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Special Issue "Sustainable Urban Transportation in the Global South – Understanding and Addressing the Challenge"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Madhav Badami

School of Urban Planning and McGill School of Environment, McGill University, Room 400, Macdonald-Harrington Building, 815 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montréal, QC, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental policy and planning; urban infrastructure and services; urban transport; alternative transport fuels; and environment and development
Guest Editor
Prof. Geetam Tiwari

Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Room MS 815, Main Building Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110016, India
Interests: transportation planning and accident analysis; traffic flow analysis; design of high capacity bus systems; analysis of alternative urban layouts; highway capacity analysis; traffic calming; sustainable transportation; road safety

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Motor vehicle activity has been growing rapidly in the Global South, and is expected to continue to do so, along with rapid urbanization and growing incomes. This phenomenon is causing serious adverse health and welfare, environmental, and socio-economic impacts, with profoundly important implications at the local, regional and global scales, even as it has greatly expanded mobility for millions. These challenges are particularly daunting, not only because of their scale, but also given the inadequate technological and political-institutional capabilities to address them.
This Special Issue of the Sustainability journal aims to understand and address this challenge, with specific reference to urban transport in the Global South. Although the focus will be on the Global South, we welcome contributions to this Special Issue from across the world.
We invite paper submissions that discuss the challenges and barriers associated with, and strategies for, promoting urban transport systems that are safe, health promoting, environmentally responsible, resource conserving, cost-effective, and socially equitable, in the Global South. Paper submissions may address this topic in one or more of its multiple dimensions (environmental, socio-economic, scientific-technological, political-institutional, human behavioural); reflect one or more of multiple perspectives (decision maker, commuter, public, etc.); and draw on one or more of a range of disciplines. At the same time, the papers should explore the implications of the research that they present, for sustainability, broadly conceived. The papers may focus on the situation in the metropolitan centres or in small and medium sized cities, or they may have a national, or even regional focus. Finally, and importantly, the paper submissions should be critical and analytical, rather than merely descriptive.

Following are some of the issues that the paper submissions may focus on, within the context of sustainable urban transport in the Global South:

  • trends in motorization and the use of other urban travel modes
  • travel demand management
  • urban transport-land use interactions
  • urban transport and health, including road safety
  • accessibility and active transportation; planning for non-motorized modes
  • energy and environmental impacts of urban transport, including air pollution, and climate change
  • alternative transport fuel systems, including electric vehicles
  • public transit and paratransit
  • urban transport impacts for the urban poor; affordability and equity
  • metrics and analytical approaches for assessment of sustainable urban transport systems
  • policy, decision-making, investments, and institutional mechanisms for sustainable urban transportation

You are welcome to send the guest editors a brief abstract, if you wish, to enquire about the appropriateness of your proposed paper submission for consideration in this Special Issue.

Dr. Madhav Badami
Prof. Geetam Tiwari
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainability
  • urban transport
  • global South
  • challenges
  • barriers
  • policies
  • analysis

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Commuting in Urban Kenya: Unpacking Travel Demand in Large and Small Kenyan Cities
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143823
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
PDF Full-text (2327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
In Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, streets are regularly gridlocked. While it is clear that roads are congested at peak hours, it is not known which commuters are experiencing that congestion or what their commute times actually are. Even less is known about commuting [...] Read more.
In Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, streets are regularly gridlocked. While it is clear that roads are congested at peak hours, it is not known which commuters are experiencing that congestion or what their commute times actually are. Even less is known about commuting patterns in other Kenyan cities. This paper contributes new evidence on commuting from a survey of 14,580 households, conducted in 15 Kenyan cities in 2013. Walking and matatus—privately-operated paratransit—account for 89% of all adult commuting in urban Kenya. As cities increase in size, the proportion relying on walking falls and matatu use increases. Within a city, commuters with higher income and education, and those living further from the city center, are more likely to use matatus rather than walk. Commute times are surprisingly short. In smaller Kenyan cities the median commute time is just 20 min. In Nairobi, the median commute time is 30 min, and only 5% of those surveyed reported commuting an hour or longer. These data paint a remarkably sustainable picture of urban travel patterns in Kenya. As incomes, education levels, and demand for motorized travel rise, the challenge will be to expand and improve the system while maintaining its sustainability. Full article

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