With WRI’s help, people in African, Asian and Latin American cities can get around more safely and sustainably because walking, biking and public transport are now easier and more accessible. Together, these changes contribute to progress on Sustainable Development Goal 11, which aims to improve access to public space and sustainable transport, reduce road deaths and promote active living.

The Challenge

Many cities across the world are built for cars instead of pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users, reducing access to schools, jobs and physical activity. The lack of sound urban infrastructure can be deadly: 1.25 million people die in traffic crashes each year. One key to improving road safety is to support coordination, communication and exchange of perspectives among stakeholders and decision-makers in such areas as transport, planning, education, health and traffic enforcement.

WRI’s Role

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities helps cities in low- and middle-income countries improve planning, policy and design to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Our support includes reports and guidance documents, as well workshops and training to improve capacity and coordination. For example, WRI and partners have advised Indian cities on India’s first fully-automated public bike-sharing system. WRI also helped expand car-free Raahgiri Days to neighborhoods in 40 cities across India.

The Outcome

With support from WRI, over 10 cities changed street design to enhance walking and cycling and improve access to public transport. For example, there are new bicycle lanes in Fortaleza, Brazil and Bogotá, Colombia; new pedestrian infrastructure in Mumbai, India, and Accra, Ghana, new measures to reduce traffic speeds in Bogotá and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and expanded public spaces in Bandung, Indonesia. Bogotá has adopted a Vision Zero Road Safety Strategy, while in India, WRI supported the expansion of public bike-sharing from one city in 2017 to more than 15 cities in 2018. In Fortaleza, traffic deaths dropped by 40% from 2014 to 2018. In India, the state of Haryana directed all districts to initiate Raahgiri Days in their district capitals, helping to create demand for safer walking and cycling infrastructure. By the end of 2018, 800,000 people in Haryana had taken part in a WRI India-supported Raahgiri Day.