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Press Release: NACTO-GDCI’s Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery Now Available in 7 Languages, Offering Global Cities New Tools for Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis

*UPDATE: As of November 12, 2020 Streets for Pandemic Response & Recovery is available in nine languages, including French and Russian

Evolving design and implementation resource highlights cities’ most recent efforts to rethink street design in response to the global pandemic. 


For Immediate Release: September 16, 2020
: Annah MacKenzie | [email protected] | +1 917-498-2802 

New York, NY (September 16, 2020) — The Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), a program of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), today released translations of Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery into six additional languages—including Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. Translations into French, Russian, and Mandarin will be released in the coming weeks.

Launched in May 2020 as part of NACTO-GDCI’s COVID-19 Resources, this timely resource compiles emerging practices from cities worldwide and includes adaptable information on implementing COVID-19 rapid-response and recovery street design treatments.

Throughout this unprecedented crisis, cities and transit agencies around the world have had to act quickly and creatively to ensure the health and safety of their residents—particularly essential workers and members of communities that have been historically underserved. Drawing experiences and emerging practices from Milan to Bogotá, Amsterdam to Auckland, Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery offers cities quick, low-cost strategies for responding to the most pressing issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and global recovery efforts. In its most current iteration, actions and implementations are organized into 15 thematic areas: critical services; managing speeds; sidewalk extension; safe crossings; slow streets; open/play streets; bike and roll lanes; transit lanes; transit stops and access; pick-up and delivery; outdoor dining; markets; streets for protest; school streets; and gatherings and events. 

“The transportation response to the pandemic is the first draft of a new approach to cities and who and what streets are designed for,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO Chair and principal with Bloomberg Associates. “Translating this guide will help cities translate the innovative, inexpensive road-design strategies that have emerged around the world and that can support the global recovery.”

“Now, more than ever, urban streets need to serve more people and support more functions within the same limited space,” said Skye Duncan, Director of NACTO-GDCI. “With new translations of NACTO’s Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery, it is our hope that more cities will be able to learn from these emerging global practices and plan what might work best for them based on their local context, regulations, and resources.”

“We are very pleased to see that many efforts, even daring for the Brazilian reality, have been included in this guide,” said Roberto Claudio, Mayor of Fortaleza, highlighting that this is a time for cities to support and learn from each other. “The translation of Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery into Portuguese allows us to bring more voices, from more cities, to the conversations around safe streets and sustainable recovery.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic pushed Milan to make rapid changes to our pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure that had been under discussion for nearly a decade—including the implementation of a 4.5km protected bike lane over our busiest subway line,” said Pierfrancesco Maran, Deputy Mayor of Urban Planning for Milan. “In order to help restaurants and bars, we also expanded the possibility to use many streets for tables and chairs so people can enjoy the city in safety, and we are working for a ‘15 minute city,’ as are other cities in the world like Paris, London, and New York. These street transformations will continue to improve the quality of life for residents long after the pandemic is behind us, and the lessons we’ve learned will show cities around the world the importance of planning for people.”

“In New Zealand, we’ve developed innovative programs and tactical urbanism projects to make our streets safer and more livable for everyone,” said Julie Anne Genter, Associate Minister for Transportation, Associate Minister for Health, and Minister for Women in New Zealand. “Especially during COVID-19, walking and cycling need to be championed as preferred mobility options, and shared resources like NACTO-GDCI’s Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery are critical for helping cities and transport agencies confront new challenges as they emerge at different stages throughout this pandemic.”

“With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of human-centric street space adapting to multiple needs has become even more critical,” said Kizo Hisamoto, Mayor of Kobe. “Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery is crucially helpful in creating urban space for the post COVID-19 era. In promoting the ‘Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster’ and advocating for the human-centric city, we are delighted to reference this ongoing resource.”

“As a valuable tool for learning about actions taken in different parts of the world in response to COVID-19, the guide developed by NACTO-GDCI provides the necessary technical support to adapt them to our cities,” said Nicolás Estupiñan, Secretary of Mobility of Bogotá. “This pandemic has changed the way we socialize and move, and it has provided both a challenge and an opportunity for cities to rethink our streets and offer people better conditions to mobilize. Without a doubt, with the Spanish version, this guide becomes a tool to strengthen the construction of safe and healthy cities.” 

Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and developed by NACTO, NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative, Bloomberg Associates, Street Plans, and Sam Schwartz Consulting. Translations were secured by NACTO-GDCI, and are available as free downloads, here:
عربي >
Italiano >
日本語 >
Português >
Русский >
Español >
Türkçe >

Press releases are available in the following languages:

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About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 86 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO

About the NACTO Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI)
Launched in 2014 as a program of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Global Designing Cities Initiative focuses on transforming streets to inspire safe, sustainable, and healthy cities. GDCI’s work is informed by the strategies and international best practices captured in the Global Street Design Guide. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @globalstreets

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