2013: Mexico City, Mexico

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Mexico City, the largest city in North America, won the 2013 Sustainable Transport Award for its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, cycling and walking infrastructure, parking program, and revitalization of public spaces.

The Sustainable Transport Award was presented to Mexico City on January 15, 2013 at an awards ceremony during the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, one of six major divisions of the U.S. National Research Council. ITDP board president and former Mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa presented Mexico’s Minister of Transport, Rufino Leon, and Minister of Environment, Tanya Muller with the award. The former Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, who oversaw much of Mexico City’s sustainable transport projects, made closing remarks at the ceremony. Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, delivered the keynote address.

Mexico City has implemented many projects in 2012 that have improved livability, mobility, and quality of life for its citizens, making the Mexican Capital a best practice for Latin America. The city expanded its BRT system, Metrobus, with Line 4, a corridor that extends from the historic center of the city to the airport. It also piloted a comprehensive on-street parking reform program (ecoParq), expanded its successful public bike system (Ecobici) and revitalized public spaces such as Alameda Central and Plaza Tlaxcoaque.

“Mexico City was like a patient sick with heart disease, its streets were some of the most congested in the world”, says Walter Hook, former CEO of ITDP, “In the last year, Mexico City extended its great Metrobus BRT system straight through the narrow congested streets of its spectacular historical core, rebuilt public parks and plazas, expanded bike sharing and bike lanes, and pedestrianized streets.  With the blood flowing again, Mexico City’s urban core has been transformed from a forgotten, crime ridden neighborhood into a vital part of Mexico City’s future.”

“We congratulate the Federal District of Mexico for their leadership in advancing sustainable transport. Celebrating success is a way to highlight best practices; many cities will find inspiration in your great achievements. At EMBARQ, we look forward to deepening our ties and collaboration with all the 2013 STA recipients. Just like in Mexico with our center, EMBARQ México, partnering with the Federal District, our other centers around the globe collaborate with cities on low cost, safe and effective alternatives to improve the quality of life and health of their citizens and reduce GHG emissions”, said Holger Dalkmann, President of EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport.

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