Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

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Logo of ITDP
Promoting Sustainable and Equitable Transportation Worldwide.
Established 1985
President Enrique Peñalosa
Exec. Director Walter B. Hook
Location New York, NY, USA (Headquarters)
Address 9 E. 19th St. New York, NY

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is a US-based non-governmental non-profit organization providing technical assistance to cities and local advocacy groups on sustainable transportation development throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas.[1][2] ITDP focuses primarily on developing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, strengthening the bicycle and rickshaw industries, and planning facilities for bicycles and pedestrians. Other programs include traffic demand management, transport for healthcare access and service delivery, and sustainable urban development.[3] According to its mission statement, ITDP is committed to "promoting sustainable and equitable transportation worldwide." [4]

In addition to its role supporting and consulting local governmental efforts to develop more sustainable transportation, ITDP publishes the magazine Sustainable Transport annually, produces the BRT Standard, and presents the Sustainable Transport Award annually.


Founded in 1985, ITDP was created by a group of sustainable transport advocates in the U.S. to counteract the export of costly and environmentally damaging models of dependence on the private automobile to developing countries and promote modal diversity in transportation planning.[5][6][7] In its first ten years, ITDP advocated for the redirection of lending activity by the World Bank and other multi-lateral institutions away from an exclusive focus on road projects and toward more multi-modal transport solutions.[8] In the early nineties, ITDP helped establish the Transport Sector Task Force, an advisory panel to the US Treasury Department's Multi-lateral Development Bank liaison office, to comment on specific transport projects. In its 1994 study "Counting on Cars, Counting Out People" ITDP published a preliminary set of guidelines for reforming the World Bank Transport Sector economic appraisal to make it less biased in favor of motorways. The report's key recommendation that economic impacts on non-motorized road users be included in the appraisal is being incorporated into World Bank practice.[9]

ITDP is currently active in 10 countries throughout the developing world.[10][11] In 2009 Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, who has received wide acclaim for making the city of Bogotá a "model of enlighted planning" during his four-year tenure, and was instrumental in the establishment of that city's exemplary TransMilenio BRT system, was elected as President of the Board of Directors of ITDP.[12][13] Walter B. Hook has served as the organizations executive director since 1993.

Key areas of operation[edit]

Public transit[edit]

A TransJakarta bus serving Corridor 2 (Harmoni-Pulo Gadung).

ITDP works to encourage safe, modern, and efficient public transportation systems in cities worldwide.

ITDP is currently active in a design and/or consulting capacity in the BRT programs of Ahmedabad, India; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Johannesburg, South Africa (Rea Vaya); Jakarta, Indonesia (TransJakarta); Guangzhou, China and Cartagena, Colombia.[14]

In June 2007, ITDP published the BRT Planning Guide along with the United Nations Environment Programme, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the Hewlett Foundation, and Viva. The guide draws from the extensive BRT design experience of Latin American transit planners, and aims to disseminate this information in the U.S. and other countries around the world.[15] The guide is currently available in English, Portuguese and Chinese, and is free for download in .pdf format from the company's website.[16]

Cycling and walking[edit]

ITDP encourages urban design that prioritizes human-powered forms of transportation, such as walking, cycling, and the use of rickshaws. Specifically, ITDP often works with cities to encourage car-free days and bike share programs, create safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists, and provide high-quality bicycles.[17]

A modernized cycle rickshaw in Vrindavan, India

For example, ITDP is currently working with the government of Mexico City in the development of their Bicycle Master Plan. The goal of the Master Plan is to increase bicycle trips as a portion of all trips to 2% by 2010 and to 5% by 2012 through the design of an extensive network of bicycle paths. The design will institute connectivity between transit modes, along with traffic calming measures and cycling advocacy.[18]

ITDP is also working with the government of São Paulo, Brazil in the design of a pilot bicycle path in the neighborhood of Butantã. For the project, ITDP commissioned a report for a 58 kilometer feeder network, which will lead cyclists from adjacent streets and sidewalks to the bicycle path. The path will pass through a high-visibility corridor of the city, and if successfully implemented could be expanded to surrounding neighborhoods and throughout the city.[19]

