Mombasa Secures Ksh55 Million Prize for Building Cycling Infrastructure
Mombasa City in Kenya has been selected as one of the ten cities worldwide to work with the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) under the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI). This project aims to build alternative transportation structures and promote cycling as a sustainable mobility option. Mombasa City will receive Ksh55 million to develop secluded lanes for bicycle riders and implement cycle-friendly street designs.
The Global Designing Cities Initiative, founded in 2014, is dedicated to transforming streets worldwide by inspiring leaders, practitioners, and communities to prioritize people in street design. The initiative will provide technical assistance to Mombasa City, supporting them in implementing best practices and innovative ideas for building cycling infrastructure.
In June 2023, the BICI awarded support to ten global cities to develop cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility options for their residents. Alongside Mombasa City, winning cities included Fortaleza (Brazil), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Bogota (Colombia), Lisbon (Portugal), Milan (Italy), Pimpri-Chinchwad (India), Quelimane (Mozambique), Tirana (Albania), and Wellington (New Zealand). Each winning city will receive funding and technical assistance from GDCI for project development, cycling facility design, data collection, and resident engagement.
The importance of cycling as an active mode of transportation is increasingly recognized worldwide. A June 2022 publication by the World Health Organization emphasized the social benefits of cycling, stating that it contributes to healthier and happier communities. Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Principal at Bloomberg Associates and former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, highlighted the significance of cycle lanes as essential infrastructure for cities. She stated that the grants awarded to these ten cities will enable them to take decisive action in transforming streets and addressing issues such as traffic violence, pollution, and climate change.
The winning projects reflect a range of goals and strategies for cycling infrastructure. For instance, Fortaleza, Brazil, plans to develop 180 kilometers of cutting-edge cycling infrastructure, while Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, aims to double the number of protected cycle lanes to create Africa’s largest city cycle network. Bogota, Colombia, intends to revitalize a low-income neighborhood by co-designing new infrastructure with children, engaging young residents in the process. These projects demonstrate the diverse approaches taken by the winning cities to promote cycling and create safer, greener urban spaces.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, which supports this initiative, invests in cities and countries worldwide to improve lives. The organization focuses on various areas, including the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. James Anderson, who leads the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, stressed the importance of raising collective ambitions to reduce emissions and create healthier, greener cities. He expressed excitement about the winning projects, which showcase extraordinary ideation and the potential for positive change. Skye Duncan, Executive Director of GDCI, emphasized the benefits of safe and connected cycling networks for people’s health, well-being, and the environment. GDCI is committed to working closely with the selected cities, including Mombasa, to help them achieve their cycling infrastructure initiatives and create more equitable and sustainable spaces.
The BICI project represents a significant opportunity for Mombasa City to enhance its transportation system and promote cycling as a viable mode of travel. By building cycling infrastructure and implementing cycle-friendly street designs, the city can improve residents’ mobility options, reduce traffic congestion, and contribute to a greener and healthier environment.