New York, USA
Ten cities around the world will receive up to US$1 million (A$1.59 million) to “implement creative and impactful bike-friendly street designs to help save lives and support climate-friendly transportation”, through a philanthropic organisation created by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
In addition to the funding, each selected city will receive technical assistance on project implementation, cycling facility design, data collection, resident engagement, and other best practices, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced last week.
The announcement was part of the organisation’s launch of its Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI), to help cities create safe, interconnected, and innovative cycling infrastructure, and provide sustainable mobility options for their residents.
BICI will be led in partnership with the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), a New York alliance of designers, planners and urban strategists committed to “reimagining streets as places for people, shaping cities that are safe, healthy, accessible, and equitable for everyone” GDCI will provide the technical assistance for the 10 selected cities.
The program is open to cities with more than 100,000 residents and applications can be submitted between 10th November 2022 and 3rd February 2023. Cities can already preview the application, express interest, and sign up for application webinars at the BICI website.
“Making cycling in cities easier for residents will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen public health, and increase economic opportunities. But for that to happen, cities need to deliver infrastructure that makes cycling safer and more accessible — and Bloomberg Philanthropies is glad to help them do it,” Michael R. Bloomberg said.
“At a time when many cities are struggling to revive downtown areas, investing in safe, clean, and accessible transportation options will serve as a catalyst for progress.”
“Research consistently shows that building cycling infrastructure also provides social benefits that are orders of magnitude beyond their investment.”
Investments in safe and accessible bike lanes are investments in the health, sustainability and economic future of the planet, according to the head of transportation initiatives at Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consultancy arm of Bloomberg Philanthropics.
Bloomberg Associates Principal for Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and a globally revered champion of micromobility, said: “Cities need people-first infrastructure, not just megaprojects that move cars, and this program will roll out life-saving street designs and roll back the emissions that are threatening the globe.”
“When it comes to cycling infrastructure, every city is unique. But the need for enhanced cycle networks that are safe, protected and connected for all ages and abilities is universal.”
Research consistently shows that building cycling infrastructure also provides social benefits that are orders of magnitude beyond their investment and that people who cycle are healthier and happier, according to a statement from the BICI launch.
“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.”
GDCI’s executive director, Skye Duncan, said the funding program is open to cities that already have world-class facilities, right through to those just beginning their journey to improve cycling.
“When it comes to cycling infrastructure, every city is unique. But the need for enhanced cycle networks that are safe, protected and connected for all ages and abilities is universal,” Skye said.
“GDCI is looking forward to bringing years of bicycle infrastructure experience to our collaboration with cities as part of BICI.”
The 10 cities will also be invited to join a global network of peers to share and advance global cycling best practices.
The selected ten cities will be announced during the US spring of 2023. Formal technical assistance and other program supports, including forums with the other winning cities, will begin during the following US summer and will continue for up to three years.
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to “ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people”, based on five key areas: the arts, education, environment, government innovation and public health.
GDCI was launched in 2014 to transform streets around the world, by inspiring leaders, practitioners, and communities to imagine what’s possible when streets are designed to put people first.