‘Cities Safer by Design’ advanced in Turkey
The agenda for safe and sustainable urban mobility in Turkey’s cities was taken forward by the World Resources Institute (WRI) with support from the FIA Foundation in workshop sessions in Izmir.
WRI Turkey convened a ‘Cities Safer by Design’ workshop in Izmir on 12-13 May which brought together Mayors, municipal policy makers and international experts. The focus was on approaches to city design and urban policy making for healthier and safer mobility. Input jointly from the FIA Foundation and UNICEF highlighted the importance of a safe and healthy journey to school as a child rights issue.
Sessions were led by WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities Director Arzu Tekir with expert input from WRI Senior Associate Ben Welle. FIA Foundation Deputy Director Avi Silverman opened the session and was joined by Burcu Arasli, Deputy Excecutive Director of the UNICEF Turkish National Committee.
WRI Turkey Director Arzu Tekir said: “We need better urban design to combat air pollution and address road traffic injury. As we see in Turkey and other fast developing countries, the proportion of people living in cities is increasing, but so are the health challenges. We need ‘Cities Safer by Design’ – safer streets particularly for vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists.”
Avi Silverman introduced the FIA Foundation’s ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green’ agenda for sustainable mobility and emphasised the need to focus on a safe journey to school for every child as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) policy priority. He presented data from the Global Burden of Disease showing that in Turkey road traffic injury is the number one killer of children in every age group over 5 years old. “Integrating safe design principles into urban policy making as outlined by WRI’s ‘Cities Safer by Design’ is vital for achieving child rights and SDG objectives. Working with municipalities here in Turkey, WRI is demonstrating that safe and sustainable mobility can be implemented effectively. This must be at the core of the new urban agenda and a policy priority, not an optional extra.”
UNICEF’s Burcu Arasli presented Turkey’s Child Friendly Cities programme which includes an emphasis on road safety for children. “We must protect our children and provide them with safe streets. We have a duty to uphold the rights of the child. In Turkey with the Child Friendly Cities programme we are working to provide safe spaces for children and to ensure that our municipalities provide an environment where our children can develop and flourish. This agenda is vital for our future.”
As an initiative aimed at the SDGs, the FIA Foundation’s partnership with WRI aims to deliver evidence based capacity building projects on urban street design to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. It follows the principles of the Cities Safer by Design guide, which includes key measures such as: traffic calming and protection of vulnerable road users through infrastructure improvements; safer cycling facilities; and transit accessibility particularly for pedestrians linking to public transport.
The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works through its network spanning countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey to build local capacity. The FIA Foundation is also assisting to link this work with that of other key partners such as UNICEF.
Download the FIA Foundation’s ‘Safe Clean Fair and Green’ agenda for sustainable mobility here.
Download the WRI Cities Safer by Design guide here.