Today, ITDP Headquarters welcome three journalists on a study tour of New York City’s best practices in sustainable transportation. The journalists each recently received ITDP’s Sustainable Mobility Journalism Award for their reporting on key issues in urban transportation, and their trip to New York aims to deepen their knowledge and familiarity with topic. Over the next few days, they will visit the High Line, see the pro-pedestrian changes in Times Square and Herald Square, and visit the Long Island City waterfront redevelopment, among other projects. They will also meet with representatives from City Planning, the Department of Transportation, and sustainable transport advocacy groups.
The study tour is the result of the 2013 Sustainable Mobility Journalism Awards, organized by ITDP’s Latin American field offices in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires to recognize local journalists’ role in educating the public about sustainable transport and transit-oriented development. According to ITDP Argentina director Andrés Fingeret, the award aims to support and promote dialog about public space and sustainable transportation. “It is extremely important to be aware as a society of how we can improve the quality of life in big cities, in terms of more efficient transportation and lower environmental impact.”
Mexico’s winner, Paradas continuas (Continuous Stops) by Ivan Ramirez Villatoro, investigates the problems with minibuses in Mexico City. The article details the dangers, systemic problems, and future of the minibus system. “The ‘2013 Sustainable Mobility Journalism Award’ encourages communication professionals to address issues of mobility and sustainable development, from the point of view of analysis and criticism,” says Veronica Ortiz, director of communication and development at ITDP Mexico. At the same time, it functions as a platform for spreading high quality information to society.”
In Brazil, the award honored Julio Lamas for his article Mobilidade urbana: como desatar este nó? (Urban Mobility: How to untie this knot?), published in National Geographic Brazil. Lamas explores the challenges of transportation in Sao Paulo and Brazil’s other rapidly growing cities. By discussing possible solutions, including the expansion of BRT and non-motorized transit options, Lamas called public attention to important questions about Sao Paulo’s future.
Pablo Tomino, a writer for La Nacion in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has written several important articles centered on public transit issues. ITDP Argentina awarded Tomino a Sustainable Mobility Journalism Award for his piece, Crece el uso de la bicicleta como medio de transporte (The Increasing Use of Bicycles as a Means of Transportation). The article discusses the expansion of the bike path network, the resistance expressed by some motorists, and plans for future growth of the system.
In addition to these winners, many more writers received honorable mentions. ITDP congratulates all those acknowledged at the ceremonies, and all those working to further the public discussion of sustainable transportation in their cities.