Supporting Sustainable Recovery
As part of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, Bloomberg Philanthropies has been working with Seattle, Washington, on transitioning the city away from single-occupancy car use. In April, like many cities across the world, Seattle temporarily closed off nearly 20 miles of streets to most vehicular traffic to provide residents with enough room to walk and do other outdoor activities safely. Within about a month, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the closures would be permanent, recognizing the transformative impact on residents’ ability to bike and walk across the city — and therefore, the accessibility of the city for those without cars — as well as the additional benefit of reducing car emissions.
Seattle is also part of C40 Cities, a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s biggest cities dedicated to tackling climate change. In July, C40 released a detailed roadmap for achieving a sustainable and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The C40 Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery provides local leaders with specific guidance on creating green jobs, investing in crucial public services, protecting mass transit, supporting essential workers, and giving public spaces back to people and nature.
In addition, through Bloomberg Philanthropies’ COVID-19 Local Response Initiative, Mayor Durkan was able to share early lessons learned from the city’s response to COVID-19 with other mayors across the country and incorporate other mayors’ ideas into Seattle’s ongoing response efforts. See video in carousel to hear Mayor Durkan discuss how the city ramped up testing.