As world leaders deal with climate change, aim to lift more people out of poverty, and make the world a more sustainable, prosperous place in 2015, here are the top Stories to Watch, according to WRI’s experts and as presented by WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer on January 8.
295 redesigned streets in historic Istanbul help reduce traffic crashes and save lives
Cities already house half of the world’s population and are expected to add an additional 75 million people each year. The rapid growth of cities, especially in the developing world, presents enormous opportunities and challenges to ensure that growth is equitable and sustainable.
The upcoming World Urban Forum (WUF7), organized by UN-HABITAT, will address the ways cities can become more sustainable and livable for all residents.
The world's cities are about to get a lot busier. Today, more than 50 percent of the global population lives in cities; by 2050, that figure will have risen to 75 percent.
This mass migration to cities could result in crowded streets rife with air pollution, traffic accidents and congestion. Or it could see a boom in clean, compact urban centres with safe, healthy communities. The way the world's cities operate in the future will be shaped by how they are designed and developed now.
The ancient metropolis of Istanbul is now a sprawling megacity, struggling with congestion, air pollution, and the submergence of its cultural heritage beneath new overpasses and car infrastructure.
EMBARQ – The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport – introduced Istanbul transportation officials to the concept of bus rapid transit (BRT) five years ago. A first line opened on the European side of the city in 2007, and is now one of the most heavily traveled BRT lines in the world. In March 2009, the city unveiled the world’s first inter-continental BRT corridor across the famous Bosphorus Bridge, a major bottleneck for travelers between Europe and Asia.
EMBARQ developed the plan in coordination with city officials, conducted travel demand studies, and recommended the particular routing and station locations that ultimately were built. At each step, EMBARQ provided critical technical assistance to enable the project to move forward. “Crossing the bridge by car takes as long as 3 hours, but commuters using BRT now cross in about 30 minutes and produce 95% fewer CO2 emissions than drivers,” says Sibel Bulay, director of the EMBARQ Network’s Center for Sustainable Transport in Turkey. “It is a very visible symbol of the city’s commitment to sustainable transit solutions.”
EMBARQ catalyzes and helps implement environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable urban mobility solutions to improve quality of life in cities.
This post originally appeared on TheCityFix.com.
As more and more people move into cities, more cars are also hitting the streets. These vehicles not only spew greenhouse gas emissions, they can cause urban traffic fatalities. We already see 1.2 million traffic-related deaths per year worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, with increased urbanization and motorization, road fatalities are expected to become the fifth-leading cause of death by 2030.
What are some of the key drivers of urban traffic fatalities? What can be done to reduce fatalities through sustainable urban development and sustainable urban mobility? What are successful examples of projects to reduce road fatalities in cities?
At the invitation of The Brookings Institution and the FIA Foundation, Holger Dalkmann, Director of WRI’s EMBARQ Center for Sustainable Transport, and Claudia Adriazola-Steil, EMBARQ Director of the Health & Road Safety Program, highlighted last week in Washington, DC some key findings and actions to reduce urban traffic fatalities. Here are some highlights:
Arzu Tekir is the Director of EMBARQ Türkiye. She was appointed Director of the Turkish center of the EMBARQ Network in December 2011. As the new Director Arzu turned the organization into the...