This post is part of TheCityFix’s series, “CACS Highlights,” introducing the winners of the Active Cities, Healthy Cities (or “CACS,” its acronym in Spanish and Portuguese) competition. These public projects aim to transform the lives of millions of people through building healthy and altruistic communities. Each project will be honored at the 7th World Congress on Sustainable Transport on October 5, 2011 in Mexico City.
The winner of the Sustainable Transport and Air Quality category was the project titled, “Urban Cycle Trainers.” The project promotes bicycle use in the city of Xalapa, Mexico and provides training for urban cyclists at schools, businesses and government institutions, as well as at both public and private events.
Urban Cycle Trainers define their role as the guardians of the future network of bike paths, and they hope to establish discipline and order among all road users. In the last six years, the project’s leaders organized family cycling events, bicycle care and handling workshops, and numerous conferences on the promotion, management and consultancy of urban cycling.
The goal of Urban Cycle Trainers is to expand their base of volunteer trainers and increase the number of bicyclists on the roads of Xalapa.
Learn more about the Urban Cycle Trainers here.
Honorable Mentions under Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
Five additional projects received honorable mention in the category of Sustainable Transport and Air Quality:
- The Clean Water Project—Horizontina, Brazil
The Clean Water Project aims to garner community attention and activism on issues of water in Horizontina, Brazil. The project acknowledges the importance of civil society’s role in implementing environmentally conscious public policies.
- Best in Bike—Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Bike Program is part of the Sustainable Mobility Plan in Buenos Aires and works to promote cycling as a transport mode and alleviate traffic problems. The project includes building a network of protected bicycle paths, adding bicycle parking infrastructure to the cityscape, and creating a public transport system of bikes. The program also hopes to promote and educate the public on the cultural changes involved in accepting bicycles as a real alternative to cars and a true method of sustainable transport.
Believing that trees are the lungs of a city, the Conscious Afforestation project works to restore environmental degradation. In order to improve the quality of the environment, Conscious Afforestation plants trees along roads and in parks. The project launched in 2006 and is open to the community.
- Friends of Water—Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil
Initiated by a group of concerned teenagers, Friends of Water works to raise the consciousness of children’s awareness on the importance of water preservation. Upon receiving a fictional letter from the year 2070, a group of 6th grade students started to discuss the issues of water preservation and recycling. Although the program has its roots in water and waste issues, its work expanded to ecological hikes, cleaning streams, reforestation, pet adoption and theater. In two years of work, the program has reached more than 15,000 individuals who have adopted sustainable practices that conserve energy and water.
- Plan Bicycle—Sorocaba, Brazil
Plan Bicycle is the program that supports the largest bicycle path in Sorocaba, Brazil and second largest in Brazil. The bicycle path is currently 70 kilometers long and is interconnected to city parks. The project also supports programs to encourage cycling and aims to expand the bicycle path by another 30 kilometers by the end of 2012.