The Sustainable Transport Award Committee gave its tenth annual award to Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, the first ever award to result in a three-way tie, giving credit to the scale and substance of Brazil’s achievements in increasing mobility and enhancing quality of life in its major cities.
In 2014, Belo Horizonte implemented the first projects of their comprehensive Mobility Plan: a new, gold-standard bus rapid transit system, MOVE BRT, began operation on two corridors covering 23 km. The city also revitalized its downtown, creating pedestrian-only streets, and implementing 27 km of their planned bikeway network.
Rio de Janeiro has massively invested in public transportation over the past few years. In 2014, the city opened the second of four BRT systems planned ahead of the 2016 Olympics, Transcarioca. The 39 km corridor draws 270,000 daily users, keeping the city on track to achieve the goals of its mobility plan by 2016.
São Paulo expanded its cycling network and implemented 320 km of exclusive bus lanes, increasing average bus speeds by 21 percent. The city is on track to have 400 km of cycle lanes implemented in 2015, part of an overall 500 km network. These are just the first steps in an ambitious master plan, which has made São Paulo the first megacity to eliminate parking minimums and replace them with parking maximums citywide.