UNEP Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling

  • Source: UN Environment
  • Date: 09/01/2016

"Walking and cycling are more than low-carbon modes of transport that enhance urban quality and facilitate social cohesion; they are cheap, flexible, personal modes without which the majority of people in low- and middle-income countries are unable to participate in the economy and community, or access education, health-care and other urban services.

At the same time, many low- and middle-income countries are undergoing rapid, debilitating and unconstrained urbanisation, and local and national authorities are buckling under severe pressure to plan, guide development, provide services, and manage their cities. One consequence is that cities and rural areas exhibit poor accessibility and mobility, and the needs of people remain unmet.

Better walking and cycling environments can change this. Access and mobility are key not only to sustainable mobility but to sustainable development. NMT, primarily walking and cycling, is the most sustainable form of movement, whether as a local access or an arterial or mobility mode. Yet NMT only often recieves marginal recognition in many low- and middle-income countries – whether in policy and legislation, or in budget, resource and space allocation. These same countries have the worst global road safety rates (between 40-80% of fatalities in low-income countries are NMT users), and the highest rates of poverty, unemployment and associated ill-health and limited life opportunities."

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