NZ capital Wellington has been confirmed as one of the inaugural recipients of the prestigious Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI).
Bloomberg Philanthropies used World Bike Day, on 2nd June, to announce the 10 cities chosen as the first-ever winners of the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI).
Wellington was joined by Fortaleza (Brazil), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Pimpri-Chinchwad (India), Bogota (Colombia), Milan (Italy), Tirana (Albania), Mombasa (Kenya), Lisbon (Portugal) and Quelimane (Mozambique) as the recipients of up US$ 1 million in funding — along with technical assistance—to accelerate the delivery of transformative, cycle-friendly street designs.
Wellington and its bike network received US$400,000 (A$589,000 and NZ$649,000), which the city’s council attributes to its plan to “rapidly roll out a city-wide bike network, for its ambitiously innovative approach”, and the program’s partnership with the Maori community.
The city’s Mayor, Tory Whanau, said the NZ$649,000 will be used, in-part, to progress the concept of a nature-based, off-road bike network – an idea developed by community group Trails Wellington.
“Improved off-road cycle trails alongside Wellington’s on-road bike network presents a massive opportunity for Wellington to become a world-class destination to experience and enjoy by bike,” the Mayor said.
He said the council committed to accelerating and completing the city’s bike network in response to residents’ calls for action on transport, climate and housing.
“This is a clear testament to how many cities across the globe are committed to building innovative cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility options for their residents.”
BICI received 275 applications from cities in 66 countries.
“This is a clear testament to how many cities across the globe are committed to building innovative cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility options for their residents,” the organisation says in its announcement of the 2023 winners.
BICI is the world’s first program of its kind and was launched in October 2022.
The Transportation Principal at Bloomberg Associates, Janette Sadik-Khan, said: “Cycle lanes are essential infrastructure for cities, and these grants will help these 10 winners take the decisive action needed to transform their streets and turn the corner on traffic violence, pollution, and climate change.”