NEW YORK - January 19 - In Seoul, a city of over ten million, Mayor Lee replaced a 4-mile elevated highway that once covered the Cheonggyecheon River in the city center with a riverfront park, high quality walkways, and public squares. Exclusive median bus lanes have been put on 36 miles of congested streets, speeding transit, and the city government is now planning to add additional bus lanes as part of a broader initiative to improve all aspects of the city’s bus system.
Mayor Lee belongs to a new generation of bold mayors and governors around the world who are tackling seemingly intractable problems like traffic gridlock and air pollution – and winning. “Managing traffic and expanding travel choices are keys to improving and sustaining Seoul’s economy, environment, and livability,” said Mayor Lee. “I am honored that our efforts are being recognized as a leading example for how cities around the world can simultaneously boost the quality of life for their citizens while helping to address the critical urban problems facing them,” he added. Elected in 2002, Mayor Lee is currently a leading candidate for South Korea’s presidency.
The Sustainable Transport Award is given each year by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Environmental Defense, and US Transportation Research Board Committee ABE90. The award recognizes a city that best exemplifies practices that reduce fuel use, emissions, and traffic accidents, improve mobility for the poor, and enhance the quality of space for pedestrians and bicyclists. Mr. Jung Woo Chang, Director of Seoul’s Transportation Improvement Bureau, will represent Mayor Lee at the award ceremony and reception at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.
Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 400,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. www.environmentaldefense.org
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is a leading international non-profit organization founded in 1985 that promotes environmentally sustainable and equitable transportation worldwide. Its programs include bus rapid transit, congestion pricing, bicycle and pedestrian planning, brownfield revitalization, bicycle and cycle rickshaw modernization, the development of independent bicycle dealer cooperatives, and emerging work in health service delivery logistics. See: www.itdp.org
The TRB Committee ABE90 is the lead committee for sustainable transport in emerging economies and fosters international research and dialogue (email@example.com).