A review of factors and benefits of non-motorized transport: a way forward for developing countries

Umer Mansoor, Mohammad Tamim Kashifi, Fazal Rehman Safi, Syed Masiur Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Non-motorized transport (NMT) is the use of a bicycle or walking to travel from one place to another. It is gaining popularity especially in the developed countries due to low transport externalities such as emissions and traffic congestion alongside its benefits to physical and mental health. In this paper, a comprehensive review of the existing literature related to NMT is presented focusing on the factors including built environment, geography, and weather, the health, and environmental benefits of NMT, and the motivational approach for increasing the use of NMT. The built environment, geography and weather, and socioeconomic factors significantly affect the use of NMT as a travel mode. This study reviewed some unique characteristics of NMT especially in developing countries to provide a clear understanding of the dynamics of NMT. Despite existence of vast research on NMT, a comprehensive literature review to evaluate different aspects of NMT seems essential to address the future challenges with significant automobile ownership increase in the developing nations and the associated externalities. The developing nations have to understand the factors of NMT with reference to their socio-economic conditions and perform quantitative analyses to estimate and project benefits of NMT including health benefits. The policy makers in the developing countries should consider the NMT as one element of the solution matrix to address the challenges of road transport. Graphic Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1560-1582
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) in conducting this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Developing countries
  • Emissions reduction
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Non-motorized transport
  • Road transportation
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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