CHIANG MAI, September 12, 2023 – Representatives from social enterprises, non-government organizations, civic groups, and coalitions in Southeast Asia working on inclusivity, transport, climate change, and energy gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand last August 23 to 25 to learn from each other about good practices in advancing inclusive, clean urban mobility in the region.

Dubbed the Southeast Asia Urban Mobility Movers, 39 participants from 27 civil society groups in the region gathered in the Amora Tha Pae Hotel in Chiang Mai for their first-ever learning exchange session to promote good practices on inclusive and clean urban mobility in Southeast Asia and discuss how the civil society community can foster regional collaboration in accelerating inclusive, clean, and sustainable mobility in ASEAN cities. The convening was jointly organized by the Philippine-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC),  Chiang Mai-based Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV), and the Clean Mobility Collective (CMC) global network.       

“This gathering is [a] relevant network in sharing experiences and learning from the best practices on the issues of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emission in [the] transport sector,” said Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor Hon. Jiroj Rojanasawoapak as he welcomed the Southeast Asia Urban Mobility Movers in their city on August 23.

He likewise underscored the city’s efforts to make Chiang Mai healthy and progressive. “Like other cities, the formulation of inclusive environmental management policies should  prioritize the health of people and economic growth,” Rojanasawoapak added.

The three-day learning event culminated with an experiential community visit in the municipality of Meangkan, where representatives from the Thailand Walking and Cycling Institute (TWCI) successfully partnered with the community to not just introduce cycling as a daily mode of transport for the predominantly farming households, but also integrate it in community-based ecotourism.

In its tenth month of implementation, the municipality of Meangkan was able to successfully adopt slow speed limits for motorized vehicles, leading to a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians alike. In the process of promoting bicycles as daily mode of transport, Meangkan community members were able to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 6,950 kilograms, translating to savings worth 3,077 liters of gasoline and THB 145,673 (USD 4,143) in finances.