C40, CDP, Climate Change, Connected Cities

“In Johannesburg, bus rapid transit (BRT) represents a lot more than it does in most cities. In most cities it is an effective technique for getting residents to and from work faster with fewer carbon emissions during congested rush hours, a technique that was spearheaded in Curitiba, Brazil, and now copied in cities worldwide.

“While decreasing gridlock and improving air quality are welcome co-benefits for most cities, the BRT is fulfilling a much deeper, more powerful, even healing role for Johannesburg.

“A primary driver for Parks Tau, the city’s mayor, for developing the Rea Vaya BRT is to address the legacy of apartheid planning. He calls the BRT lines “corridors of freedom” to emphasise their role in re-stitching separated parts of the city back together, providing a physical means to overcome apartheid era barriers caused by physical space. Transit-orientated development around the Rea Vaya stops are providing new homes, and importantly local day-to-day amenities for communities that once had none and leading to the social integration that is the face of the new Johannesburg.

“This is just one of many incredible stories heard at the C40 Mayor’s Summit that took place in Johannesburg on 5-6 February. The summit brought together mayors, or their deputies, their chiefs of staff, their sustainability directors and environmental aides to the biannual meeting of megacities taking action against climate change. The primary role of the C40 is to facilitate cities to learn from and be inspired by each other on how to reduce their contribution to climate change.”

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Claire Bonham-Carter_smallClaire Bonham-Carter (claire.bonham-carter@aecom.com), director of sustainable development, Design + Planning, AECOM, has led the company’s effort to help deliver the CDP cities global report the past two years. At the summit she delivered individual-city-tailored reports to officials from the cities that participated in the global report, as pictured above.


Originally published Feb 19, 2014

Author: Claire Bonham-Carter