International Sustainable Transport/Cities Award Programs

STA graphic 2010Work in progress:  Over the last dozen years or so we are seeing a growing number of international award programs aiming at naming and compensating cities which are leading the way to sustainable transport. We are opening this posting today with short descriptions of programs already known to us, and it is our hope that with the help of our readers we will be able to extend this listing and make it more useful. Let’s have a look at what we have found thus far.

PS. Our special interest in all this of course is the nomination process, and above all the multiple criteria  for selection, weighing and judgment. Eventually we intend to expand coverage to take into account some the leading national and regional award programs.

Sustainable Transport Award


Sustainablle Transport AwardSustainable Transport Award recognizes profound leadership, vision, and achievement in sustainable transportation and urban livability. Established in 2005, the Sustainable Transport Award has been given annually to a city that has implemented innovative sustainable transportation projects in the preceding year. These strategies improve mobility for all residents, reduce transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions, and improve safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians. Finalists are selected by an international committee of development experts and organizations working on sustainable transport.

In 2015 we celebrate the 10th annual Sustainable Transport Award. Winners of the STA are an elite group of international cities that continue to be leaders in the field. Spanning a range of sizes, these cities prove that through vision, bold leadership, and innovative solutions, cities can become more sustainable, equitable, and livable. The STA focuses attention on these successes, highlighting their achievements and inspiring cities around the world to implement transport solutions of their own.

Final selection of the award recipient and honorable mentions is conducted by a steering committee, composed of experts and organizations working internationally on sustainable transportation. The committee includes the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), EMBARQ, World Bank, GIZ, Clean Air Institute, Clean Air Asia, ICLEI’s EcoMoblity, Transportation Research Laboratory (TRL), and Despacio.  The committee looks for projects completed in the previous year that demonstrate innovation and success in improving sustainable transportation.


Cities must be nominated to be considered for the award. Nominations can come from government agencies, including the Mayor’s office, NGOs, consultants, academics, or anyone else with a close working knowledge of the city’s projects. Applicants are asked to provide program details, impact, significant, and outcomes, transferability, and images

Grading Criteria


STAs are awarded to cities that have demonstrated significant progress in using transportation to create a more sustainable, livable city. The Sustainable Transport Award looks for cities working in several of the following policy areas:[3]

  • Improvements to public transportation, such as implementing a new mass transit system (e.g. bus rapid transit), expanding the existing systems to increase accessibility and coverage, or improving customer service.
  • Improvements to non-motorized travel, such as the implementation or expansion of bike share programs and bike lanes, creation of pedestrian walkways and improvements to street crossings and sidewalks.
  • Expansion or improvement to public space often includes creation of open plazas, creating pedestrian only zones, installing street lamps or trees along sidewalks, and pedestrian safety measures.
  • Implementation of travel demand management programs to reduce private car use, which can include car-free days or zones, changes to parking requirements or availability, the implementation or expansion of car share systems, congestion charging and structured tolls and fees.
  • Reduction of urban sprawl by linking transportation to development (TOD) can be done through changes to zoning laws and providing incentives to developers.
  • Reduction of transport related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, by creating pollution laws, mandating air quality controls, restricting vehicle access, and creating an air advisory system.

To be eligible for an STA, cities must have made significant progress in the past year addressing sustainable transit. Awards are presented for projects implemented in the previous year, rather than for planned activity or simply beginning construction.


  • Michael Kodransky, GlobalResearch Manager.  E.
  • Media inquiries to Jemilah Magnusson  ( Calls to both  at +1 212-629-8001.
  • Nominations for 2015 awards can be made until September 15, 2014

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civitas awardsThe CIVITAS Awards are an opportunity to highlight the most ambitious, innovative and successful efforts in the field of sustainable urban mobility. Winners are showcased as examples of excellence before the press with the hope that they can guide and stimulate cities throughout Europe in the pursuit of sustainable mobility.

Every year, applications of the CIVITAS Forum member cities are being invited in the following three categories:

  • Technical Innovation;
  • Public Participation; and
  • The CIVITAS City of the Year.

The CIVITAS Award is open to all cities that have signed the CIVITAS declaration and are a member of the CIVITAS Forum Network Applications are collected and forwarded to the CIVITAS Award Jury for evaluation and voting. The CIVITAS Secretariat supports the Jury by abstracting applications. Jury Member will also provide an adequate justification of their decision.

