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Posts tagged "ITDP"

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Greater Boston’s Bus Transformation

Greater Boston’s bus system is undergoing a long overdue transformation. From redesigning the network to pursuing electrification to completely re-imagined streets primed for better bus service, the experience for thousands of daily riders in the region is looking better than it has in decades. The evolution of bus lanes and BRT elements is visible throughout the region in municipalities like Somerville, Everett, Chelsea and Boston where street are transforming to support public health and an integrated transit system as a pandemic recovery strategy as well as to combat climate change, traffic congestion and to build a better, more equitable region.

Massachusetts is emerging as a national transit champion by giving street space to the bus and looking to build BRT, even as there is more work ahead to connect gaps in the network. Leadership from elected officials, community members and other regional collaborators has turbo-charged all the bus improvement projects, showcasing what can be done in only a few years and inspiring a future that prioritizes buses and the people who rely on them.

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Boston Area Bus Pilots Move Region Closer to BRT

It was a momentous 2018 year for bus riders in greater Boston as municipalities around the region took bold steps to pilot elements of BRT in collaboration with the MBTA. Empowered by grants from the Barr Foundation, the municipally led regional effort showcased small but salient service and street design improvements that garnered public and political support for better buses and the vision of Gold Standard BRT. The demonstrated BRT elements included dedicated bus lane segments, queue jumps, transit signal priority and level platforms, and were enhanced by creative art installations and community group partnerships.

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Sustainable Transport Superheroes Swap Notes

In the midst of a record number of pilots in Massachusetts showcasing how bus service can be improved to actually provide rapid transit, two advocates fighting to bring transport justice sit down to swap wisdom about what it takes to transform transportation. Rehana Moosajee, former City Councilor and Head of the Mayoral Committee for Transport from Johannesburg, who oversaw implementation of Africa's first BRT - Rea Vaya, and Michelle Wu, a progressive sustainable transport champion on the Boston City Council, join in a conversation. This interview between two sustainable transport superheros demonstrates how city leaders can galvanize change.
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The Right to Walk

Every person has the right to walk. Choosing to move on foot -- to work, school, or the market -- should be safe and easy for urban residents. Yet city streets are increasingly being built for high-speed, personal vehicles, with hazardous intersections and narrow or nonexistent sidewalks. In many cities, simply getting anywhere by foot has become a dangerous: thousands of pedestrians are killed on the world’s roads each week.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy works around the world to ensure safety and accessibility for all road users, including the most vulnerable. Pedestrians, wheelchair users, children, and the elderly deserve the right to walk safely and comfortably to their destinations. Reshaping our cities to encourage walking is part of building a sustainable future, and avoiding the high costs to build and maintain urban highways. Building better spaces for walking saves lives, emissions, and promotes urban equity.

ITDP’s work around the world – in Mexico, China, Brazil, and across Africa – promotes the safety and priority of those on foot. It’s time to put pedestrians front and center. For more information, visit itdp.org and connect with ITDP on Facebook and Twitter.

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Santiago, Chile: 2017 Sustainable Transport Award Winner

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy gives out the Sustainable Transport Award each year to a city that demonstrates "leadership, vision, and achievement in sustainable transport and urban livability." Over the past year, Santiago made major improvements in pedestrian space, cycling, and transit. Santiago will receive the award at a ceremony in Washington, DC, in January, and will be the site of MOBILIZE 2017, ITDP’s annual Sustainable Transport Summit.  For more information, visit staward.org.

Take a spin through Santiago's streets as former mayor Carolina Tohá describes the stunning transformations.  This fantastic video was shot and produced by Claudio Olivares Medina and the team at Bicivilizate. You can follow Claudio at @bicivilizate.

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It’s Smart to Be Dense

As the world’s population continues to urbanize, our cities have two options for growth: densify or sprawl. To accommodate a more populous and more prosperous world, the spread-out, car-dependent model of the 20th century must change. In this video, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and Streetfilms team up to bring you the most important reasons for building dense.

If you like this one, don't miss our other productions with ITDP:

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Parking: Searching for the Good Life in the City

Streetfilms is proud to partner with ITDP to bring you this fun animation that's sort of a cross between those catchy Schoolhouse Rock shorts and the credit sequence for a 1960s-style Saul Bass film.

For too long cities tried to make parking a core feature of the urban fabric, only to discover that yielding to parking demand tears that fabric apart. Parking requirements for new buildings have quietly been changing the landscape, making walking and transit less viable while inducing more traffic. Chipping away at walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods has been a slow process that, over the years, turned the heart of American cities into parking craters and even mired some European cities in parking swamps.

Many cities around the world are now changing course by eliminating parking requirements while investing in walking, biking, and transit. Soon cities in the developing world will follow, providing many new lessons of their own.

Parking isn't the easiest topic to wrap your head around, but it is right at the core of the transportation problems facing most cities. We hope this film helps illuminate how to fix them.

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Mark Gorton’s Rethinking The Automobile Talk Tours India

Mark Gorton is not only the co-founder of Streetfilms, he is an information technology and finance entrepreneur. His success is well recognized in India and drew crowds for his presentation, "Rethinking the Automobile: Lessons from 100 years of Urban Experience with the Automobile” by India's top thinkers, business leaders, and information technology students. In a week-long tour, organized by the Institute for Transport Development Policy, Gorton made stops in Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad, generating a buzz in the media about the harmful impacts of automobile dependency.

