10 C40 cities meet in Addis Ababa to discuss transit-oriented development

A photo blog story

Ten cities from six C40 regions around the world met in Addis Ababa in February for the first-ever Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Network Workshop. The following C40 cities attended: Addis Ababa, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tshwane. A range of key issues related to transit-oriented development were discussed over three days, including: public engagement and social equity; plans, policies and strategies for TOD; and implementation of TOD. 

The workshop represented a number of firsts. It was the first C40 TOD Network workshop; it was the first C40 Network workshop in Africa; and it was the first C40 workshop in Addis Ababa.

“We were honoured for the City of Addis Ababa to host the first workshop of the TOD Network and also the first C40 Network workshop in Africa,” said Abebaw Sentie, Urban Plan Institute Director for the City of Addis Ababa. “To have such diverse global cities and expertise in one place has been so valuable at a critical time for Addis Ababa in planning and delivering transit-oriented development.”

Participants attended a series of sessions designed to foster candid discussions around the key challenges of implementing transit-oriented development and creating sustainable communities.

A highlight of the workshop was a site visit and cultural event put on by the host city. Participants were able to see first-hand the scale of transit-oriented development taking place in Addis Ababa, from a massive housing development effort to a new light rail transit (LRT) line, while also enjoying a traditional coffee ceremony and a night of Ethiopian food and cultural dancing.

"It was great to experience Ethiopian hospitality with my new colleagues from around the world. The coffee ceremony was a social occasion, and it gave us a fantastic opportunity to talk about our work on transit-oriented development in a relaxed, informal setting," said Ashley Atkinson, Planning and Housing Specialist for the City of Los Angeles.

The workshop concluded with a wrap-up session that gave participating cities the opportunity to identify priorities for further work and assistance. “Through this process common threads began to emerge as well as priority work for the TOD Network to facilitate research topics and future engagements,” said Leigh Stolworthy, of Cape Town’s Transport System Planning department.

The TOD Network, funded by the Ford Foundation, supports global cities to become more compact and connected, minimizing vehicle kilometers travelled and increasing access to public transportation and economic activity.