In ITDP’s 30th year, we had a lot to celebrate. Since a small group of progressive cyclists founded ITDP in 1985, our work has influenced hundreds of cities and improved millions of lives. 2015 was no exception. From building sidewalks and launching transit systems to influencing far-reaching global climate policies, our work has had impacts on every level. As we celebrated 30 years of our work, we welcomed a new CEO, Clayton Lane, whose leadership, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit will bring ITDP to even greater heights.
Here’s a quick look at some of ITDP’s biggest successes in 2015, and a sneak peek at what 2016 will bring.
In a year filled with exciting new projects, ITDP took a moment to hear the Word on the Street from our friends and colleagues about how far the field of sustainable mobility has come, what it means to the people involved, and what they hope will happen next. See their responses here.
Between the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Summit, 2015 was a pivotal year for international negotiations. In two of the most critical, high-level agreements, cities, transport, and people achieved unprecedented recognition. Transport was included as a direct target for five of the Sustainable Development Goals, directing global resources and attention to improving mobility. At the Paris Climate Summit, 75% of the plans countries submitted included sustainable transport as an urgent area for addressing climate change.
In Mexico, concern for pedestrian rights is on the rise, as Mexico City joined the Vision Zero movement and adopted new road safety policies. The city also implemented new traffic regulation policies that shifted priorities in the capital region from cars to people. Around the country, ITDP supported new bike share systems in Guadalajara, Puebla, and Toluca.
Continuing ITDP’s commitment to equity, our Brazil office has worked to integrate transit accessibility with low income housing projects. After requesting ITDP’s analysis, the Porto Maravilha project in Rio de Janeiro was revised to assure that the 70,000 residents of the project (by 2026), will be within 1km of transit connecting them to downtown Rio’s jobs and opportunities. Meanwhile, through expanding transit to areas with dense housing, and launching Paradas Cariocas, a parklet program, Rio de Janeiro is continuing to improve mobility and livability across the city.
The rise of car-free days, pedestrian zones, and sidewalk improvements swept across India. ITDP brought Sunday car-free days to Coimbatore and Chennai, helping to galvanize residents to support additional pedestrian improvement measures. At the same time, neighboring cities Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad debuted a new BRT system, Rainbow, with corridors in both municipalities. The system is moving over 67,000 riders daily, receiving national attention, and reinvigorating sustainable transit across the country.
At the city level, Yichang, China opened the country’s second Gold Standard BRT, attracting 20% of its riders from previous car users. The city has complemented the corridor with a series of improvements, including a bike share system, intersections and sidewalks, and new parking regulations.
Staff from our Indonesia office were invited to Karachi, Pakistan, to evaluate traffic patterns and recommend designs for a bus rapid transit system for the city. Addressing congestion and pollution in this megacity will require strong leadership and multiparty coordination.
Complementing our project based work, ITDP continued to research, advance, and advocate for policies and best practices that benefit cities. In 2015, our work quantified the incredible emissions savings potential of cycling, showed why it’s smart to be dense, and explored how shared mobility can be harnessed to support compact, sustainable cities.
In the year ahead, ITDP will continue our series on the role of national governments in supporting rapid transit, support walking and cycling in Africa, India, Brazil, and improve transit –oriented development around the world. We’ll be expanding our team in Nairobi, Kenya, and will be developing new projects across east Africa. ITDP is committed to integrating equity into every program, shaping the growth of shared mobility, and making sure that all our work, and the work of the cities we support, focuses on improving mobility to make people’s lives easier and healthier, and their cities more vibrant.