How can we increase access to affordable, safe, low-carbon and inclusive urban mobility? The tailored Executive Education Programme “Leading Transport Transitions” (LTT) is dedicated to helping city leaders transform urban mobility and enable sustainable transport transitions.

Recognizing unprecedented motorization, persisting congestion, new risks of social exclusion and record levels of transport-related carbon emissions, the programme was designed to empower city leaders build innovative, context-specific strategies for transitioning to affordable, safe, low-carbon and inclusive urban mobility.

In London, UK, the three-day in-person module brought together 15 exceptional mayors and high-level urban transport leaders from various parts of the globe, who are dedicated to transforming their cities by successfully building innovative mobility strategies.

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“Through this class, I have learned the importance of combining innovation, collaboration, and resilience in facing our challenges.”

Elaine Chang, City Engineer, Special Projects Department, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Mutual learning and site visits

LTT focuses on developing context-specific strategies and strengthening participants’ leadership skills to enable urban transport transitions, whilst operating effectively in politically and institutionally complex urban environments. It therefore builds on the participants’ experiences and has a strong peer-learning aspect. The programme is structured into policy and leadership sessions.

Group photo at the in-person module in London

Policy-oriented sessions range from the fundamentals of sustainable urban transport, technology, transport equity, and street design to a dedicated focus on transport data, planning, and finance. Leadership sessions cover critical aspects of implementation tactics, stakeholder analysis, and negotiation as well as narrative development, campaign building, and media training.

“For me, it is very important to be able to have a conversation in which we can share successful experiences but also difficulties regarding practical policies in the field of sustainable mobility.”

Carolina Leitao, Mayor of Penalolén, Chile

Site visits were an essential part of the gathering in London – a city known for the Oyster Card, evolving bicycle schemes and Cycle Superhighways, and the Congestion Charge.

Site visit by bike as part of the in-person module in London

Paving the way for sustainable transport

The programme was delivered through LSE Cities’ blended learning format based on two modules: An online module with contents on a digital learning platform and live virtual meetings with the LSE Faculty, followed by the in-person module in London. This offered a forum for exchange and horizontal learning, enabling participants to shape their public transport agenda, understand how to build coalitions, and deliver strong narratives in support of their transport vision.

Dr. Philipp Rode, Executive Director at LSE Cities, points out that the more we can collectively build a space for thought, practice, and mutual learning, the more likely it is that we will see interventions that support both hyperlocal and global objectives related to sustainable public transport. Ultimately, the LTT programme empowers urban leaders to shape the future of urban mobility in their cities and pave the way for sustainable transport.

“The programme has allowed us to learn first-hand how other cities in the world are doing it. It’s very important to see how, for example, London has managed to reduce the environmental impact or the gap that it had generated years ago and how now, with pollution levels, they are decreasing. That is a great message for small cities, as in Costa Rica, where although it’s true we may not have a major pollution problem, we could in the future. And it’s important to develop projects right now to avoid reaching those levels that could affect people’s quality of life.”

Jimmy Cruz Jiménez, Mayor of Curridabat, Costa Rica

The programme was a collaborative effort between the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and delivered by LSE Cities.