Cities will receive support to implement innovative, bike-friendly street designs to promote sustainable transportation, revitalize neighborhoods, and improve resident health and well-being
Winning cities hail from Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Kenya, Mozambique, New Zealand and Portugal
New York, NY – In recognition of World Bike Day on June 3, Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the first-ever winners of the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI), with ten global cities receiving support to build innovative cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility options for their residents. The goal of BICI is to help cities design streets that increase biking rates, revitalize neighborhoods, and promote the health and well-being of their communities. Led in partnership with the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), in addition to funding to enact their proposals, each winning BICI city will receive technical assistance from GDCI on project development, cycling facility design, data collection, and resident engagement.
Successful cities need transportation systems that allow people to move safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Research consistently shows that providing cycling infrastructure brings social benefits that far outweigh its initial investment and that people who cycle are healthier and happier. However, a significant barrier to cycling in many cities is the lack of safe cycling infrastructure. BICI is designed to help city leaders meet the urgent need to build more connected and expansive cycling infrastructure that serves as many residents as possible.
The 10 BICI winners are: Fortaleza, Brazil—winner of a $1 million prize—and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bogota, Colombia; Lisbon, Portugal; Milan, Italy; Mombasa, Kenya; Pimpri-Chinchwad, India; Quelimane, Mozambique; Tirana, Albania; and Wellington, New Zealand, each of which will receive $400,000 in funding.
“Fighting climate change goes hand-in-hand with giving people more transportation options,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “These proposals to make cycling safer and more accessible will require robust technical assistance, and our team is glad to support the winners as they turn their ideas into action. The progress that these 10 cities make will help clean the air, protect the environment, and drive economic growth, too. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
“Cycle lanes aren’t amenities, they are essential infrastructure for cities,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Principal at Bloomberg Associates and former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. “These grants will help these 10 cities take the decisive action necessary to transform streets and turn the corner on traffic violence, pollution and climate change.”
The 10 winning BICI cities named today hail from 10 countries on five continents and collectively represent more than 15 million residents. Winners were selected from 275 applications submitted between November 10, 2022, and February 3, 2023, from cities with over 100,000 residents.
The 10 winning projects include:
- Fortaleza, Brazil (winner of the $1 million prize): Develop 180 kilometers of cutting-edge cycling infrastructure to invite more community members to cycle.
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Double the number of protected cycle lanes to achieve Africa’s largest city cycle network.
- Bogota, Colombia: Co-design new infrastructure with children to revitalize a low-income neighborhood and engage young residents.
- Lisbon, Portugal: Roll-out new solutions to increase the diversity of residents cycling throughout the city.
- Milan, Italy: Build sustainable, green cycle lanes that connect over 40 schools.
- Mombasa, Kenya: Protect and connect a cycle network along key corridors with high cycling volumes.
- Pimpri-Chinchwad, India: Launch a neighborhood model for a 15-minute city, starting with cycling.
- Quelimane, Mozambique: Build new cycling infrastructure that includes protected cycling lanes, pedestrian space, and unique bicycle taxi parking to support non-motorized travel.
- Tirana, Albania: Create an all-ages cycling network through the implementation of safe intersection design.
- Wellington, New Zealand: Increase the number of bike lanes in the city by 160 percent using resident input to inform planning and development.
“When it comes to reducing emissions and promoting healthier, greener cities, we must keep raising our collective ambitions,” said James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure gave cities around the world the chance to dream big and show what’s possible—and these winning projects demonstrate the extraordinary ideation that this opportunity has unlocked. We look forward to working with these global cities to implement their powerful projects, and as we do, share lessons with their peers worldwide.”
“Building safe, connected cycling networks is a universal need that benefits people’s physical and mental health and well-being, just as much as it benefits the environment and the economy,” said Skye Duncan, Executive Director of GDCI. “Through their ambitious cycling infrastructure projects, the selected cities will transform their streets by putting people above all else—while benefiting their local communities to ensure healthier, safe, and more equitable spaces for everyone. The BICI team at GDCI is eager to start working alongside these cities to assist them in achieving their city cycling infrastructure initiatives.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies will convene the 10 winning cities from June 26 through June 29, 2023, in London, providing an opportunity for those city leaders to meet, trade ideas with peers, begin their project planning, and learn from GDCI’s urban design experts.
BICI, the first global city initiative of its kind, was announced in October 2022 at Bloomberg Philanthropies’ CityLab. To learn more about BICI and the winning cities, visit bloombergcities.jhu.edu/bici or globaldesigningcities.org.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed US$ 1.7 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI):
Launched in 2014, the Global Designing Cities Initiative’s mission is to transform streets around the world, inspiring leaders, practitioners, and communities to imagine what’s possible when we design streets that put people first. GDCI’s work is informed by the strategies and international best practices captured in the Global Street Design Guide. To learn more, visit globaldesigningcities.org or follow us on Twitter.
Sam Fuld, Bloomberg Philanthropies