20 April, Thursday – The SDG 11 Champions of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety Alain Ghossein, Oliva Nalwadda, and Stephen Kome Fondzenyuy lead the launch of our latest SDG Policy Brief on road safety and sustainable cities titled “Rethinking Mobility and Road Safety: A Transformative Vision of Youth”, which they wrote and delivered.

The Policy Brief presents the role of road safety in achieving the targets under SDG 11, specifically target 11.2 which looks to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations (women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons). 

“Cities are responsible for a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions, with a high proportion of slum dwellers in urban areas not adequately considered in planning processes… Proper road safety is essential for making public areas sustainable and providing safer and more sustainable ways to commute to schools, work, leisure, and access services. There is no sustainable transport and sustainable urban city without road safety and it’s reciprocal” – SDG 11 Policy Brief (Rethinking Mobility and Road Safety: A Transformative Vision of Youth)

The Brief elaborates on the linkages between youth, road safety, and sustainable cities and communities. It also presents key facts and figures that highlight the current situation faced by people as members of the community and as road users when it comes to how they interact with cities, transportation, and mobility. 

In the Brief, the writers emphasized how young people are recognized as the most affected by any sustainability programs and therefore need to be meaningfully consulted and involved. It states, “Young people need to be at the center of any urban sustainable mobility programs. Failing to do so risks creating a society that disregards youth development, leaving them to their fate.”  

Presenting some of the developments made in addressing challenges in the creation of more sustainable cities, the Brief lists significant progress and investment that have been made by United Nations agencies, governments, civil society organizations, and citizens to fast-track the achievement of the objectives to make cities more sustainable, safe, inclusive, and resilient.

The Brief gives examples that are close to home through some of our Local Actions initiative projects that fund and support community-led projects that focus on creating sustainable communities through safe, accessible, and inclusive roads. It used the “Hey, I’m Moving on Two Wheels” project and the “Safe Return to School” project as examples of evidence-based initiatives that implement best practices that can be replicated in other areas of the world. 

We call on youth leaders, global organizations, and other stakeholders to use the Brief in their projects and advocacy work, especially if it’s connected with road safety, tactical mobility, engineering, and other related areas. It also presents recommendations for different organizations such as governments, civil societies, and youth-led organizations should do to further efforts to create safer roads and more sustainable cities.