On May 20th, the NGO known as Greenpeace published their annual rankings and awarded a 6.6 out of 10 to Valencia. Only Bilbao, with a score of 6.9, exceeds the “Capital del Túria”.
In the study, different factors were taken into account to compare the availability of public transport services, the bike lane network, pedestrian streets as well as the city’s level of pollution and noise, among others.
The document states that “Valencia stands out as a leader in sustainability by the measures they are taking to reduce car use and improve the quality of life of its residents”.
Valencia is the third most populated city in Spain, with a density of 5,877 inhabitants per sq. km. and an index of 610 vehicles per 1000 inhabitants, giving this statistic even greater value.
Despite it being an industrial area, the Mediterranean way of life allows the city to achieve these results. People, especially the younger population, are concerned with environmental issues and healthy ways of life. That’s one of the reasons why the use of bicycles and walking has increased within the last 5 years, with many people choosing walking as their main way of getting around. Trips by bus and the use of cars have decreased as well, so positive results all round!
These changes can be attributed to the Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility (SUMP) which came into effect in 2016, with a budget of 201.2 € million!
It has helped to transform Valencia! With 33,000 square meters of new pedestrian zones, the implementation of school paths, the development of the bike lanes all over the city, and the redesign of the bus service, with the correct operation of “EMT Valencia” and “MetroBús”.
For the next few years, the Plan seeks to reduce the speed limit to 30 kilometers per hour, helping to reduce pollution in the city. It also plans to create 89 new pedestrian walkways and 18 more kilometres of bike lanes for residents to enjoy!