Since 2016, as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), GDCI has collaborated with partners in five major cities around the world to design safer streets and mobility options, using the Global Street Design Guide as a blueprint for change.
In working to provide technical assistance—whether by providing design guidance to inform broad-based policy change, helping cities to implement and measure local street transformations, or conducting capacity building workshops and design reviews—we have witnessed measurable transformations, and we couldn’t be more proud to share the following video and announcement!
First, check out our new video, which celebrates the tremendous accomplishments of the BIGRS program and partners to date and highlights the impacts of these global efforts to improve road safety and street design in Addis Ababa, Bogotá, Fortaleza, Mumbai, and São Paulo.
BIGRS works at the national level, to strengthen road safety legislation, the city level, to implement evidence-based road safety interventions, and at the regional level, to advocate for safer vehicles. The focus is on proven interventions such as:
The seeds of the BIGRS program were planted in 2007, when Bloomberg Philanthropies funded a pilot program in Cambodia, Mexico, and Vietnam to see if proven interventions could be adapted and used on a global scale. This effort was expanded in 2010 to support the implementation of these interventions and successfully reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries in ten low- and middle- countries that account for half of the global road crash fatalities: Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam.
Then, in 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched Phase II of the Initiative for Global Road Safety to address issues of road traffic safety in ten cities (Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogotá, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, São Paulo, and Shanghai), five countries (China, India, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand), and four vehicle market regions (Africa, Latin America, India, and Southeast Asia) with the primary goal of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries.
Since that time, the initiative has saved an estimated 312,000 lives and prevented up to 11.5 million injuries.
We are so proud of our partner cities for achieving these tremendous milestones throughout the first five years of our BIGRS partnership… but our work is just beginning!
Building on the program’s success, in February 2020, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a plan to double its commitment to date, with an additional six-year, $240 million investment to support global road safety. Focusing on speed reduction, the 2020-2025 investment aims to double these impacts—to save 600,000 more lives and prevent up to 22 million injuries in low- and middle-income countries around the world.
As part of the new BIGRS phase, GDCI is thrilled to announce that we have begun working closely with eight global cities (including two continuing cities*) to build local capacity, assist with updating policies and design guidance, and support project implementations. These cities include: Recife and Salvador (Brazil), Bogotá* and Cali (Colombia), Guayaquil and Quito (Ecuador), and Delhi and Mumbai* (India).
In 2019, the GDCI team selected the capital city of Santiago, Chile, as a Streets for Kids Technical Assistance project. Together with Ciudad Emergente, a Chilean nonprofit, we selected Enrique Soro street as the project site. The project’s main objectives were to establish safe intersections, extend sidewalks, and reduce speeds.
The Global Designing Cities Initiative is committed to reimagining streets as places for people, shaping cities that are healthy, accessible, and equitable for everyone. We also recognize cycling as a safe, efficient, and sustainable mode of transportation. Despite the lack of safe cycling infrastructure that hinders many would-be cyclists around the world from relying on their bikes, there are a number of cities that have made significant progress in recent years. Committed to making its streets more cycle-friendly, Quito, Ecuador, has implemented large-scale, successful cycling infrastructure projects that make it a cycling success story.