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Paris commended for child-friendly sustainable transport policies

Copyright: Henri Garat City of Paris

A commitment by Paris to prioritise sustainable transport options – including safe routes for children – has helped land it a major award.

Its ‘innovative efforts’ to promote inclusion and active mobility include expanding opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians, and reclaiming urban space.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) announced the winner Sustainable Transport  Award, making Paris one of only two cities to win the award twice since it was set up 17 years ago.

The city, says the IDTP, has been consistently making ‘targeted efforts’ to create multi-modal and integrated transport networks that improve the quality of life for all of its citizens.

‘Truly child-friendly zones’

It has already produced the Gender and Public Space plan, with guidelines for creating safer and more accessible urban spaces that highlight the needs of children, women and those with disabilities. As part of this plan, nearly 200 streets located around city schools are being reconfigured into truly child-free zones, with new physical barriers, plants and art installations.

The idea is to provide pedestrian-only spaces for families and children, while at the same time highlighting how such radical interventions can also be done sustainably, for instance by using recycled materials.

“With the 2023 STA honour, Paris is being commended for its political will, resource investments and policy commitments to reshaping streets and public spaces for the needs of people, rather than cars,” says the ITDP. ” Looking forward, Paris will continue to build on its progress of the past year by sharing lessons with other global cities and demonstrating that sustainable mobility is core to a cleaner, healthier and more equitable urban future.”

Paris was the first city in France to implement a Low Emission Zone in 2017 and, over the past year, continued to expand its clean air and emissions reduction strategies to serve more residents. As Paris prepares to host the 2024 Olympic Games, the city is stepping up its efforts to create more comfortable urban space and connected transport with low-cost measures that can have the greatest positive impact for residents and visitors alike.

Since being established as a small group of cycling enthusiasts in Bogota, Colombia in 1985, the ITDP has progressed to being one of the leading champions of climate change and sustainable mobility. It operates across the world, working with governments to make cities safer and more sustainable.

Author: Simon Weedy

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