Español
 
العربية
 
汉语
 
Română
 
Gjuha shqipe
 
Македонски
Print page     Create PDF
Press Releases

For media enquiries, please contact info.ece@unece.org


Cycling can create at least 76 600 jobs and save 10 000 lives every year in major European cities

Published:14 April 2014

Over 76 600 people would be employed in green and healthy transport every year and 10 000 lives would be saved if major European cities[1] reached the cycling modal share of Copenhagen. This is the conclusion of a new publication released today by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

For the first time, Unlocking new opportunities[2] estimates that investing in “green and healthy transport” not only has positive health and environmental effects but is also economically profitable.

Transport, health and environment come together in Paris

The new findings are released on the occasion of the Fourth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment, organized by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe and hosted by France. On 14–16 April 2014, European ministries of transport, health and the environment gathering in Paris will examine how innovative transport policies can create employment opportunities, along with healthier and greener societies.

“An efficient transport system is vital for the functioning of modern economies. However, transport can greatly damage environment and health. That is why we call for a bold Paris Declaration, urging government investments in green and healthy transport,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “The pay-offs from these investments are enormous and include new jobs and healthier people from more physical activity, fewer road traffic injuries, less noise and better air quality.”

“Transport, health and environment form a dynamic nexus of vitality and mobility in our cities, presenting a formidable challenge for sustainability, but also great opportunities for a better quality of life,” says Eva Molnar, Director, Transport Division, UNECE, speaking on behalf of Michael Møller, Acting Executive Secretary of UNECE. “The Fourth High-level Meeting calls on Member States, civil society and local and regional authorities to support the future vision of THE PEP [Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme]: ‘Green and healthy mobility and transport for sustainable livelihoods for all’.”

Cost of transport threatens to offset benefits

Transport provides jobs and access to leisure activities and livelihoods. On the other hand, the overall costs associated with the environmental and health impacts of transport can be up to 4% of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In the WHO European Region outdoor air pollution, largely caused by traffic, results in almost 500 000 deaths annually, according to new evidence. Road accidents kill 90 000 people prematurely each year. Exposure to excessive street noise affects almost 70 million people. Transport adds 24% to total greenhouse gas emissions in Europe and North America. When it discourages physical activity, transport contributes to nearly 1 million deaths per year.

Public transport sector: a generous local employer

The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is one of the leaders for cycling in Europe; it is only rivalled by Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Of all city trips, 26% are undertaken by bicycle. This level is much higher than in most other cities in the region.

A simple methodology estimated that 76 600 additional jobs might be created if one major city in each country achieved the same cycling modal share as Copenhagen. People would be locally employed in bicycle retail and maintenance, provision of clothing and accessories for cyclists, urban development and new mobility schemes; they would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and health risks and would support the local economy (Table 1).

Table 1. Potential results of increasing cycling modal share in major cities

Country

City

Population

Current cycling modal

share (%)

