Network Overview

The Walking and Cycling Network aims to support cities to increase the share of trips taken by healthy, safe and carbon-free mobility options. 

Transportation accounts for one third of CO2 emissions in C40 cities (and in some cities it represents as much as 45%)i, and is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.ii Furthermore, motorized transportation is a major contributor to air pollution, which causes 4.5 million premature deaths globally,iii traffic noise, which is considered the second biggest environmental threat to health after air pollution,iv and traffic congestion, which can cost as much as 8% of the total city GDP.v Motorized transportation is also linked to non-communicable diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.

On the other hand, walking and cycling are affordable and safe transportation options that do not generate emissions, traffic noise or traffic congestion, and instead boost mental and physical health. As noted in the 2017 McKinsey and C40 report Focused Acceleration, enhancing walking and cycling can help cities achieve 5 to 15% of their 2030 emissions reduction target.

C40 mayors and cities are leading the way in incentivizing this mode shift by creating networks of safe bike lanes, improving sidewalks and crossings, and enhancing cycle hire systems. They have demonstrated interest in scaling and accelerating these actions to achieve wider impact given the significant benefits that active mobility offers.

The Walking & Cycling Network serves as a platform for C40 cities to share best practices and policies to support active mobility. By bringing cities together, and convening and collaborating with key stakeholders, the network facilitates and accelerates the implementation of sustainable mobility strategies.

Walking and Cycling Network Focus Areas

The network has identified several focus areas/work streams for collaboration between cities:

Making the case – Supporting cities in collecting data to measure the benefits of active mobility and communicating the results effectively to achieve positive behavioral change.

Infrastructure planning – Supporting cities in the planning of bike and pedestrian networks that serve current and future demand, and are connected to other transportation modes, as well as to employment, education, etc.

Infrastructure design – Helping cities explore and evaluate different walking and cycling infrastructure design options, such as quietways or cycle highways, as well as convenient support infrastructure, such as bike parking or changing facilities, to support the increased uptake of walking and cycling.

Infrastructure financing – Working with cities and their metro regions to explore financing schemes and funding structures to build and operate infrastructure such as greenways or first and last mile infrastructure.

Safety and Security – Collaborating with cities in the design of initiatives and infrastructure focused on reducing fatalities and crime against bikers and pedestrians. 

Bike sharing – Supporting cities to implement and manage different bike sharing schemes.

"The world is transforming. A quiet revolution is taking place in the cities of this world. C40 is doing a great job in helping this revolution take place."

– Tel Aviv’s Walking & Cycling delegate 



i. Deadline 2020, How cities will get the job done; C40 and Arup; 2016  
ii. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
iii.The Lancet Commission on pollution and health; October 2017
iv. Global Mobility Report; Sustainable Mobility for All; 2017
v. Focused acceleration: A strategic approach to climate action in cities to 2030; C40 and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment; 2017