Promoting safe environments, quality of life and health in developing cities through sustainable transport and urban design
According to World Health Organization, 1.2 million people die every year in traffic crashes worldwide, 90 percent of those in low and middle-income countries. Almost half of these deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Road fatalities are expected to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. Mobility can be made safer by reducing private vehicles travel and moving people through mass transport, walking and biking infrastructure with a thoughtful design that protects all road users, especially pedestrians and bicyclists.
We work from the local to international level scaling up solutions to help cities redesign streets and public spaces, expand mobility options, and improve mass transit systems through road safety audits, capacity building of local staff, engagement and alignment of stakeholders. We also conduct high quality research and provide policy recommendations. By replicating our approach to health and road safety in cities around the world and influencing policies at the national level, we can prevent traffic crashes, encourage active, healthy lifestyles, and reduce exposure to air pollution – leading to lives saved.
Further to identifying a great opportunity to work on conceiving low speed zones in the poor outskirts of São Paulo we partnered with the city, ITDP, NACTO and Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety. In creating a human scale urban environment, these zones reduce emissions by lowering speeds and stimulating the use of walking and non-motorized modes. We understand that this project has a strong replication potential not only in São Paulo but also in several Brazilian cities. In Mayor Joao Doria’s new administration in São Paulo, Sergio Avelleda, Secretary of Mobility, announced São Miguel low-speed zone as his priority project. Moreover, he stated his interest in implementing other similar projects to benefit communities inhabiting the poorest areas of the city. We already advanced a similar project in Belo Horizonte with BHTrans as part of the European SOLUTIONS project. It has also caught the interest of National Front of Mayors (FNP) that wants to replicate it in cities all over Brazil and we are already prospecting funders for scaling it up with FNP.
We contracted consultants and supported the team (that includes CET, SPTrans and SPUrbanismo) responsible for developing the low speed zone project of São Miguel Paulista (the third commercial district of São Paulo), to ensure the insertion of state-of-the-practice urban and road design including the qualification of sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, infrastructure for bicycles and traffic calming measures. We also developed a governance plan to engage the community in identifying local demands to be incorporated to the project.
WRI’s health and road safety work in cities in Brazil, Mexico, India, and Turkey is expected to save over 8,300 lives by 2019, foster 1.5 billion public transport trips, and reduce road traffic fatalities by as much as 50 percent.