Our commitment to walkable cities that put people first
As mayors of some of the world’s great cities, we are committed to transforming them into greener, healthier, and more prosperous places to live. Our streets must be safe and accessible for everybody and our air must be clean and free from harmful emissions. This will improve the quality of life for all residents, and help tackle the global threat of climate change.
We envision a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of residents move around our cities. This shift towards zero emission mobility will result in less congestion and less pollution, while making our roads quieter and the air we breathe cleaner.
One third of greenhouse gas emissions from C40 cities come from transport and traffic is the biggest source of air pollution, globally responsible for up to one-quarter of particulate matter in the air. As cities continue to grow they are becoming more congested, with people spending more time in traffic. A study across the US, UK, France and Germany showed that congestion on our roads is costing the economy on average almost 1% of GDP. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.
This is not only holding back our economies through lost time and productivity, but also harming our health and the environment through worsening air pollution. Dirty air leads to almost 4.14 million premature deaths a year and afflicts many more, particularly children, with illnesses such as asthma.
We are already delivering our vision of greener, healthier and more prosperous cities but we recognise the urgent need for ambitious climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. We also recognise the need for a comprehensive, holistic approach to transform the way people travel around our cities that builds on pledges made as part of the C40 Clean Bus Declaration and supports those articulated in the ‘Global MacroRoadmap: An Actionable Vision for Transport Decarbonization’.
We pledge to transition to green and healthy streets by:
- Procuring, with our partners, only zero-emission buses from 2025; and ensuring a major area of our city is zero emission by 2030.
To meet this commitment, we will:
- Transform our cities through people-friendly planning policies.
- Increase the rates of walking, cycling and the use of public and shared transport that is accessible to all residents.
- Reduce the number of polluting vehicles on our streets and transition away from vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
- Lead by example by procuring zero emission vehicles for our city fleets as quickly as possible.
- Collaborate with suppliers, fleet operators and businesses to accelerate the shift to zero emissions vehicles and reduce vehicle miles in our cities.
- Publicly report every two years on the progress the cities are making towards these goals.
Amsterdam, Auckland, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Medellín, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Rotterdam, Santiago, Seattle, Seoul, Tokyo, Vancouver, Warsaw, Birmingham, Honolulu, Liverpool, Oxford, Greater Manchester, Santa Monica, West Hollywood
For new signatories, download the planned actions template here and submit to email@example.com for review.
This programme works with Green and Healthy Streets signatory cities and partners seeking to transform urban mobility by establishing a major area of their city as zero emission.
The cities with the most successful transport strategies prioritise people-friendly streets over space for cars. Cities have the ability to build a future where the majority of people travel on foot, by bike or by shared transport, and make sure that remaining vehicle trips are made using zero emission vehicles.
Urban planning measures are critical for cities to be able to deliver on their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and reduce their vulnerability to climate hazards. C40’s Urban Planning work supports cities to develop, implement and share planning strategies and regulations that set a framework for sustainable and equitable urban growth.