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Sustainable urban mobility key to combating climate change: UN commission

SANTIAGO, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Sustainable urban mobility is essential to combating climate change and achieving inclusive urban development, a United Nations (UN) regional commission said here on Tuesday.

Sustainable mobility "must become a matter of public policy," said Mario Cimoli, deputy executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Cimoli made the remarks during the inauguration of the Second Cities Conference held by the ECLAC, saying that sustainable mobility "is not only about mobility, the city and individuals, but also technology, productive activity and everything required for a sustainable growth in the long term."

In a predominantly urban world, the future of the planet "depends on how we develop our cities, and urban mobility systems play a decisive, fundamental role in this process," he said.

The world urban population will reach an estimated 60 percent of the world's population by 2030, while the number of vehicles will double, the UN commission's senior official added.

He underlined that Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the world's most urbanized regions, where nearly 80 percent of the population lives in cities and 56 percent of daily commutes are on public transport.

"Improving urban mobility in the region and ensuring accessible and safe transportation services is a fundamental task to reduce inequalities and improve the quality of life for all citizens," he said.

Chilean Minister of Housing and Urban Planning Cristian Monckeberg also suggested that sustainable urban mobility "is key to a better quality of life in cities."

The minister added that the development of the city "not only depends on good mobility and housing, but also depends on good services in terms of health, education and more."

The Second Cities Conference, which lasts three days, seeks to integrate urban planning, management, financing with mobility and transit systems in Latin America and the Caribbean with the aim of achieving sustainable urban development. 

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