Seems like just last week the World Cup was ending,.. oh yes, it was. But there is no vacation time for those planning the next one — they’re are already working away on how to get all the fans and teams around. Of course, if you have millions of people visiting your city, moving them around in cars is a bad idea. Better to use a more space efficient (and, thus, energy efficient) mode of transport.
This is more than a temporary transportation issue, though. Planning for the World Cup mean transforming your city.
“Twelve Brazilian cities have been selected to host World Cup matches. These cities now face a daunting but exciting challenge: to seize this opportunity to boost urban transit systems in a meaningful and lasting way. World Cup transit investments — meant to help Brazilian cities manage the estimated 2.98 billion additional visitors that the Cup will generate — have the potential to improve quality of life, safety and accessibility in Brazilian cities long after the Cup is over,” Victoria Broadus at The City Fix writes [as couple of folks below point out, this must be a typo -- must be 2.98 million not 2.98 billion].
With the federal government putting in $4.34 billion for “urban mobility” infrastructure in those 12 cities, state and local governments putting in another $2.15 billion or so, and private investors putting in a large (but at this point still unknown) amount, Brazil will be a different place in 2013. And it is looking to make more use of its investments than South Africa did.
“All of the projects are envisioned as long-term infrastructural improvements. I noticed that in South Africa some of the projects [e.g. Park & Ride transport] will only last as long as the World Cup. In Brazil, we’re planning on fully investing in lasting transportation improvements, not quick-fix projects,” Dr. Toni Lindau, the director of the Center for Sustainable Transport in Brazil (CTS-Brasil), said.
Expect to see Brazil adopt a lot of bus rapid transit (BRT) — city proposals already include 500 kilometers (311 miles) of BRT lines. 20 BRT lines are already planned.
Additionally, cycleways, flyovers, monorail and light rail systems are planned [a comprehensive list of federally funded urban mobility projects is available here].
Imagine if the US had done more planning like this (and fewer Park & Ride lots) back when we had the World Cup in 1994 (or when we’ve had the Olympics come to town). Perhaps, the BP oil spill never would have happened. Perhaps, we wouldn’t be the country producing the second-most greenhouse gases in the world. Well,.. it is nice to imagine better decisions.
Nonetheless, even if we’ve missed such opportunities in the past, hopefully we can keep an eye on Brazil and keep steaming forward with high-speed rail, BRT, and better bicycle cities now. Hopefully, we can produce a better country for our children.
And as we’ve already seen, clean tech winners are World Cup winners. Maybe clean tech is the secret sauce our soccer teams have been lacking.
Photo Credit: GeorgeLeventhal via flickr
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.