More urbanites, more cars: the challenge of urban road safety and health

By Claudia Adriazola    February 14, 2013

As more and more people move into cities, more cars are also hitting the streets. That, unfortunately, is not all they will be hitting if we do not organize against urban traffic fatalities. We already see 1.2 million traffic crash-related deaths per year worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, with increased urbanization and motorization, road fatalities are expected to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.

Pleasant cities can be natural places for physical activity, witnessed in Istanbul’s lively streets. Photo by HBarrison.
Pleasant cities can be natural places for physical activity,
witnessed in Istanbul’s lively streets. Photo by HBarrison.

What are some of the key drivers of urban traffic fatalities? What can be done to reduce fatalities through sustainable urban development and sustainable urban mobility? What are successful examples of projects to reduce road fatalities in cities?

At the invitation of The Brookings Institution and the FIA Foundation, EMBARQ Director Holger Dalkmann and EMBARQ Director of the Health & Road Safety Program, Claudia Adriazola-Steil, highlighted today in Washington, DC some key findings and key actions for EMBARQ in the campaign to reduce urban traffic fatalities and other negative impacts. Here are some highlights:

More cities, more urbanites, more cars
Today more than 50% of the world’s population lives in urban environments. The number of urbanites is growing – with most of the growth in Africa and Asia – and by 2050 75 percent of people are expected to live in cities. At the same time, the number of cars – too often a symbol of individual success – is set to hit the astonishing number of 2 billion worldwide by 2020 if we stay on a business-as-usual track. The collision of these two trends—urbanization and personal motorization—will make for a very different traffic safety challenge in the future.

Read the full story here

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