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New Orleans has a lot at stake when it comes to climate change.
Among many strategies to reduce dependence on carbon-fired power and increase locally generated solar energy, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced plans in July 2017 to address climate change by redesigning regional public transit so 50% of trips are taken by modes other than driving, such as walking or biking.
“It is not enough to plan for how we will adapt to climate change,” Landrieu wrote introducing the new climate action strategy for the city. “We must end our contribution to it.”
Not only can improving sidewalks and bike lanes make it safer and easier not to travel by car, but making routes and public transit more relevant and useful can also address racial inequity and health disparities.
For example, it is important for regional transit authorities to keep up with shifts in where people, jobs, and services are located. Currently in New Orleans, only 44% of jobs are accessible by an hour-long public transit commute, compared to 89% of jobs that are accessible within a 30 minute drive.
Latinos often lack access to safe places to walk and play, thus face higher rates chronic disease.
New Orleans will establish a citywide policy that prioritizes public roadway use in the following order: walking, biking, public transit, and driving a motor vehicle.
Pittsburgh also aims to increase alternative modes of travel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As one of the largest land owners in cities, schools play a role in addressing air quality, heat index, and stormwater runoff.
Read more about how New Orleans will transform their roadways to reduce car dependence.