Cities are running out of room—and time. If urban
leaders don’t start rethinking transit project portfolios
to invest in more public transit options and make
way for bicycles and driverless cars, growing cities
could face a transportation crisis.
Only 6 percent of the biggest U.S. cities include
self-driving cars in their future transportation plans—
a key feature of the coming driverless state, according to City of the Future: Technology & Mobility, a
November report from Washington, D.C.-based
advocacy group National League of Cities. Often, the
cost of maintaining existing infrastructure like roads
and rails means municipalities are limited when considering more dramatic changes for the long-term
vision. But a new mindset is required, says Brooks
Rainwater, senior executive and director, Center
for City Solutions and Applied Research, National
League of Cities. “City leaders need to think more
strategically and long term,” says Mr. Rainwater, who
co-authored the report.
Cities around the world need to better prepare for
the future, agrees Gunjan Parik, head of the transport
initiative at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
The London, England-based nonprofit brings together
Behind the Transit Curve
Fixing the Food Chain
leaders from megacities around the world to develop
strategies and share best practices for becoming
more sustainable. “Right now there is a huge need for
improved transportation networks,” she says, in both
developing countries with rapidly growing populations and older cities with obsolete infrastructure.
Make Way for Bikes and Buses
Some Brazilian cities are improving their transportation systems by sponsoring Bus Rapid Transit
(BRT) projects to create faster and more reliable
bus service. Rio de Janeiro is now implementing
citywide BRT infrastructure in preparation for the
2016 Olympics. City leaders expect BRT will result
in more than 60 percent of citizens having access
to public transportation—up from 18 percent
before the system was in place, Ms. Parik says. In
2014, a BRT project in Buenos Aires converted
four lanes of the city’s iconic 20-lane Avenida 9 de
Julio to dedicated bus lanes. Commute times for
some riders dropped from 40 minutes to 14.
Copenhagen, Denmark has also focused on
accommodating people who want to get out of
cars. In recent years it completed projects deliver-
One-third of the world’s food goes to waste.
So a major U.S. foundation is sponsoring a
project to demonstrate how humanity can
cut food waste in half by 2030.
In January, The Rockefeller Founda-
tion launched Yield Wise, a seven-
year, US$130 million project to
reduce post-harvest loss—the
spoiling of food that could have
been eaten—in sub-Saharan Africa.
The effort will also look at ways to
prevent food waste in the West.
“Food loss and waste happens all along
the global pathway to the plate,” Rockefell-
er Foundation President Judith Rodin told
GreenBiz. “To succeed in cutting food waste
in half, we must take a systemic approach.”
The initiative will first focus on mango
crops in Kenya, maize in Tanzania, and
cassava and tomato crops in Nigeria.
In these countries, 40 percent of crops
never reach the market. To reduce this,
the project plans to create a more efficient supply chain by finding new ways
to store, process, and transport produce
to new and expanding markets.
Champions 12. 3, a related global
project sponsored by a coalition of 30
business, agency and government leaders, complements the Yield Wise initiative. Also announced in January, it aims
to halve per-capita global food waste at
the retail and consumer level by 2030.