Are protected bicycle lane networks an effective investment in reducing greenhouse gasses and strengthening city economies? A new study from ITDP, Despacio, and the FIA Foundation provides the first empirical evidence directly linking bicycle infrastructure to cutting carbon in middle-income cities. In fact, networks of protected bicycle lanes provide more carbon reduction per dollar spent on infrastructure than most other transport interventions. They also offer very rapid economic returns on investment, paying for themselves in less than a year. 

This webinar will summarize the findings of the new study, Protected Bicycle Lanes Protect the Climate, conducted as part of ITDP’s Cycling Cities campaign. Study authors will also introduce an interactive modeling tool that any city can use to predict the impacts of a planned cycle lane network.

This event will feature live interpretations in Spanish.




About the Moderator

Sheila Watson Deputy Director, FIA Foundation

Sheila Watson is Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation, a UK-based Charity which is committed to promoting safe sustainable mobility across the world.

Sheila leads the Foundation’s work on environmental and sustainability issues, clean air and gender, as well as its research programme. She is also Executive Secretary to the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), which seeks to support the development of fuel economy policies across the world, and The Real Urban Emissions Initiative (TRUE) which uses real world emissions data to support the uptake of clean vehicles. Sheila is a board member of several mobility initiatives and projects such as the World Bank’s sustainable mobility for all (SUM4ALL) project. She was recently named as one of the 40 most influential women in transport by the German Government.

An economist, with many years’ experience as an advisor and consultant, her previous role was as Senior Special Adviser to the UK Labour government at the Department for Trade and Industry, The Privy Council, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Foreign Office. During the 10 years she spent at the heart of the UK government, she specialised in a range of environmental and resource protection issues from sustainable farming and food production to international climate security. Her former roles include Deputy Director of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, and Policy Researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Sheila has an Honours Degree from the University of Oxford, and an MSc in Economics from Birkbeck College, London.


About the Speakers

D. Taylor Reich Data Science Manager, ITDP Global

Taylor (they/them pronouns) leads ITDP’s global work leveraging digital data to achieve the organization’s mission of sustainable and inclusive transport. Their work strategically connects data analysis to policy and city planning. Taylor is responsible for managing projects to develop and measure strategic indicators of urban transportation, to model the global urban transport sector, and to track ITDP’s impacts through the Monitoring and Evaluations program.
They are the author of data platforms including Pedestrians First and the Atlas of Sustainable Transport, the Compact Cities Electrified series of research papers (in collaboration with UC Davis), and Protected Bicycle Lanes Protect the Climate, the first-ever empirical study of the climate impacts of bicycle lanes in the Global South.
Before joining ITDP in 2019, Taylor took a Sc.B. in biochemistry and molecular biology at Brown University and completed a Fulbright research fellowship studying the history of housing policy in Amman, Jordan. They speak Arabic proficiently and Spanish at a low-intermediate level.

María Fernanda Ramírez Bernal Safe and Sustainable Lead, Despacio

María is the current Safe and Sustainable Lead at Despacio. She has almost 20 years of teaching and research experience as a university professor on active and inclusive mobility. She has experience leading and coordinating sustainable mobility and road safety projects in Colombia and Latin America, oriented towards inclusivity and vulnerable users. María is a Civil Engineer and Road design specialist from the Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería (COL); and MSc in Civil Engineer and Ms Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati (USA).


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