Ethiopian Capital receives support to implement innovative, bike-friendly street designs to promote sustainable transportation, revitalize neighborhoods, and improve resident health and well-being
By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – In recognition of World Bike Day on June 3, Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that Ethiopian Capital City, Addis Ababa has become one of the ten first-ever winners of the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI).
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced in a press release it sent to BORKENA today that Addis Ababa is among the winning global cities that would receive funding support of USD 400,000 to build innovative cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility options for their residents. The goal of BICI is to help cities design streets that increase biking rates, revitalize neighborhoods, and promote the health and well-being of their communities. Ethiopia is thus expected to build secluded lanes in Addis Ababa for bicycle riders using the fund it will receive from Bloomberg Philanthropies. According to the Press Release, Addis Ababa needs to double the number of protected bike lanes to achieve Africa’s largest city cycle network.
Led in partnership with the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), in addition to funding to enact their proposals, each winning BICI city will receive technical assistance from GDCI on project development, cycling facility design, data collection, and resident engagement.
The 10 BICI winners are: Fortaleza, Brazil—winner of a $1 million prize—and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bogota, Colombia; Lisbon, Portugal; Milan, Italy; Mombasa, Kenya; Pimpri-Chinchwad, India; Quelimane, Mozambique; Tirana, Albania; and Wellington, New Zealand, each of which will receive $400,000 in funding.
Successful cities need transportation systems that allow people to move safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Research consistently shows that providing cycling infrastructure brings social benefits that far outweigh its initial investment and that people who cycle are healthier and happier. However, a significant barrier to cycling in many cities is the lack of safe cycling infrastructure. BICI is designed to help city leaders meet the urgent need to build more connected and expansive cycling infrastructure that serves as many residents as possible.
“Fighting climate change goes hand-in-hand with giving people more transportation options,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “These proposals to make cycling safer and more accessible will require robust technical assistance, and our team is glad to support the winners as they turn their ideas into action. The progress that these 10 cities make will help clean the air, protect the environment, and drive economic growth, too. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
The Addis Ababa City Administration has also made public its initiative to improve the transportation services in the city. This has clearly been stipulated in the transport policy of the city.
“…To alleviate the city’s mass transport supply problem, adequate infrastructure is a pre-requisite. Among the major elements, providing for road and light rail infrastructure, providing enabling situations for express bus services, procurement of rail and bus rolling stocks, and the provision of bus and taxi terminals, bicycle parking spaces require adequate financing. In recognition of the sector’s huge capital requirement, the government has embarked on huge investment for the development and expansion of infrastructure…”
The supporting fund obtained from Bloomberg Philanthropies is believed to be a pat on the shoulder for the city administration. This is an opportunity for the city administration to think of implementing an alternative means of transportation for the residents.
The 10 winning BICI cities named today hail from 10 countries on five continents and collectively represent more than 15 million residents. Winners were selected from 275 applications submitted between November 10, 2022, and February 3, 2023, from cities with over 100,000 residents.
Launched in 2014, the Global Designing Cities Initiative’s mission is to transform streets around the world, inspiring leaders, practitioners, and communities to imagine what’s possible when we design streets that put people first. GDCI’s work is informed by the strategies and international best practices captured in the Global Street Design Guide.
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.7 billion.
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