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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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The Contribution of Road Transport to Sustainability and Economic Development

Road transport and road infrastructures are keys to the evolution and prosperity of modern society. Connecting people and places, goods and services in safe, efficient and sustainable way is essential for creating and maintaining sustainable and inclusive growth across society and the economy.

This report introduces a constellation of known literature and studies that underline main points, while it refers to a series of interviews with key stakeholders and influencers from the road transport industry. These interviews translate into valuable case studies from both high, middle- and low-income countries and they are testimonials to how roads contribute positively to local, national and international challenges, and how strategic goals have been met by road-related projects.

Although challenges might be different, the need for road infrastructure is constant and a ground pillar for mobility. Well built and maintained infrastructure allows vital societal functions to flow and interact across sectors, demographic boundaries and national borders.

Roads enable us to commute to work, send our children to school, get to the hospital and transport goods between manufacturers and to the end-users. Roads have a positive effect on economic growth and societal development.

The construction of roads to support commerce and communication between people and countries has increased living standards and economic activity and it has been a driver for peace and prosperity.

Investments in road infrastructure provide value for money; not only as a way to consolidate and improve trade and economy but also as a resource for inter-cultural understanding, exchange of knowledge and regions integration.

In a world with climate crisis, resource scarcity and multiple other challenges, sustainable development is a must - and roads contribute to this in so many ways. This short report describes but a few.

Information sheet

  • Date: 2020
  • Author(s): Ramboll and Bruun Communication / PIARC
  • Type: 2020SP01EN - Special Project
  • PIARC Ref.: 2020SP01
  • ISBN: 978-2-84060-624-6
  • Number of pages: 55