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Last year marked an important tipping point: for the first time, half of the global population lives in cities. Cities currently add 1.4 million people each week and this population growth comes with new buildings, roads and transport systems.

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The growth in BRT and bus priority systems worldwide presents an opportunity to save lives and improve the health and safety of cities.

A new report, Traffic Safety on Bus Priority Systems, shows that high-quality public transport systems can improve traffic safety, reducing injuries and fatalities by as much 50 percent.

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Next week at the UN Climate Summit in New York City, leaders from business, national government, and cities will convene to discuss bold actions to address climate change in various sectors, including transport.

And while climate change is an international challenge, climate action in the transport sector is proven to create significant and immediate development benefits at the national and local levels.

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A new report, Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that there are several actions city leaders can take that can reduce emissions while driving economic growth.

The report finds that connected, compact cities could save $3 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next 15 years. Not only that, but they can also curb global climate change and yield immediate local benefits for air quality, health, and quality of life.

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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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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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As countries negotiate a new international climate agreement for the post-2020 period—including at this week’s intersessional meeting in Bonn, Germany—the key choices for putting the world on a secure pathway to a low-carbon future should be front-of-mind. The new agreement will be essential for putting in place the policies beyond 2020 that ensure a shift from high-carbon to low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. To do this, the agreement will have to send the right signals to governments and businesses about the trajectory we need to be on.

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The UNFCCC meetings in Bonn this week mark a critical time, as one of the issues negotiators are focusing on is the development of countries’ post-2020 plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Parties in a position to do so must communicate their post-2020 “contributions” by the first quarter of 2015. To help inform this discussion, we published a working paper outlining what this information should look like and why this level of transparency is important.

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