Active mobility refers to walking, cycling and using personal mobility devices as a means of transportation, in combination with the use of public transport.

Active mobility can and should be made easier and safer in Metro Manila. Moving people, not cars, must be the priority – 88% of households in Metro Manila and the rest of the Greater Manila Area do not own cars, while the remaining 12% own at least one (JICA-MUCEP, 2015).

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in partnership with MNL Moves and University of Twente, conducted an active mobility survey throughout Metro Manila from November to December 2019. It collected 407 responses on active commuters’ perceptions on the current state of active mobility in Metro Manila and what should be done to make the metropolis more cyclable and walkable.


Based on our survey, these are the primary recommendations to improve active mobility in Metro Manila:

1. Enable cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
a. Create an interconnected bike lane network, and connect sidewalks and foot paths, across the metro
b. Set up more bike racks, storage, and other cycling-friendly facilities
c. Line bike and walk paths with shady trees and lighting
2. Change mindsets, priorities, and policies to move people, not cars
3. Generate more data to support planning and policies

All these recommendations can be elements of a sustainable transport plan that integrates and operationalizes active mobility in the cities, consistent with the National Transport Policy. Eventually a framework could then hopefully be built to promote active mobility in Metro Manila, as well as in the Philippines.


Given that the lack of interconnectivity of bike lanes and sidewalks is the primary concern of the respondents, and looking at the pattern of most used routes in Metro Manila, the installation of bike infrastructure must be prioritized along all major (circumferential and radial) routes.


The data gathered is not representative of Metro Manila as a whole. The survey, which was made online, targeted the demographics of working commuters residing in Metro Manila.



#PHmobility : Active Mobility Survey in Metro Manila
Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities with University of Twente and MNL Moves

Authors: Kevin Heerema and Rosan Verbraak, University of Twente
Editorial Board: Arielle Celine Tabinga, Aldrin Pelicano, Maria Golda P. Hilario, Renato Redentor Constantino, Denise Fontanilla, and Ira Dominique Guerrero
Graphic Design: Joseph Manalo

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is an international climate and energy policy group based in the Philippines advancing climate resilience and low carbon development.

The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university in the Netherlands. It prides itself in pioneering High Tech Human Touch, which fuses technology, science and engineering with social sciences.

MNL Moves is a community of transport cyclists and pedestrians that works to make active mobility (cycling and walking) easier and safer in Metro Manila.