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Impact assessment and transport planning guidelines for Tbilisi

Tbilisi

From 1990 to 2015, urban population in Asia and the Pacific Region doubled within this period and grew faster than any other region. Between 2015 and 2050, Asia’s cities are expected to rise from 50% to about 65% of its total population, which will rise from 2.1 billion to 3.3 billion people. While this presents opportunities for higher productivity and better living standards, there are several risks – so integrated urban planning is needed. To engage selected cities in an integrated approach towards becoming more livable, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) established the Future Cities Program (FCP) in the Asia and Pacific Region.[1] [2]

One of these selected cities is Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. The physical features of the city give it a picturesque look and unique character. The same features, however, have become a challenge for the city’s mobility. The hilly nature of Tbilisi, along with the poor quality of its public transport, high road congestion, unregulated taxis, and cheap parking impede its shift to sustainable urban mobility.

Yet, with support from the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the city has started to take on a smarter way forward, where innovative strategies and international standards are considered in transport planning. To help the Tbilisi Transport Department ‘do things in the right way’, the CDIA-ADB partnership enables the long-term placement of an Urban Transport Advisor within the Transport Department to provide strategic guidance on policy development, along with a team comprising of an Urban Management Specialist and four more transport experts.[3]

Additionally, ADB, through a knowledge partnership agreement, engaged the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) to advise and provide technical support to the city government of Tbilisi, Georgia in the preparation of guidelines for transport planning and impact assessment.

Therefore, the Transport Department developed a first draft version of their transport assessment framework. This framework defines an assessment approach and includes e.g. data specifications, calculation methods as well as dedicated guidelines for specific issues.

The focus of AIT’s work will be on the detailed elaboration of the guidelines for some of the individual phases:

  • Survey of road infrastructure and road scheme of study area:
    Guidelines and methods to calculate road capacity, e.g. from open source data, as well as definition of the required data basis for these calculations
  • Study of public transport accessibility and map:
    Guidelines and methods for the definition of catchment areas of different public transport system, extraction of public transport stop isochrones
  • Number of residents/visitors within the proposed development and total number of generated/attracted trips:
    Guidelines and methods to estimate the number of residents / work places / etc. and generated trips resulting from a certain development as well as definition of the required data basis for these calculations
  • Impact assessment of new generated trips:
    Development of a suitable impact assessment approach

 

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[1] Asian Development Bank: Establishing the Future Cities Program in the Asia and Pacific Region, Project Number: 49053-001, Technical Assistance Report, December 2015 (https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/project-document/178245/49053-001-tar.pdf)

[2] United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Divison; www.un.org/en/development/desa/ population/publications/database/index.shtml

[3] Cities Development Initiative for Asia: A Smarter Way Forward for Tbilisi City, April 2018; cdia.asia/2018/04/27/a-smarter-way-forward-for-tbilisi-city/