Expansion of its Bus Rapid Transit system, cycling and walking infrastructure and parking program has earned Mexico City the 2013 Sustainable Transport Award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, ITDP.
The annual Sustainable Transport Award was established in eight years ago by the New York-based ITDP to recognize “leadership and visionary achievements” in clean, efficient transportation and urban livability. It is presented to a city each January for achievements in the previous year.
The 2013 award was presented to Mexico City on January 15 at a ceremony during the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, one of six major divisions of the U.S. National Research Council.
“Mexico City’s urban core has been transformed from a forgotten, crime ridden neighborhood into a vital part of Mexico City’s future,” said Walter Hook, the ITDP’s chief executive officer.
Mexico City has come a long way from the day in 1992 when the United Nations named it “the most polluted city on the planet.” At the time air pollution was thought to cause 1,000 deaths and 35,000 hospitalizations every year. Today, ozone and other air pollutants stand at about the same level as those in Los Angeles.
“Mexico City was like a patient sick with heart disease, its streets were some of the most congested in the world,” said Hook.
“In the last year, Mexico City extended its great Metrobus BRT system straight through the narrow congested streets of its spectacular historical core, rebuilt public parks and plazas, expanded bike sharing and bike lanes, and pedestrianized streets,” he said.
Metrobus added Line 4, a corridor that extends from the historic center of the city to the airport.
Mexico City also piloted a comprehensive on-street parking reform program called ecoParq and expanded its successful public bike system, Ecobici.
“Sustainable transport systems go hand in hand with low emissions development and livable cities. Mexico City’s success has proven that developing cities can achieve this, and we expect many Asian cities to follow suit,” said Sophie Punte, executive director of Clear Air Asia, a member of the award selection committee.
Holger Dalkmann, president of EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s center for sustainable transport, said many other cities will find inspiration in Mexico City’s achievements. “Celebrating success is a way to highlight best practices.”
Past winners of the Sustainable Transport Award include: Medellín, Colombia and San Francisco, United States (2012); Guangzhou, China (2011); Ahmedabad, India (2010); New York City, USA (2009); London, UK (2008); Paris, France (2008); Guayaquil, Ecuador (2007); Seoul, South Korea (2006), and Bogotá, Colombia (2005).
Source | ens-newswire.com
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