Cycling and walking infrastructure in times of climate crisis. Inspiration from around the world - Do práce na kole

Cycling and walking infrastructure in times of climate crisis. Inspiration from around the world

Cycling and walking infrastructure in times of climate crisis. Inspiration from around the world
23. 12. 2022

In response to the climate emergency, cities around the world are taking ambitious action to reduce emissions and increase their climate resilience. Their goal is to protect their residents and infrastructure from current and future extreme weather. 97% of cities participating in the C40 initiative are already experiencing the climate disruption effect, reporting floods, storms, extreme heat, and cold, drought, and soil erosion.

All this also threatens public transport, which plays a vital role in terms of people’s access to education, employment, and basic services. At the same time, extreme weather is expected to become more frequent. Therefore, investments to bring cities to carbon neutrality must consider extreme weather. What does this mean for walking and cycling?

Building pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is key to reducing the effect of climate change. Walking and cycling is an alternative to car transport, it is emission-free and low-cost, and can be relied upon when all other forms of transport fail. When floods put subways out of service, trams out of power…

Emission-free all year round

Quality infrastructure for non-motorized transport is the way to prepare for these situations. But it should take into consideration the ever-increasing temperature and offer green space and shade, both for existing and planned infrastructure. In this way, it will be able to compete with the increased use of air-conditioned cars. Improving and densifying the network of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is a way to enable people to transport themselves in an emission-free, healthy and safe way, even during a climate crisis. And we can do this all year round.

You can rely on walking and cycling when all other modes of transport fail

A tool for better cities

To help cities better understand the interactions and interdependencies associated with adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, C40 introduced a tool called AMIA. This is designed to help urban planning experts map the potential of infrastructure, the risk of malinvestment, and the broad possibilities of various measures such as switching to electric buses and investing in solar energy. It also includes 60 case studies and examples of initiatives in different cities. You can download it here.

We select from the content:

  • Medellín, Colombia, has built green corridors along 18 roads and 12 navigation channels. The city has planted 8 300 trees and 350 000 shrubs. The corridors provide shade for pedestrians and cyclists, cool down built-up areas, and clean the air along busy roads. The city’s botanical garden trains people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become gardeners and garden technicians. As a result of these measures, the temperature around Avenue Oriental, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, has dropped by three degrees Celsius. The entire program increased active mobility and biodiversity and reduced temperature islands in the city. Beautiful and functional green spaces help the city adapt to climate change and improve the quality of life for residents. The city has received several awards for its innovative solutions. You can read more about it here.
  • Los Angeles has committed in its Climate Adaptation Plan to reduce the city’s temperature by 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2025 and 3 degrees Celsius by 2030. To that end, it is planting green spaces and implementing new cooling surfaces in critical parts of the city. A 0.25-millimeter surface will cost less than $2 per square meter and can reduce surface temperatures by up to 5.5 degrees. The city is also testing the new surface on bike lanes, examining the impact of the new surfaces on the temperature around them.
  • Hamburg builds and modifies bridges to withstand potential floods.

Hamburg builds and modifies bridges to withstand potential floods.

  • In response to the extreme heat, Tel Aviv has issued Shading Planning Guidelines, a guide for town halls on how to provide good and sufficient shading in public spaces. The document emphasizes the need to protect citizens from the heat and offers several (greenery, textiles and other structures) alternatives to fulfill it. In 2017, the city launched a competition for architects and designers, focusing on the need to keep pedestrians and cyclists in the shade. The results combine innovative approaches with art to lower the temperature in the city.
  • In 2015, China launched its Sponge City initiative to find eco-friendly alternatives to flooding and rising sea levels. Shanghai, one of 30 pilot cities, installed permeable pavements in its streets through which water can soak into the ground. City leaders have an ambitious plan to extend them throughout the city to combat the effects of extreme weather.
I hope that there will be more and more people on bikes, wishes the coordinator of the skolniprojekce.cz project

I hope that there will be more and more people on bikes, wishes the coordinator of the skolniprojekce.cz project

“I feel alive and happy on my bike,” says Lada Žabenská, who is in charge of screenings for schools at the Aero, Bio Oko and Světozor cinemas in Prague. He…
Don’t worry about the weather, hills and car drivers! say the authors of this year’s challenge visual, Šárka and Petr

Don’t worry about the weather, hills and car drivers! say the authors of this year’s challenge visual, Šárka and Petr

The original visual of the May challenge graphic designers Petr Kněžek and Šárka Blažková are “in charge” this year. They were mainly inspired by the aesthetics of traffic signs. How…
A helmet is not armor. It can not replace safe infrastructure and safe distance

A helmet is not armor. It can not replace safe infrastructure and safe distance

A 2018 study entitled The Impact of Helmet Wearing on Crashes and Injuries, in which former British Cycling Councilor Colin Clarke and journalist Cris Gillham analyzed data from Australia, New…