WRI Ross Center and FIA Foundation Announce Partnership to Make Cities Safer by Design
According to the 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) Global status report on road safety, 1.25 million people die every year from traffic crashes, with a majority of fatalities occurring in developing countries. To help cities worldwide save lives through improved street design and smart urban development, the EMBARQ sustainable mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities published Cities Safer By Design in July. The hands-on, global reference guide includes 34 different design elements to improve safety and quality of life and focuses on improving infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycling, and mass transport.
Recognizing the impact that Cities Safer by Design can have on road safety, the FIA Foundation announced this week a new funding partnership with WRI Ross Center which will span an initial two years. The partnership will enable our team to help implement the report’s recommendations to make selected cities in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey safer by design.
A City Designed for Children Is a City Designed for All
The announcement was made at the FIA Foundation’s Forum on Child Health & Urban Mobility on Monday, November 16 in Brasilia, Brazil. The event brought together a number of organizations dedicated to making cities safer for children through infrastructure and design, education, and awareness campaigns.
"Traffic crashes are already the leading cause of death for children and young people aged 15-29. With numbers so daunting, we need radical change" said Claudia Adriazola-Steil, Director of Health and Road Safety. Introducing ideas from Cities Safer By Design, Claudia encouraged cities to prioritize traffic calming policies—such as elevated crosswalks and pedestrian refuge islands—and install quality bike and walking infrastructure. Designing cities safer for children, who are the most vulnerable road users, means designing a city safer for all, she emphasized.
Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities said: “Cities can save lives with better urban designs. With FIA Foundation, we will accelerate our on the ground work with cities to implement safer design principles around the world”.
Building Momentum for Global Action
The event was a precursor to the United Nation’s 2nd High Level Conference on Global Road Safety: Results of Time, which took place on November 18 and 19 in Brazil’s federal capital. The Ministerial event convened national governments, cities and civil society organizations to issue a Declaration that will galvanize action on road safety. The conference is a unique moment to bring impetus to the Decade of Action at its mid-point – a time to reaffirm commitments and propose new strategies for the next five years in light of the new Sustainable Development Goals.