Past projects have included a redesign of India's traditional cycle rickshaw in collaboration with local experts, reducing the weight of the vehicles by 30% and adding a multi-gear system to increase efficiency; increasing Africa's cycling capacity while bolstering local industry through the establishment of the California Bike Coalition (CBC); and traffic impact and mitigation analysis along with outreach to local interest groups in the pedestrianization of Malioboro Road in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.[20][21][22][23]

In December 2013 the ITDP published the Bike-Share Planning Guide with the aim "to to bridge the divide between developing and developed countries’ experiences with bike-share." The guide is expected to be useful for planning and implementing a bike sharing system regardless of the location, size, or density of the city. The guide is currently available only in English and is free for download in .pdf format from the ITDP website.[24]

Sustainable urban development[edit]

ITDP works to integrate transport and smart urban design to help remake cities and suburbs into livable spaces that foster economic opportunities, encourage low carbon lifestyles, and attract residents. This is done through designing environments for cycling and walking, fostering the development of pedestrian and transit based real estate development, and creating policies that help turn cultural and physical spaces into economic assets.[25]

For example, ITDP has initiated a project with the Mexico City government to provide technical support for the revitalization of Mexico City's Historic Center. ITDP will manage the planning and implementation efforts of the revitalization, in addition to promoting street maintenance and cleanliness, supplementation of public security, and the management and controlling of parking and street vending activity in the area. ITDP claims that this reorientation of the Historic Center towards pedestrian and transit oriented development will reverse decades of deterioration, attract tourism and investment, and improve air quality in the notoriously polluted city. Additionally, ITDP will concentrate its efforts as part of the team developing Mexico City’s Bicycle Master Plan to design routes that connect to the Historic Center, further integrating multi-modal development of the area.[26] A similar project is currently under way in São Paulo's city center.[27]

In November 2013 the ITDP published "The TOD Standard: Version 2.0" which elaborates in eight key principles for guiding the implementation of transit-oriented development (TOD). The guide is currently available only in English and is free for download in .pdf format from the ITDP website.[28]


  1. ^ "Keeping Buses on the Left May Not Work" by Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 15, 2008
  2. ^ ITDP Website
  3. ^ Enrique Peñalosa Elected ITDP President
  4. ^ ITDP Website
  5. ^ ITDP: Who We Are
  6. ^ "Former Mayor of Bogota Stumps for Congestion Pricing" by Matthew Schuerman, WNYC, Feb 18, 2008
  7. ^ "Rethinking the auto: Blueprints for a cleaner, greener future" by Michael Reiner, Utne Reader, March/April 1989
  8. ^ "Rethinking the auto: Blueprints for a cleaner, greener future" by Michael Reiner, Utne Reader, March/April 1989
  9. ^ Hook, Walter. Counting on cars, counting out people: a critique of the World Bank's economic assessment procedures for the transport sector and their environmental implications, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, 1994.
  10. ^ USAID PVO Registry
  11. ^ ITDP: Our Program Areas
  12. ^ Enrique Peñalosa Elected ITDP President
  13. ^ "Man With a Plan" by Deborah Solomon, New York Times Magazine, June 8, 2008
  14. ^ ITDP: Current Projects
  15. ^ Planning Guide for Bus Rapid Transit Published
  16. ^ Complete BRT Planning Guide (English)
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Mexico City Bicycle Planning
  19. ^ ITDP: São Paulo Bicycle Planning
  20. ^ "The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy: Making Bicycling Work for Millions in the Developing World" by Ryan Morris, American Cyclist, Spring 2001
  21. ^ "Pedestrianization in Yogyakarta: Transforming the Malioboro One Step at a Time". ITDP. December 1, 2005. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  22. ^ India Rickshaw Modernization
  23. ^ California Bike Coalition (CBC)
  24. ^ The Bike-Share Planning Guide, ITDP, (English), 2013.
  25. ^ ITDP: Making Cities Desirable Places to Live Again
  26. ^ ITDP: Mexico City Center Revitalization
  27. ^ ITDP: São Paulo City Center Revitalization
  28. ^ TOD Standard: Version 2.0, ITDP, (English), November 2013.

External links[edit]