On January 11th 2017, the Embassy of Denmark and World Resources Institute (WRI) are organizing the event “Rethinking urban transportation: How can cycling and public space contribute to better cities?”
Leading up to the event, the Embassy of Denmark and WRI are organizing a bicycle tour in Washington D.C. which will feature high ranking civil servants from Washington DC’s administration as well as representatives from the media, businesses and civil society.
Globally, the growing use of vehicles in urban transportation creates congestion, increases pollution and exacerbates climate change. As urban areas are already home to half of the global population, the problem will only grow worse as the figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Thus, the decisions that political leaders, developers and planners make today has profound impact on the liveability in urban areas over the next century.
In American urban centers, the transportation landscape is undergoing a transformation. While privately owned cars remain popular other forms of transportation are emerging. Bicycling has become markedly more popular in recent years, public transportation systems are increasingly under economic strain and new modes of transportation such as Uber/Lyft are emerging. Also, the development of autonomous vehicles is a potential game changer to the transportation sector is raising pressing ethical, practical and legal questions. In addition, cities are finding new ways to make streets more oriented to people and create public spaces that enliven cities socially, environmentally and in health.
The event means to highlight the Danish experience in shaping great cities for bicycling and public space, and how other cities such as Washington, D.C. are making changes to create streets safer for all road users. The event seeks to address the following questions; What role can bicycles and other modes of transportation play in addressing traffic congestion? How can public spaces and streets be designed and provided in a way that is good for all people and the environment?
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