Real-time transit information systems increase public transport ridership and decrease wait times. How can we make these systems affordable and accessible to cities in the developing world?
How can rickshaws, which account for 20 percent of motorized trips in some Indian cities, be made to work more reliably? There's an app for that.
Never in the history of UN climate summits has there been such a bright spotlight on transport. This is a momentous kick-start to promote widespread adoption of sustainable mobility in order to curb climate change.
WRI worked with Brazil’s Ministry of Cities on technical guidelines for Caixa, the Brazilian federal funding agency, which led to $4 billion in investment for 63 high-quality urban mobility projects in 56 Brazilian cities. The guidelines will be applied to transform car-oriented streets into corridors that prioritize non-motorized and public transport, fostering sustainable urban development.
Brazil wants to invest in projects that transform transportation arteries through its Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), but in most cities municipal staff in charge of developing projects lack the necessary training. Likewise, the evaluation of technical standards for Ministry projects is scattered across numerous Caixa municipal offices, where technical staff rarely have the expertise to analyze projects that will shape sustainable urban development in the coming decades.
Building on a decade of cooperation with the Ministry of Cities, WRI’s cities team in Brazil was chosen to lead the development of first-of-its-kind guidelines for Caixa, the agency responsible for providing loans and monitoring project implementation, to assess the quality of all urban mobility projects and to target federal funds only to those that meet the guidelines’ criteria. The 107 criteria now consolidated into a Ministry of Cities document are grouped into nine modules that cover issues such as priority bus lanes, sidewalks, bicycle paths and road safety standards.
WRI then piloted the guidelines in four large cities – Florianópolis, Joinville, Juiz de Flora and Pelotas – and offered recommendations that these cities followed to improve their projects. The guidelines were launched at an event co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Caixa, and distributed at an event on urban sustainable mobility that drew over 160 people from 40 cities.
The guidelines have led to $4 billion in investment in 63 high-quality urban mobility projects in 56 cities and are on track to become mandatory for all new urban transport projects that seek federal funding. The team will refine the guidelines based on feedback from the Ministry of Cities as the projects proceed, helping designers and decision-makers to plan the next generation of urban mobility projects across Brazil.
Sustainable transport, when implemented in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally positive, is at the nexus of better accessibility for people and a decreased carbon footprint.
Brazil has what may seem like a fortunate problem: public finance is too readily available for transport projects, and this can undercut the market and crowd out private investment. A successful example of private investment in public transport is Sao Paulo's Linha 4, which integrates disparate transit systems and improves access to jobs.
Success Stories for Brazilian Cities
This paper explores strategies and approaches that effectively minimize risks for private investors in Brazil’s transport sector.
A new report offers evidence-based recommendations for designing safer, healthier, more vibrant cities.
More than 1.2 million people die in traffic crashes every year. Ben Welle explains an undervalued approach for saving these lives—good urban design.
The usual discussion around children’s traffic safety is a behavioral one, focusing on issues like helmet- and seat-belt laws. What's really needed is a "safe system" approach that actually makes cities safer by design.