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The 10 principles for sustainable transport at the Our Cities Ourselves exhibition at the AIA in New York City (Photo: Samuel Lahoz, for ITDP)

The Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with an ambitious new exhibition at the Center for Architecture, in New York. As part of the celebration Gehl Architects together with ITDP have published a new publication, “Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life”. David Sim, Jeff Risom, Ewa Westermark, Henning Thomsen and Ola Gustafsson together with Jan Gehl, all from Gehl Architects, have worked on the publication.

Here is what US Politics writes about the new publication:

In a publication released today (24 June), visionary urbanist Jan Gehl and Walter Hook, Executive Director of the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), together set out ten keys to building successful cities. “Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life” shows how cities from New York to Nairobi can meet the challenges of rapid population growth and climate change while improving their competitiveness.

In a concise, vibrant and accessible format, the booklet promises to be a “must read” for all those involved in city design and urban planning, and forms the backbone of the ITDP exhibition “Our Cities Ourselves,” which opens on June 24 at New York’s Center for Architecture, before traveling to China,Brazil, Mexico and beyond.

“Cities of the twenty-first century should be lively cities, safe cities, sustainable cities and healthy cities,” says Jan Gehl. “All of these qualities can be achieved if we embrace these ten principles, which means putting people first.”

Cities face massive population growth, particularly in the developing world. By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population, or 5 billion people, will live in cities. The transportation sector currently accounts for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, a growing proportion derived largely from cars and trucks.

From the exhibition Our Cities Ourselves, ITDP 25th anniversary, at the AIA in New York City (Photo: Samuel Lahoz for ITDP)

Without a significant move away from car-dependent suburbanization to pedestrian-friendly and public transit-oriented urban planning, cities will face growing difficulties financing the necessary infrastructure. As a result of inaction, preventing the two-degree rise in global warming that threatens cataclysmic climate change will be nearly impossible.

“When I was growing up, we used to think that in the future we would all be traveling around on monorails, or in flying cars. In cities with 25 million people, this sort of thing just isn’t workable,” saysWalter Hook, Executive Director of ITDP. “Now, our dreams are full of elegant pedestrian promenades along waterfronts alive with fountains and children playing, of great bike paths connecting to public squares alive with cafes, musicians, and performance art.”

Some cities are waking up to this reality, and changing direction. “Our Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life” showcases examples of cities reaping the benefits of integrating urban planning and design that gives priority to pedestrians and transit. It is designed as a guide to cities and countries wishing to make their cities more competitive and livable, while helping to solve the problem of climate change.

“We are thrilled to launch the ‘Our Cities Ourselves’ global program at the Center, but also to see this important booklet arrive. The principles outlined–and beautifully so–offer a promising future for New York and other growing cities,” says Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director of the Center for Architecture and the American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter. “I think I speak for the architects of New York when I say we look forward to realizing these principles in our designs.”

What are the ten principles of sustainable transport?

  1. Walk the walk: Create great pedestrian environments.
  2. Powered by people: Create a great environment for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles.
  3. Get on the bus: Provide great, cost-effective public transport.
  4. Cruise control: Provide access for clean passenger vehicles at safe speeds and in significantly reduced numbers.
  5. Deliver the goods: Service the city in the cleanest and safest manner.
  6. Mix it up: Mix people and activities, buildings and spaces.
  7. Fill it in: Build dense, people and transit oriented urban districts that are desirable.
  8. Get real: Preserve and enhance the local, natural, cultural, social and historical assets.
  9. Connect the blocks: Make walking trips more direct, interesting and productive with small-size, permeable buildings and blocks.
  10. Make it last: Build for the long term. Sustainable cities bridge generations. They are memorable, malleable, built from quality materials, and well maintained.

Read more about the exhibition and the publication on ‘A daily dose of Architecture‘, ‘Sustainable Cities Collective‘, ‘Time Out New York‘, ‘WNYC‘, and visit the exhibition website.

And watch President Clintons special message to ITDP:

I am ready for four fantastic days of Velo City Global in Copenhagen

Picked up my conferencebag at Øksnehallen today. Will be reading the program tonight and tomorrow I will dive in and enjoy the full velo show. And in the evening, we host a reception from 18-20 at our office at Gehl Architects. Hoping that many of our good friends will stop by for drinks and good discussions.

Check out the Velo City Global conference webpage.

Bike racks in front of Øksnehallen awaiting Velo City guests

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