One Planet, One Plan: prioritise breathable and walkable streets through urban planning

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The climate crisis forces all of us to completely rethink the way we live. The way we move is a big part of this discussion, and it cannot be ignored.

The transport sector represents 40% of CO2 emissions in our cities. So we’re asking the world’s leaders and decision makers, what’s your plan?

On 16 September, UITP launched a global campaign addressing decision and policy makers, providing a four-step plan to reduce emissions and fight the climate crisis. With the huge support of our members’ community, we aim to ensure that each step of this plan is carefully integrated in every new climate action plan submitted by national governments in 2020. #ONEPLANet

As EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK (16-22 September 2019) continues under the theme of safe walking and cycling, we can think of no better opportunity to walk you through the first step of our plan to save the planet.


Walking and cycling should be the first choices for mobility within a city, based on an integrated public transport system. Active modes are not only good for public health, but innately release zero emissions.

Walking and cycling are also natural neighbours of public transport with most journeys involving a walk to and from the nearest stop or station.

There need to be safe and accessible walking and cycling options in cities, which involves careful coordination of land-use and mobility long-term planning. To guarantee the successful implementation of pedestrian zones or cycling areas, all relevant stakeholders, including residents, local businesses, public transport and digital mobility providers, need to be involved from the very beginning of the project.

Did you know…?

There are many actions already being implemented in cities around the world to promote safe and accessible walking and cycling areas in cities.

By the end of 2016, the West Midlands (UK) saw an increase in cycling by more than two million trips per year, and walking trips by more than 10 million alongside enhancements to the public transport network, helping to reduce CO2 by 10,000 tonnes. As of 2018, it was reported that the current cycling network includes over 342 miles of canal towpaths, greenways, national cycle networks as well as on-road segregation which will help to increase cycling levels to 5% by 2023.

In Berlin (Germany), as a registered MOBILITYACTION this week, the city will hold a ‘PARK(ing) Day’: an annual event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into small parks and public spaces. The idea is to make the street more oriented towards people and less for cars, encouraging a walking rather than a driving culture

Buenos Aires (Argentina), a city with 2.8m inhabitants and with 3m commuters, had its urban transport and public space completely saturated. In parallel, in the last 10 years the motorised traffic had increased rapidly, exacerbating the quality of life through high levels of noise, traffic accidents, and health and emissions issues.

To address these, the city implemented their Pedestrian Priority Programme which aims to put pedestrians first, focusing heavily on generating bold changes to public spaces to strengthen the diversity of activities, and promote social and functional recovery. In this way pedestrian improvements are a priority for the urban planning area of Buenos Aires. By doing so, there was an increase of 13% of pedestrians, along with a reduction of 97% of emissions (including CO2).

Find out more about the successful implementation of Pedestrian Zones in our Policy Brief!

Read more case studies about how to reduce emissions in cities in our latest Climate Action Implementation Report!

Check out some other MOBILITYACTIONS planned for this year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and get involved!

Get the full four-step plan in our Climate Action Manifesto & join our global campaign!


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