The world’s busiest cities include London, Paris, Bogota and Hong Kong, according to a report. The capital of the United Kingdom surpasses almost 1,000 cities around the world due to the proximity of citizens to places without cars, schools and health care and the general shortness of travel.
Researchers from the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) said that facilitating cities that can be passable is vital to improving health, reducing emissions from heating and building stronger local communities, and economy. However, they said very few cities generally give priority to pedestrians and are dominated by cars. The report found that cities in the United States ranked particularly low for cross-country due to urban sprawl.
Among cities with more than 5 million inhabitants, only Bogota in Colombia was in the top five in all three measures. The first measure assesses the proportion of people living 1
The second measure dealt with the cases of people living a mile from health and education. In Paris, 85% of people have lived at this distance, which gives it first place, followed by Lima in Peru, London, Santiago in Chile and Bogota.
The average size of city blocks was the third measure, as smaller blocks make it easier for people to walk directly to their destinations without bypassing large buildings. Here, Khartoum in Sudan achieved the highest score, followed by Bogota, Lima, Karachi in Pakistan and Tokyo in Japan.
The report includes evidence that places where walking is easier and safer have lower air pollution, less obesity, more time for children to play, fewer road deaths and better performance. of local business, as well as reduced inequality. It notes that nearly 230,000 pedestrians worldwide are expected to die in road accidents this year.
“To ensure safe and attractive walking conditions, it is essential to shift the balance of space in our cities from cars,” said Heather Thompson, head of the New York-based ITDP. IDTP said the need was particularly urgent as the coronavirus pandemic repelled people from pedestrian and public transport and in private cars.
“Our city streets on the planet are already full of cars,” said Taylor Reich, an ITDP researcher. “If you really want to see the worst off-road, these are the really sprawling cities of the United States. They may have great sidewalks, but everything is so far away that it is virtually impossible to get to the grocery store or school. “
Indianapolis was the lowest-ranked city in the United States, with only 4% of people close to education and health care and 9% close to the car-free area. Reich said politicians everywhere should plan a dense mix of homes, shops and businesses and equip the streets with benches, wide pavements and shade.
Other cities that score high for proximity to car-free locations include Berlin and Barcelona in Europe, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, while Washington ranks 25th in the world. For proximity to healthcare, Kathmandu schools in Nepal and Athens in Greece are high, while Toronto in Canada is ranked 35th and New York ranked 50th.
The report cites examples of developments that have made cities more passable, such as Pune, India, where road reconstruction gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists by building wide sidewalks and creating play areas for children and vendors. In Bogota, there was a joint effort at the turn of the century to create a city “with more public space for children than for motor vehicles”, focusing on buses, cycling and walking.
Alexandra Gomez of the London School of Economics praised the report and said: “Walking is crucial for living cities and a fundamental right for every city dweller. However, for a long time, passability has been a planning thought in many parts of the world. In cities like London, although it certainly needs improvement, infrastructure exists; however, in other parts of the world, trails do not exist or are almost entirely occupied by cars. “
“Millions of people have rediscovered the joys of walking and want to walk safely, but the pandemic has shown that too many of our streets are unsuitable,” said Mary Cree, of the British charity Living Streets. “ITDP’s new data tools show how to build more passable cities, tackle the double epidemics of obesity and loneliness, and create a cleaner future for pedestrians and our planet.”
“People will use the infrastructure you provide them, and because we’ve built cities for cars, everyone wants to walk,” Reich said. “But if we start building cities for people to go to, people will change their behavior and live longer and happier.”