Estimated number of existing jobs associated with cycling

Potential number of additional jobs created

Additional lives saved

Albania

Tirana

536 998

3a

73

562

33

Andorra

Andorra La Vella

22 256

3a

3

23

2

Armenia

Yerevan

1 121 933

3a

153

1 175

119

Austria

Vienna

1 721 573

6

470

1 568

106

Azerbaijan

Baku

2 122 300

3a

290

2 223

167

Belarus

Minsk

1 885 100

0

17

2 215

454

Belgium

Brussels

163 210

5

37

156

12

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo

305 242

3a

42

320

30

Bulgaria

Sofia

1 170 009

1

53

1 332

195

Canada

Ottawa

1 239 140

2

113

1 354

100

Croatia

Zagreb

792 875

5

181

758

77

Cyprus

Nicosia

55 014

3a

8

58

3

Czech Republic

Prague

1 241 664

1

57

1 413

143

Denmark

Copenhagen

549 050

26

650

0

0

Estonia

Tallinn

401 072

4

73

402

50

Finland

Helsinki

595 384

7

190

515

42

France

Paris

2 234 105

3

305

2 340

174

Georgia

Tbilisi

1 167 600

3a

159

1 223

147

Germany

Berlin

3 501 872

13

2 073

2 073

151

Greece

Athens

655 780

2

60

717

47

Hungary

Budapest

1 740 041

1

79

1 981

298

Iceland

Reykjavik

117 980

3a

16

124

6

Ireland

Dublin

527 612

3

72

553

29

Israel

Tel Aviv

404 543

9

166

313

13

Italy

Rome

2 761 477

0

50

3 219

154

Kazakhstan

Astana

661 700

1

30

753

131

Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek

889 600

3a

122

932

121

Latvia

Riga

650 478

3a

89

681

92

Liechtenstein

Vaduz

5 207

3a

1

5

0

Lithuania

Vilnius

552 008

1

25

628

102

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

99 852

3a

14

105

6

Malta

Valletta

6 221

3a

1

7

0

Monaco

Monaco

36 371

3a

5

38

3

Montenegro

Podgorica

180 810

3a

25

189

20

Netherlands

Amsterdam

1 068 724

33

1 606

b

b

Norway

Oslo

599 230

5

136

573

36

Poland

Warsaw

1 710 130

5

374

1 651

194

Portugal

Lisbon

474 696

1

22

540

45

Republic of Moldova

Chisinau

789 500

3a

108

827

283

Romania

Bucharest

1 937 421

1

88

2 205

132

Russian Federation

Moscow

11 541 000

3a

1 576

12 085

2 912

San Marino

San Marino

4 479

3a

1

5

0

Serbia

Belgrade

1 639 505

1

75

1 866

255

Slovakia

Bratislava

411 884

3a

56

431

51

Slovenia

Ljubljana

272 554

10

124

199

17

Spain

Madrid

3 265 038

1

149

3 717

211

Sweden

Stockholm

864 324

1

39

984

54

Switzerland

Bern

124 381

11

62

85

5

Tajikistan

Dushanbe

704 000

1a

32

801

82

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Skopje

316 849

3a

43

332

33

Turkey

Ankara

4 890 893

3a

668

5 122

565

Turkmenistan

Ashgabat

637 000

3a

87

667

111

Ukraine

Kyiv

2 772 736

1a

126

3 156

613

United Kingdom

London

7 826 000

3

1 069

8 196

542

United States of America

Washington, DC

617 996

3

84

647

36

Uzbekistan

Tashkent

2 296 500

1a

105

2 614

197

Total

76 658

9 401

a Assumed modal share – likely to be an overestimate.

b No additional jobs or lives saved are projected for Amsterdam, as its cycling modal share is already higher than that of Copenhagen.

 

THE PEP – a unique policy platform

THE PEP, run jointly by UNECE and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, addresses basic questions of how best to move around in cities. Another publication launched in Paris, From Amsterdam to Paris and beyond,[3] showcases success stories from European countries under THE PEP in the last five years.

·             France Vélo Tourism launched a cycle tourism programme via a website to plan cycling holidays, guides for cycle tourism, promotion and services and harmonization of road signs.

·             The Austrian klima:aktiv mobil managed to reduce around 570 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year during 2007–2012 through climate-friendly mobility projects, and 5600 green jobs were created or saved.

·             Switzerland decreased by almost 14% the transport of heavy goods by road between 2000 and 2012 to protect the Alpine region and its inhabitants’ health.

·            Lithuania has cut road deaths by 58% since 2001, the third best reduction among European Union countries. This was achieved through better traffic controls, driver education and improvements in infrastructure.

Paris Declaration calls for better health and socioeconomic justice

Through the Paris Declaration, European countries are creating a new vision of green and healthy mobility and transport for sustainable livelihoods for all, linking the promotion of health and sustainability to socioeconomic justice. This is supported by new goals and tools including:

·             a new priority to integrate transport, health and environmental objectives into urban and spatial planning policies;

·             THE PEP Academy, strengthening knowledge and skills development for integrated transport, health, environment and spatial planning;

·             a pan-European master plan for cycling promotion;

·             stronger partnerships with city networks, civil society organizations and the research community;

·             the mobilization of young people and youth organizations.

Notes to editors 

  • WHO is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for human health. One of six regional offices, the WHO Regional Office for Europe is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. It serves 53 countries stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, with a population of almost 900 million.
  • UNECE’s region also includes Canada, Lichtenstein and the United States of America.
  • THE PEP website (www.THEPEP.org) offers information on its work.
  • The WHO Regional Office for Europe’s website offers further information on:

-        - the publications launched in Paris (http://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/events/events/2014/04/fourth-high-level-meeting-on-transport,-health-and-environment-4hlm);

-       - the transport and health programme (http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/Transport-and-health);

-        - the environment and health programme (http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health).

 

For further information contact:

Cristiana Salvi
Communications Officer
Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Environment
WHO Regional Office for Europe
UN City, Marmorvej 51
DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø
Denmark
Tel.: +45 45 33 68 37, +45 29 63 42 18 (mobile)
Email: csa@euro.who.int

Jean Rodriguez
Chief, Information Unit
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 917 27 27, +41 79 444 50 81 (mobile)
Email: jean.rodriguez@unece.org

 


[1] The calculations are for 54 main cities of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (see Table 1).

[2] Unlocking new opportunities: jobs in green and healthy transport. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2014 (http://www.euro.who.int/unlocking-jobs-in-healthy-transport)

[3] From Amsterdam to Paris and beyond. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2014 (http://www.euro.who.int/the-pep-2009-2020).


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013