Kaohsiung Strategies provide a list of urgently required policy shifts, including basic but radical statements such as “We prioritize people over vehicles”, as well as emerging themes, such as “We support that autonomous vehicle (AVs) in urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets”, “We protect the airspace of our cities”, or “We apply sustainability principles for moving goods:
Green freight and ecologistics”.
The intentions of the SDGs become real, when the Kaoshiung Strategies promote, just to name some examples:

  1. Road Safety (3.6.) : “Ensure safe roads for people by setting an overall urban area speed limit of 30 km/h and  20 km/h in residential areas” and “ Use traffic calming strategies to slow vehicles”;
  2. Mitigate air pollution (3.9): “Remove diesel-fueled vehicles from our cities by 2025” and “Ban fossil-fuel vehicles from cities by 2040 and stop all subsidies for these vehicles”;
  3. Energy Efficiency (7.3): “Promote small, lightweight, shared electric vehicles powered by renewable energy” and “Work with the energy sector to enable an energy transition towards renewable energy as a condition for e-mobility”;
  4. Affordable and equitable access for all (9.1): “Advantage those mobility modes that serve the majority of the people and disadvantage infrastructure for personal automobiles” and “Terminate subsidies for non-sustainable mobility options”;
  5. Equity (SDG 10.2):  “Ensure physical, digital, and financial access to public space and transportation facilities for people of all ages, gender, income levels, and physical and mental abilities”;
  6. Climate Change (13.2). t priorities in decision making and investments towards low emission, soot-free and environmentally friendly vehicles and mobility” and “Shift public transportation and shared use fleets to zero emission vehicles”;
  7. Partnerships (17) and stakeholder involvement: “Integrate all transportation services and thoughtfully plan across service providers, geographies and complementary nodes” and “Take into account that investments in stakeholder engagement for transportation related decisions often accelerates decision processes, identifies better solutions, fosters future cooperation, creates ownership and improves well-being of our urban life”
  8. Data collection and monitoring (17.18): “Enable a systems approach for competition and innovation of data infrastructure for shared transport services while ensuring privacy, security, and accountability”;
  9. Capacity-building (17.9): “Educate local government staff so they may engage in and facilitate debates”.

The Kaohsiung Strategies also want to provoke debate (e.g.: “Plan for a maximum of 150 cars per 1000 inhabitants, mainly as shared cars”) and call local governments and their partners to urgently engage in the debate on autonomous vehicles (e.g. “Regulate the operation of autonomous vehicles with public interests and infrastructure in mind” and “Require that all autonomous vehicles are zero-emission and part of shared fleets”). 
The Strategies also bring new challenges on the agenda (e.g.: “Acknowledge the rights of street vendors, given they respect the sharing of public space and transport their goods in non-motorized or small and emission-free vehicles” and “Protect the urban airspace in our cities & Limit the operation of drones and flying automobiles and taxis in urban areas to public security and public interest purposes and require permitting processes in participatory, transparent procedures”).
The document is available in various languages, as are the Shared Mobility Principles in text and poster. Help us to bring this to the attention of decision-makers, experts and NGOs.

  1. We plan our cities and their mobility together
  2. We prioritize people over vehicles 
  3. We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land
  4. We promote equity
  5. We support fair user fees 
  6. We work towards integration and seamless connectivity
  7. We lead the transition towards a zero emission and renewable energy transport future
  8. We support that autonomous vehicles (AVs) in urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets
  9. We protect the aairspaceof our cities
  10. We apply sustainability principles for moving goods: 
  11. Green freight and ecologistics 
  12. We engage with stakeholders
  13. We prepare our local governments for mobility in the future


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