LADP has supported Kerbala, Babil and Missan Governorates to develop Governorate Transportation Plans. The initiative has introduced contemporary approaches to address transportation and urban mobility challenges –particularly to improve accessibility and reduce distances in the future as key to the socio-economic development of rural and urban areas. The piloted urban planning models provide analytical insights and strategic policy guidance that are applicable across Iraq.

The LADP/UN-Habitat team engaged counterparts from the pilot Governorates and the Ministry of Planning (through its local-level Directorates) to assess the existing transport infrastructures and to develop suggestions for improving linkages through environmentally sustainable multi-modal transport networks. The spatial analysis considered both ‘hard’ infrastructure (railroads, airports, roads/bridge, terminals) and transportation services. Officials were encouraged to focus on inter-sectoral mobility aspects and look beyond the conventional sectoral features (e.g. number of roads vs. number of vehicles, etc.); to build on context-specific needs; and to prioritise proposed projects.

The developed Governorate Transportation Plans demonstrate how to translate sustainable development goals into plans and actions by means of contemporary transportation planning approaches – such as integrating transportation infrastructure with zoning, prioritising public transport, adopting gender/age-sensitive and demand-oriented solutions, etc. They also promote more efficient land use around transportation nodes, and they introduce innovative solutions – such as dry-ports serving industrial and trade centres, and logistics nodes to improve connectivity in areas with limited access to regional trade hubs. Each Plan includes specific measures and priority projects to advance the six overarching goals of NUA for mobility and transport: accessible to all, resilient, equitable and inclusive, safe, environmentally sustainable, and affordable and financially sustainable. The plans are context-specific, while they also align with NUS and GUS.

The initiative has contributed to a better understanding of how mobility and accessibility can be supported by effective sectoral, spatial and land policies, frameworks and implementation tools, and it has established a dialogue between central and local authorities on these topics. The elaborated plans provide a basis for longer-term discussions on future investments in mobility and accessibility for all citizens of Iraq.