Global Street Design Guide launched

Washington, D.C. — The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Global Designing Cities Initiative launched the Global Street Design Guide as a globally accessible document that can be downloaded at no cost, allowing urban planners, designers and transportation practitioners in cities around the world to immediately implement tested and life-saving street designs.

The worldwide release of the guide, made possible by the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, will also soon include translations into Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and other languages making the guide even more accessible. The launch comes as 29 cities and 15 organizations — including London, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Addis Ababa and Toronto — have endorsed the guide as a new standard for transforming streets to prioritize safety, pedestrians, transit and sustainable mobility.

“City streets are at the center of so many big challenges facing the world, from health and safety to climate change. This guide helps city leaders meet those challenges in ways that also connect people to jobs and services and bring new life to neighborhoods,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Former Mayor of the City of New York. “The guide is full of creative ways cities are reshaping streets to better serve the public – and if those ideas spread around the world, they can help improve billions of lives.”

“This launch puts the guide where it’s most needed — into the hands of planners, citizens and leaders in hundreds of cities,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO chair and principal at Bloomberg Associates.

“Having access to a global guide means we can utilize the best designs from around the world to ensure our city is a healthy place to live and work for everyone,” said Leon Daniels, Managing Director, Surface Transport, Transport for London.

The Global Street Design Guide has been endorsed by 29 global cities, including Accra, Ghana; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Auckland, New Zealand; Bandung, Indonesia; Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Brazil; Charlotte; Chicago; Fortaleza, Brazil; Helsinki, Finland; Kabul, Afghanistan; London; Los Angeles; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City, Mexico; Nairobi, Kenya; New York City; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Recife, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Seattle; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; San Francisco; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tirana, Albania; Toronto, Canada; and Vancouver, Canada.

Globally, 1.25 million people are killed in traffic deaths, often the result of road design that contributes to high speeds and dangerous driving. Created with the input of 72 cities in 42 countries, the Guide presents essential street types and unique street and intersection transformations that put people first and that can be applied to streets worldwide. With over 40 case studies from cities of wide ranging populations, the Guide shows possibilities from moving more people with transit lanes, to dedicating space for vibrant economic activity like street vendors, and provides a toolkit of street designs that can be applied in a variety of contexts worldwide.

Street design is also the key to resolving larger issues of cities’ economic vitality, livability, and physical and social mobility. The Guide comes as urban populations increase around the world and amid a sea change in the number of cities designing, testing and implementing street transformations.

The Global Street Design Guide sets a new global baseline for designing urban streets. Recognizing that cities are places for people, the guide shifts the parameters of designing urban streets from the typical point of view of automobile movement and safety, to include access, safety, and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, enhancement of place, public health, and overall quality of life.

The Guide builds on NACTO’s successful Urban Street Design Guide, Urban Bikeway Design Guide, and Transit Street Design Guide, expanding from a North American context to address a variety of street typologies and design elements found around the world.

In addition to 29 global cities cities, the following organizations have endorsed and supported the Guide to date: 8-80 Cities; Automobile Club of Moldova; Belarusian Auto Moto Touring Club; Bernard van Leer Foundation; C40 Cities; Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport; FIA Foundation; Global Road safety Partnership; International Development Bank; Institute for Transportation and Development Policy; John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Partnership for Road Safety Foundation; Save Life Foundation; Vital Strategies; the World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities; and the World Bank.

Development of the Guide was supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Initiative for Global Road Safety.

The Global Street Design Guide is available for purchase from Island Press and can be viewed and downloaded for free at https://globaldesigningcities.org/publication/global-street-design-guide.