The city of Paris, France, has been announced as the winner of the 2023 Sustainable Transport Award (STA) for its efforts to promote inclusive and active mobility.
It is the second time the French capital has received the award, having been honoured with the STA in 2008. Until now, only Bogotá, Colombia, had received the award twice.
According to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which granted the award, Paris’ commitment to its Vélopolitain cycling network made it a standout in this year’s STA programme.
Paris built on the surge in cycling that arose during the pandemic. As part of its “Plan Vélo”, the city has been turning ‘pop-up’ lanes into permanent infrastructure and aims to add over 130 kilometres of protected lanes to the city’s existing Vélopolitain network.
The first phase of the expansion has reported a 60% increase in use since before the pandemic.
Paris has also been redesigning its streets to better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists alike. By 2026, the city plans to reclaim one out of every two on-street parking spaces for new trees, playgrounds, and bike and shared mobility facilities.
Overall, Paris has committed €250 million to “Plan Vélo” with the vision of building a safer, fully-cyclable city in the next few years.
The city has also been commended for re-designing public spaces around schools to provide pedestrian-only spaces that are helping to improve safety and access for youth across Paris.
“It’s an honour to have a historic city like Paris as the STA winner for the second time in the Award’s 17-year history,” ITDP’s CEO Heather Thompson told Zag Daily. “This recognition demonstrates to other cities that – despite the adversity of the pandemic – strong political leadership and resource commitments can make cycling, walking, and sustainable mobility essential infrastructure.”
This year, Paris will be also joined by two STA honourable mentions: the City of Bhubaneswar, India, and the State of Jalisco, Mexico (inclusive of the cities of Guadalajara, Zapopan, and Tlaquepaque).
Bhubaneswar is being recognised for its efforts to modernise its public transit systems with a focus on improving rider experience, advancing gender equity, and offering more integrated trip options.
The STA committee also commended the state of Jalisco’s commitment to reducing emissions while building a more sustainable transport network that supports last-mile connectivity needs.
The live awards ceremony takes place on February 8th.