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We have the power to move the world: A mayors’ guidebook on sustainable transport

In We have the power to move the world, the leaders of 14 of the world’s most ambitious and successful sustainable transport cities explain why they are taking action, what they are implementing, the approaches they are taking, and their advice for other cities. Their intension is to inspire and support more cities to show the same leadership. The actions showcased range from expansion and electrification of mass transit, to restrictions on polluting vehicles and improved conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

All the cities featured are signatories to the C40 Green and Healthy (Fossil Fuel Free) Streets declaration. The quotes and statistics below are extracts from the guide, which was developed by C40 Cities in partnership with the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI).

“In Copenhagen we insist on green solutions because they pay off. Copenhagen’s green transformation goes hand in hand with job creation, economic growth, and a better quality of life.”

Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen

“My advice to other cities is to set your goals high, but remember to be in constant dialogue with the city. Make sure your goals are accessible, affordable and supported by your citizens.”

Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam

“The “radical” idea of the superblock is a means to put people first, rather than vehicles, in the public space. Superblocks unite urban planning with mobility and limit the presence of private vehicles in order to give back public space to the citizens. They are an answer for the city’s lack of green spaces, high levels of pollution, noise pollution, accident rates and physical inactivity. We plan to implement the superblock approach for the whole city over the coming years… My advice to other mayors would be to listen and engage with citizens and communities. Do not be afraid of trying new things in the city. It is time to apply a paradigm shift in our cities towards a people-centered approach.”

Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona

“There is no magic formula to Medellín’s success, but the advice I would give to other mayors looking to develop sustainable mobility is to put people and communities first in planning transport. This is something I have tried to do in my tenure as mayor, reaching out to people and involving communities in the design of urban space and the extension of the public transit system. Trust and partnership are key to developing a sustainable system that works for all.”

Federico Gutiérrez, Mayor of Medellín

“Our vision is to transform Jakarta away from a traffic dominated, congested and polluted city to a world leader in public and sustainable transport, where residents and visitors feel that using public transport is safe, sustainable and comfortable. Our advice to other city leaders is to set a clear and ambitious vision and to work with people and organisations in the city to find common interests to make it a reality.”


Anies Baswedan, Governor of Jakarta

Course: C40 Cities

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