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Santiago, Windhoek, Curitiba honored for sustainable transport

Santiago, Chile is taking steps to become more friendly to pedestrians. (Matyas Rehak /

Santiago, Chile will receive top honors in January 2017 at the International Sustainable Transport Awards ceremony in Washington, D. C.

The event, in conjunction with the Transport Research Board’s annual meeting, also will honor Windhoek, Namibia and Curitiba, Brazil. All three will be recognized for efforts to promote walkability and public transit, according to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

The Chilean capital wins plaudits for “major improvements” in recent years to mass transit, pedestrian space and cycling, the institute says. The changes are evident at the formerly car-clogged Calle Aillavilú central market. It is now an auto-free, pedestrian zone. Calle Placer, a popular shopping street, was closed to vehicular traffic on weekends following a US$2.2 million facelift.

Elsewhere, green space was added, sidewalks enlargened and cycling lanes and bikeshare kiosks installed. As Citiscope reported here, Santiago is the first major city to power its metro system mostly with solar and wind energy.

First honorable mention will go to Windhoek for a comprehensive Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan that extended bus service to underserved neighborhoods. Curitiba, known as a pioneer of bus-rapid transit, will be honored for helping the disabled navigate the city. Sensor-enabled smart cards carried by the disabled automatically lengthen cross times at intersections.

Next year, Santiago will host Mobilize 2017, the institute’s annual sustainable transport summit. 

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

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