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While the vast majority of citizens in developing cities don’t own cars, infrastructure is still being designed and financed to support motor vehicle travel. In Mexico, for example, less than one-third of urban trips are made in cars, but three-quarters of the federal mobility budget is allocated to highways.

It’s time for the world’s cities to start thinking about moving people rather than moving cars.

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Nearly 400 people gathered in New York City last week for Courage to Lead, WRI’s biennial award and fundraising event. The luncheon raised almost $700,000 in unrestricted funding and honored two business leaders, WRI Board chairman Jim Harmon and Citi Foundation president Pamela Flaherty.

But we don’t host this event just to raise money. We see it as a way to bring together leaders from business, government, and philanthropy; explore innovative solutions; and inspire our hundreds of attendees.

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Well-designed cities can generate jobs, innovation, and economic growth for all. But when designed poorly—with too much sprawl, waste, and inefficiency—they can divide urban centers and exacerbate pollution, inequality, and political instability.

Against this backdrop, some 25,000 people have gathered in Medellin, Colombia, for the UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum this week. The key question they face: How can cities drive growth that is inclusive and sustainable?

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Improving developing cities’ traffic safety is a critical task for ensuring that these growing urban centers become safe, equitable places to live. A key part of achieving this safety? Sustainable urban design.

The connection between safety and justice is a major theme of the upcoming World Urban Forum (WUF7), organized by UN-HABITAT, which this year focuses on “urban equity in development—cities for life.” At the event, EMBARQ experts will host a Cities Safer by Design for All networking session. The event will convene key experts and explore ways that urban design can improve safety—and in turn, justice—in developing cities around the world.

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Population growth and rapid urbanization are combining to create huge challenges for Indian cities.

Overcoming these hurdles and creating sustainable cities in India is the main topic of discussion at CONNECTKaro, a conference co-organized by EMBARQ India and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Government of Karnataka, India that took place from March 10-11, 2014. The second annual conference—named for the idea of “Karo,” which means “make it happen”—explores sustainable transport opportunities as ways of addressing the challenges associated with India’s urban growth.

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More than 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. Cities represent the single-greatest opportunity for targeted, meaningful actions that create impact on the ground, improve the quality of life for billions of people, and reduce the risks of climate change. This opportunity was a key theme at the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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The C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa kicks off today. It’s the fifth biennial meeting of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a collection of mayors from cities around the world committed to advancing urban solutions to climate change. The theme for the event is “Towards resilient and liveable megacities—demonstrating action, impact, and opportunity.”

Before the talks begin, check out Andrew Steer’s thoughts on how we can learn from forward-thinking cities to advance sustainable urbanization.

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Two weeks ago, EMBARQ, the sustainable transport and urban development program of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Bank co-hosted Transforming Transportation. The two-day event concluded with the announcement of Transport Delivers, a global campaign calling city and national leaders to better integrate sustainable transport into policy discussions on development and climate change. If the campaign’s objectives are fully implemented, they could be a game-changer for today’s cities – as well as tomorrow’s.

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New research shows that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can reduce travel time by millions of hours for commuters worldwide. For instance, BRT users in Istanbul, Turkey, can save 28 days per year by shifting from other transport modes to BRT. Commuters in Johannesburg, South Africa, meanwhile, can save an estimated 73 million hours between 2007 and 2026. That’s the equivalent of more than 9 million eight-hour work-days.

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A new publication from EMBARQ explores the existing literature on the safety impacts of sustainable transport – primarily from the United States and Europe – and adding examples from Latin America and South Asia. The evidence suggests that projects that reduce traffic—such as congestion charging—and those that improve infrastructure—such as high-quality mass transport systems—can have a positive impact on traffic safety, in addition to numerous other co-benefits.

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We invite you to join us for a dialogue on Sustainable Transport and Traffic Safety from 12:30pm to 3:15pm on December 5, 2013.

This event will explore the link between traffic safety and sustainable transport and will include a presentation on a newly released EMBARQ publication - "Saving Lives with Sustainable Transport" - examining evidence of the safety impact of sustainable transport projects and policies including Bus Rapid Transit, biking and pedestrian infrastructure. Attendees will be invited to interact on how cities can best address traffic safety through sustainable transport, street design, and sustainable urban development.

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Over the next two decades, India’s urban population is expected to double to more than 600 million people. Urban centers will soon comprise 40 percent of the country’s population and 70 percent of new employment.

Today, India faces a choice: It could either continue to build increasingly sprawling and inefficient cities or embrace well-designed and people-focused models.

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