Speed is one of the main risk factors in road crashes and is a leading contributor to death and serious injury. Higher speeds are associated with a significantly higher crash risk: even small increases in speed significantly increase the probability of death or injury. Traffic crashes are now a leading cause of death worldwide, and the number one cause of death and serious injury for young people aged 5 to 29.

Things can be different though; we know what works. To help address the collective impact of speed as a contributor to crash risks, the World Resources Institute and World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) invite you to the official launch of a new Low-Speed Zone Guide, which helps empower communities and decision-makers to plan, design and implement effective interventions. We will also discuss an upcoming comprehensive Global Speed Management Guide for policymakers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered urban landscapes around the world, cities are facing new challenges and there is increased urgency for improved road safety. Many cities are now tasked with protecting more vulnerable users in addition to creating safe public spaces that will enable economic recovery and allow residents to enjoy the outdoors. At the same time, walking and cycling are among the most sustainable ways to get around cities – but not if they are extremely dangerous. Low-speed zones are therefore not only key to improving safety by reducing fatalities and injuries, but also reap a variety of other benefits, ranging from better air quality, to economic recovery to long-term sustainability.

This event is part of the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week.


Opening Remarks

  • Ani DasguptaGlobal Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Pablo FajnzylberActing Vice President and Director of Strategy and Operations, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Marcela SilvaTransport Practice Manager, Africa Region, World Bank (moderator)

Technical Presentations

  • Ben Welle, Director of Integrated Transport and Innovation, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Nikita Luke, Senior Project Associate, Health and Road Safety, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Sudeshna Mitra, Senior Transport Specialist, Global Road Safety Facility, World Bank

Panel Discussion

  • Claudia Adriazola-SteilActing Director, Urban Mobility, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Blair TurnerSenior Transport Specialist, Global Road Safety Facility, World Bank
  • Matthew BaldwinEU Coordinator for Road Safety and Sustainable Urban Mobility
  • Kelly Larson, Program Director, Bloomberg Philanthropies