Mark was able to share his ideas and lessons learned from the Livable Streets movement in New York.  Along the tour we were able to see and document best practices in Bus Rapid Transit and space allocation. Watch some of Mark's observations and reactions to India's changing transportation landscape.

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San Francisco: Reclaiming Streets With Innovative Solutions

Tom Radulovich, the executive director of the local non-profit Livable City, describes the recent livable streets achievements in San Francisco as "tactical urbanism" -- using low-cost materials like paint and bollards to reclaim street space.

That willingness to experiment was a big reason that the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) gave its 2012 Sustainable Transport Award to San Francisco (an honor shared with Medellín, Colombia). In this Streetfilm we profile the innovations that earned SF recognition from ITDP.

Perhaps the city's most exciting new development has been the parklet program, which converts parking spaces into public space complete with tables, chairs, art, and greenery. These mini-parks are adopted and paid for by local businesses, but they remain public space. The concept has its roots in the PARK(ing) Day phenomenon started by the SF-based Rebar Group in 2005.

San Francisco has also seen an impressive 71 percent increase in bicycling in the past five years, despite being under a court injunction that prohibited bicycle improvements for most of that time. The city aims to have 20 percent of trips by bike by 2020. Sunday Streets, San Francisco's version of Ciclovia, has also drawn huge numbers of participants and continues to expand.

The city has also taken the lead on innovative parking management with the SFPark program, which uses new technology to help manage public parking in several pilot neighborhoods. It aims to make it easier to find a parking spot by adjusting prices according to demand, helping to reduce pollution, traffic, and frustrations for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

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Medellín: Colombia’s Sustainable Transport Capital

For many who have heard of Medellín, Colombia, the name brings to mind the drug-related violence of the 1980s and 1990s, when it was often described as the most dangerous city in the world.

Over the last decade, Medellín has worked hard to change its image. The local government is investing in education and social programs, and the city recognizes the importance of providing an integrated public transportation system as the backbone of these projects.

Medellín is becoming famous for innovative sustainable transport. Recent efforts to modernize public transit, create better public spaces and improve safety are helping transform the city. These projects include the development of bus rapid transit (called MetroPlús) and the creation of a bike-share program -- new transportation elements that are integrated with existing metro and cable car systems. In addition, the city is building 1.6 million square meters of new public space.

Medellín was awarded the 2012 Sustainable Transport Award. Streetfilms partnered with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy to document some of the changes taking place in Medellín.

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Streetfilms Visits Medellín, Colombia

Every year the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) picks one or two cities deserving of the Sustainable Transport Award. San Francisco and Medellín, Colombia, are this year’s winners.

Streetfilms worked with ITDP to document these two cities and we'll be releasing videos on each this spring. But since I just returned from Medellín, I can't help but share a few highlights.

I met Carlos Moreno from despacio.org at the airport. Carlos translated and helped coordinate the logistics of this video shoot. We started with a 45-minute cab ride down the mountain to the valley where Medellín is situated. The view as we descended was absolutely spectacular and set the tone for our week's work.

Once in Medellín, we met Jorge Iván Ballesteros and Jesús Acero. These two gentlemen were going to show us why their city was nominated for ITDP's prestigious award. And we were to dedicate each day to a different theme, starting with "public space" on the first day.

Throughout the day we must have visited half a dozen public spaces where young people were playing in fountains and giant sand boxes while their folks relaxed in the nearby shade. In Medellín there are permanent public space projects popping up seemingly everywhere. Then there are the temporary public space projects like the annual festival of lights, better known as Los Alumbrados.

Here is Carlos Moreno talking about Los Alumbrados:

Read more...

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The Biggest, Baddest Bike-Share in the World: Hangzhou China

Anyone who claims that bike-sharing is a European-style transportation innovation has clearly never set foot in Hangzhou, China. The 50,000-bike system in this southern China city of almost 7 million people (about 1.5 million people fewer than New York City) blows all other bike-shares off the map. As Bradley Schroeder of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy said, "I don't think there is anywhere you can stand in Hangzhou for more than a minute or two where you wouldn't have a Hangzhou Public Bike go past you."

Hangzhou's 2,050 bike-share stations are spaced less than a thousand feet from each other in the city center, and on an average day riders make 240,000 trips using the system. Its popularity and success have set a new standard for bike-sharing in Asia. And the city is far from finished. The Hangzhou Bicycle Company plans to expand the bike-share system to 175,000 bikes by 2020!

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Guangzhou, China: Winning The Future With BRT

Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The economic hub of China's southern coast, it has undergone three decades of rapid modernization, and until recently the city’s streets were on a trajectory to get completely overrun by traffic congestion and pollution. But Guangzhou has started to change course. Last year the city made major strides to cut carbon emissions and reclaim space for people, opening new bus rapid transit and public bike sharing systems.

The Guangzhou BRT system opened in February 2010. It now carries 800,000 passengers a day, seamlessly connecting riders to both the metro system and the city's new bike-share network. For these innovations, Guangzhou won the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy's 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. Watch this Streetfilm and see how one of the world's most dynamic cities is "winning the future" on its streets.

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MBA: Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) provides faster and more efficient service than an ordinary bus. "These systems operate like a surface subway, say BRT advocates, but cost far less than building an actual metro." Watch this chapter of Moving Beyond the Automobile to learn about the key features of bus rapid transit systems around the world and how BRT helps shift people out of cars and taxis and into buses.

Streetfilms would like to thank The Fund for the Environment & Urban Life for making this series possible.