San Francisco, CA and Medellin, Colombia are among the top urban innovators that have been recognized by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).
As an international nonprofit, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), collaborates with cities across the world to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve urban life.
Although similar in their hilly terrain and use of cable cars, San Francisco and Medellin's transport systems are quite different. In contrast to San Francisco's dated and somewhat expensive cable cars, Medellin's aerial cable car system is electric powered, affordable and has been integrated into existing public transportation systems. These efficient gondolas move 3,000 people per hour (in one direction) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly eliminating the need for old and badly maintained buses. Medellin has also recently launch a three-month pilot program for bike-sharing, making it the first city in Colombia to launch a public bike-sharing system.
San Francisco's commitment to bicycling has been seen by a long-term commitment to have 20 percent of all trips completed by bicycle by 2020. In 2011, San Franciscans saw the beginning of a city-wide expansion and improvement of bike lanes. But the ITDP feels that the greatest urban achievement for San Francisco in 2011 was the introduction of new pricing schemes based on time of day and availability for parking as well as the replacement of street parking spots with "parklets" as part of the "Pavement to Parks" program. The parklets serve as mini-parks, often in front of coffee houses or shops that are open public space for anyone to enjoy.
The ITDP stated that what made these two cities stand out among others was the successful use of social media and the web to provide accessible and helpful information for their urban transit riders.
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Source: National Geographic