The way most of the world’s people get around.
For decades, traditional transport planning has focused on improving conditions for private automobiles at the expense of safe sidewalks and bike facilities. Yet, the majority of the world’s people rely on cycling, walking, and other forms of human-powered transport like rickshaws to commute to work and get around their cities every day. Increasing the use of bicycles and the ease of walking is one of the most affordable and practical ways to reduce CO2 emissions, while boosting access to economic opportunity for the poor.
ITDP works with cities to:
- Adapt the streetscape to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, using features such as protected sidewalks and bike lanes
- Initiate bike share programs and car-free days
- Improve the quality and availability of affordable bicycles
In many cities, ITDP has successfully proposed plans for networks of bike lanes and bike parking, and worked with the authorities to get the plans built. Most recently, ITDP has been instrumental in the launch of new bike share programs in Mexico and China, making it easier and affordable for people to use bikes whenever and wherever they need them. To help galvanize interest in cycling, ITDP also organizes car-free days, where portions or entire cities are closed to private cars, freeing the streets for cyclists and recreational uses.
ITDP also works to bring about safe conditions for pedestrians, including sidewalks and plazas. Too often these basic elements are lacking – or even misused as free car parking – forcing people to walk in dangerous conditions among traffic.
In addition to promoting cycling and walking as everyday forms of transport, ITDP also understands the critical role that bicycles can play for rural communities in helping them access education, healthcare, and employment. For nearly a decade, ITDP has operated the Access Africa program in Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda to promote and distribute bicycles to rural and low-income communities and healthcare workers free of charge.
ITDP’s work promoting non-motorized transport goes beyond bicycles and walking, and includes rickshaws, becaks, and more. One highlight of this work is a program that modernized the Indian cycle rickshaw in 2000. The rickshaw project showed that “modernization does not mean motorization” and encouraged new perceptions of the rickshaw as a viable, and economically efficient, mode of transport.