Major new project pioneers sustainable transport in Serbia (Serbia)

By Natasha Martins / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
As with many cities today, Belgrade faces a multitude of challenges related to congestion, noise, air quality, health, safety and the problem of divergent policies in the field of urban transport.
The UNDP Project to Support the Sustainable Urban Transport in the City of Belgrade is one of the pioneer attempts in Serbia to address these challenges and issues at a wider scale. The project is financed through the Global Environmental Facility Fund and has a budget of 950,000 USD over a period of four years. The overall objective is to reduce the metropolitan emissions in the City of Belgrade by improving the public transport scheme, to reinforce the participation of cyclists in the traffic and to provide a policy framework for sustainable urban transport development in Belgrade.

The Land Development Agency and the Secretariat for Transport are the main partners and beneficiaries of the project, which has four outcomes. The first is a completed planning process for launching the preparation of the Sustainable Urban Transport Plan (SUTP). This will ensure that the urban transport systems of Belgrade meet society’s economic, social and environmental needs whilst minimising their undesirable impacts.

The second intended outcome is an increase the use of green modes of transport by promoting cycling. Cyclists will receive digital cycling maps (GPS) to facilitate and stimulate two-wheel commuting. Public authorities will be informed about green modes of transport and supported to prioritise them, such as by investment in the required infrastructure.

Increasing young people’s knowledge and awareness of sustainable transport is the third project outcome. Evidence shows that parents often attempt to protect their children by using the private car as a primary means of transportation. The project will work on changing the behaviour and habits of parents, teachers and children by organising “pedibuses” - group walks for primary school pupils - and marking safe routes to schools.

Finally, the project will promote eco-driving, which increases road safety, improves the quality of the local and global environment and saves fuel and costs. Training in eco-driving will teach car drivers to utilise vehicles differently, foreseeing traffic situations and using gears and brakes economically. Eco-driving training will be delivered to a select number of professional drivers and teachers of transport in high schools. The goal is to achieve integration of eco-driving in driving school curricula and driving tests, and the establishment of eco-driving training, train-the-trainer seminars and infrastructure which will keep the approach alive after the end of the project.

In the frame of this Project and under the umbrella of the European Mobility Week, the City of Belgrade has, for the first time under an institutional framework, organised a wide range of activities to promote alternative mobility.

Source: Natasha Martins, Portfolio Manager for Climate change, Sustainable Transport and Reduction of Metropolitan Emissions, UNDP Serbia
Walking and cycling