Vancouver has consistently been ranked high (top 5) among the most livable cities in the world for years now. Quality of life is an important factor in how these cities are ranked, and how we get around and use our public spaces is an important factor in determining quality of life.
Being “outdoorsy” has typically (or stereotypically) been associated with residents of British Columbia, so much like Portland to the south of it, you might have reason to think it obvious that cycling as a mode of transportation is on the rise there.
On the other hand, it’s a huge metropolitan center that developed during the rise of the automobile, so it would hardly be surprising if Vancouver, like most other cities, squeezed everyone to the side to make room for cars.
Vancouver has always done things a bit different, however, and some of the key policies that it has stayed true to for decades have been the source of so much livability. It is one of the only major cities in North America without urban freeways thanks to its residents vocal opposition (though sadly that’s not as true for the greater-Vancouver area).
Anyway, here’s the key bit of information – Vancouver had a goal of reducing trips by car to 50% by the year 2020. Just by way of contrast, most cities in Australia have been falling far short of their goal to double cycling by whenever their 5 year plan ended (from only about 1-2%, mind you), with some areas of the country seeing decline in recent times.
So how did Vancouver do with its transportation goal? Nailed it. Four years ahead of schedule.
Why? Because it decided to. It’s that simple.
Find out more in the video below, or read the story here.
Header image: source