Guangzhou wins 2011 Sustainable Transport Award for innovative transport solutions

 Gangding Station 032010

Cities worldwide are demonstrating innovation in transport planning by integrating bike, BRT and metro systems, with Guangzhou in China announced as winner of the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. Guangzhou’s new world-class BRT system integrates with bike lanes, bike share and metro stations, raising the bar for all cities.

Walter Hook, Executive Director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, commented: “Guangzhou’s transformations are nothing short of amazing. The reclaimed waterways for public space inspired by another Sustainable Transport Winner – Seoul – are a drastic improvement and bold innovation. The new BRT system is changing perceptions about bus-based and high quality mass transit. We hope all cities, not least those in the US, will be inspired by these examples.”

The Sustainable Transport Award is given annually to the city that made most progress over the year to increase mobility for all residents while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions and improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Nominees are (in alphabetical order):

• Guangzhou in China, where the BRT that opened in February 2010 is integrated with the city’s metro system, bike lanes and bike sharing stations. Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center, commented: “Guangzhou has demonstrated that future emissions can be avoided through BRT systems integrated with cycling and other public transport systems at relatively low costs.”

• León in Mexico, home of Mexico’s first BRT, now achieving a level of integration unsurpassed in the region. Dario Hidalgo, Director of Research and Practice at EMBARQ, explained: “León was Mexico’s pioneer in introducing integrated bus systems and BRT in 2003; now they have scaled their system from 35% to 65% of the transit trips, through route reorganization and continued inclusion of the local bus operators.  León has also an extraordinary track record in active transport, keeping the biking and walking share above 39% of the total trips, one of the highest values in Latin American cities.”

• Lima, Peru, where the long-awaited BRT is the first step towards creating an integrated citywide sustainable transport system. Sergio Sánchez, Director, Clean Air Institute for Latin America, said: “Lima has finally made considerable progress with planning, designing and launching its new BRT system. We truly hope that this trend continues in coming years and that we will see the same progress in 2011 and the following years.”

• Nantes in France, where the integration of its bus light rapid transit with its tramway network presents a model of efficient coordination. Heather Allen, Senior Manager, Sustainable Development, International Association of Public Transport, argued: “Ambitious targets, vision combined with integrated planning and sustained investment have paid big dividends in Nantes. Last year it made significant progress in integrating its tramway and bus system, promoting bicycling and continuing to shift people away from cars. Its integrated transport system helps make it one of the most livable cities in Europe.”

• Tehran, Iran, where the introduction of congestion charging complements the city’s expansion of its metro and BRT systems. Lloyd Wright, Executive Director of Viva Cities, commented: “Over the past several years, Tehran has faced one of the world’s most severe air quality crises.  The local climate, topography, and sharp growth in private cars have all conspired to create a lingering air quality emergency over the city.  The national and local government have responded boldly. Investments in quality rail and BRT are re-defining public transport in Tehran, and a move towards new cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is helping to transform mobility patterns as well.  Even more boldly, though, the government has begun the process of reducing fuel subsidies.  In all, Tehran is developing a package of carrots and sticks that will hopefully steer the city towards a more sustainable mobility path.”

Finally, Manfred Breithaupt, Senior Transport Advisor, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), said: “The Sustainable Transport Award has been growing in importance every year, and giving greater relevance to the topic of physical and fare integration is most relevant to increase attractiveness and acceptance of public transport. This has been done by many of the nominated cities during 2010. We at GIZ are very happy to be part of this initiative.”

The Nominees are chosen by a Committee that includes the most respected experts and organizations working internationally on sustainable transportation. Committee members include:

• Walter Hook, Executive Director, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
• Dario Hidalgo, Senior Transport Engineer, EMBARQ, The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport
• Manfred Breithaupt, Senior Transport Advisor, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
• Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center
• Heather Allen, Senior Manager, Sustainable Development, International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
• Ralph Gakenheimer, Chair, Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation in Developing Countries
• Sergio Sánchez, Director, Clean Air Institute for Latin America
• Choudhury Rudra Charan Mohanty, Environmental Expert, United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)

The Sustainable Transport Award is given each year during the annual Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington, D.C. Past winners include:

2010 – Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Ahmedabad, India, for opening the first full bus rapid transit system in India.

2009 – Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York, United States, for making bold moves to achieve the ambitious goals of PlaNYC 2030.

2008 – Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, Paris, France for implementing a range of innovative mobility solutions with vision, commitment and vigor.  Mayor Ken Livingston, London, United Kingdom for expanding London’s congestion charge program and developing other low emissions programs that dramatically impacted air quality.

2007 – Mayor Jaime Nebot, Guayquil, Ecuador for revitalizing the downtown, creating dynamic public spaces, and instituting a new public transit system.

2006 – Mayor Myung-Bak Lee, Seoul, Korea for the revitalization of the Cheongyecheon River and the implementation of its bus rapid transit system.

2005 – former Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, Bogotá, Colombia for the TransMilenio bus rapid transit system, bicycle integration, and public space reclamation.

For more information, photos, and videos about the award and a list of past winners, visit https://www.st-award.org .

Press Contact: Jessica Morris/Stephanie Lotshaw, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
jmorris@itdp.org (+1 646 673 4393) slotshaw@itdp.org (+1 310 567 3484)