Ten years ago on a flight to Guatemala I had a six hour lay over in Mexico City. We went downtown by cab, to check out the downtown. For the entire ride there was a distinctive odor in the air and that smell was pollution.
In 1992 Mexico City was given the distinction of being named the world’s most polluted city. At the time air pollution was thought to cause 1,000 deaths and 35,000 hospitalizations every year. Today, ozone and other air pollutants stand at about the same level as those in Los Angeles.
““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,” he said.
Metrobus added Line 4, a corridor that extends from the historic center of the city to the airport.
Mexico City also piloted a comprehensive on-street parking reform program called ecoParq and expanded its successful public bike system, Ecobici.
“Sustainable transport systems go hand in hand with low emissions development and livable cities. Mexico City’s success has proven that developing cities can achieve this, and we expect many Asian cities to follow suit,” said Sophie Punte, executive director of Clear Air Asia, a member of the award selection committee.
The annual Sustainable Transport Award was established in eight years ago by the New York-based ITDP to recognize “leadership and visionary achievements” in clean, efficient transportation and urban livability. It is presented to a city each January for achievements in the previous year.
Holger Dalkmann, president of EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s center for sustainable transport, said many other cities will find inspiration in Mexico City’s achievements. “Celebrating success is a way to highlight best practices.”