By 2025, 75 per cent of ASEAN's population is expected to live in urban areas. Much of this growth is expected in medium-sized urban centres. Such centres between 200,000 and 2 million inhabitants. With rapid urbanisation, transport challenges increase, such as congestion, pollution and social inequality in access to mobility. The lost time and higher transport cost of traffic congestion cost Asian economies 2 up to 5 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP).
The urban sprawl beyond administrative city limits adds a further level of complexity to the economic and environmental challenges on a metropolitan scale. Lack of coordination between different governmental bodies leads to bottlenecks in infrastructure and weak transport services, which in turn stimulates private car ownership. It is estimated that sales of passenger cars in ASEAN will double between 2015 and 2025 to over three million vehicles sold per year. This will put additional pressure on the already congested cities.
The project "Sustainable Design of Urban Mobility in Middle-Sized Metropolitan Regions" supports four metropolitan regions across the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in their ambitions to create metropolitan mobility planning procedures. Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Nong Khai, and Can Tho are the SMMR project partner cities. The project aims to support ASEAN member states to mainstream strategies and concepts for integrated, sustainable mobility into their planning and governance practices.