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This working paper describes the decline in access to jobs, services and people that many cities are facing due to the confluence of two trends: rapid urbanization and motorization. In analyzing two cities in the global south – Mexico City and Johannesburg – we found that up to half of urbanites experience restricted access, leading to high travel burdens and/or exclusion from opportunities. This paper highlights three key action areas for cities to improve access: rethinking the role of streets and who they serve, shifting to integrated transport systems, and tempering the demand for private vehicle use.

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World Resources Institute is celebrating urban transformation at its Courage to Lead Dinner on April 10 at The Shed, the new arts and culture venue at Hudson Yards in New York City. Renowned real estate developer and philanthropist Stephen M. Ross will announce the first-ever winner of the WRI Ross Prize for Cities, chosen from among 200 projects transforming cities around the globe.

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This case study tells the story of the Via RecreActiva, a ciclovía event that closes more than 60km of streets in Guadalajara, Mexico every Sunday for public recreation and entertainment. The paper explains the benefits that can come to a city that invests in car-free space and how these investments can spark broader change towards a safer and more equitable city.

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This thematic paper in the World Resources Report, “Towards a More Equal City,” produced in collaboration with Yale University, analyzes data on urban expansion by measuring both the outward growth and upward growth in 499 global cities. It examines the challenge of rapid outward expansion for cities in the global South and highlights strategies cities can take to manage urban growth in a way that ensures more equal and productive cities.

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Can urban planning and design make cities more resilient? Join WRI’s Robin King and University of Oxford’s Cathy Baldwin as they answer this question, which they addressed in their new book, Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People?

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This paper provides questions and answers to some of the important concerns city officials have as it relates to bike sharing, especially as a new generation emerges including dockless and electric bikes, scooters, and increased private sector involvement. It seeks to unpack some of the challenges cities are currently facing, including concerns over regulation, public space management, safety and proper infrastructure, and service reliability, among others.

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This case study in the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City, examines transformative urban change in Johannesburg, South Africa, through transit-oriented development (TOD). The Corridors of Freedom program aims to help reduce spatial inequality in the city by extending bus rapid transit to many new areas and spur new or improved infrastructure for non-motorized transport, social facilities and public infrastructure.

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