Evaluation criteria

To be rewarded, the application should include: a single or an integrated set of sustainable urban transport measures that demonstrate technical innovation. The implementation phase of the demonstrated measure(s) should not have started earlier than 2011. Your city’s mobility solution will refer to incremental and emergent changes in mobility and will represent the embodiment, combination, or synthesis of sustainable urban mobility knowledge in original, relevant, valued new products, processes, or services.

Contacts: (To follow)

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European Mobility Week Award scheme


eu do the right mixThe European Mobility Week Award scheme aims to reward the local authority that is deemed to have done the most in raising public awareness of sustainable mobility issues and implementing measures to achieve a shift towards sustainable urban transport.

The winning city is chosen by an independent panel of transport experts who access all eligible applications and shortlist 10 local authorities which they consider have performed outstandingly well.

Each European Mobility Week focuses on a particular topic related to sustainable mobility, the so-called focal theme. Local authorities are required to organise activities for their citizens based on this theme. They are also encouraged to launch and promote permanent measures that support the theme. European Mobility Week 2014 is focusing on urban quality of life, with a particular emphasis on the role of the public.

Themes: 2002 -2014 

  • 2002: Public Transport, Cycling and Living Streets/Greenways
  • 2003: Accessibility
  • 2004: Safe Streets for Children
  • 2005: Clever Commuting
  • 2006: Climate Change
  • 2007: Streets for People
  • 2008: Clean Air for All
  • 2009: Improving City Climates
  • 2010: Travel Smarter, Live Better
  • 2011: Alternative Mobility
  • 2012: Moving in the right direction
  • 2013: Clean air – it’s your move!
  • 2014: Our streets, our choice (Public space management)

Evaluation criteria: (to be determined)

Contacts: (To follow)

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Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Award


EU sustainble urban Mobility CampaignCities and towns should offer their citizens integrated mobility options that are both sustainable and meet people’s mobility needs. It is increasingly recognised that sustainable urban mobility planning is key to meeting this challenge. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) define ‘a set of interrelated measures designed to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses today and tomorrow.’ [1]

The European Commission acknowledges the important role of SUMPs in sustainable urban mobility and believes that it is appropriate to reward the efforts of cities and towns in this area. To this end, the annual SUMP Award is the first European award scheme to recognise the efforts of cities and towns in the field of sustainable urban mobility planning.

The annual SUMP Award is presented to cities and regions that show excellence in developing and implementing their sustainable urban mobility plans. The Award focuses on a different thematic aspect of sustainable urban mobility planning each year. In 2012, the thematic focus was ‘stakeholder and citizen participation’; in 2013 it is ‘integration of economic, social and environmental policy criteria’; and in 2014 it will be ‘monitoring implementation to improve SUMPs’.

Evaluation criteria:

The criteria by which applications for the SUMP Award are evaluated are based on the Eltis SUMP guidelines and differ each year according to the thematic focus of the Award. For a copy of the current Eltis SUMP guidelines, please click here [PDF].

Contacts: (To follow)

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Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards  (India only)


volvo sutainble transport awardThe Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards aims to reward progressive and practical action in the area of promoting sustainable solutions in urban mobility. The award is given during the Volvo Nobel Memorial Seminar, which is organised under the patronage of the Ambassador of Sweden to India.

The objective of the awards is to create a culture of supporting progressive and practical steps, positively engaging the world around us to deliver sustainable mobility & transport solutions. Stakeholders working on initiatives such as bus transport, commuter rail & metro, cycling, pedestrian safety, urban planning, road planning, and road safety, among others are invited to participate in the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards. Volvo Buses aims to use this award to engage with all the stake holders, support them and also learn in the process evolving aspects of sustainable mobility.

Since it was instituted in 2011, awareness levels for the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards have grown significantly. This is reflected in the rising participation that has expanded from Bangalore initially to receiving entries from across the country. The keenness is evident from the number of projects submitted for assessment. Also, the diverse problem areas being addressed indicate the importance among stakeholders to find solutions to make drive quality of life for people.


This year we will be organising the 4th Edition of the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards. Volvo Buses is calling for entries for the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards 2014.

General Criterion for Eligibility

Please refer to the Terms & Conditions for eligibility. Interested participants can register here for the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards 2014. – See more at:

Contacts: (To follow)

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More to follow.


Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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2 thoughts on “International Sustainable Transport/Cities Award Programs

  1. This is great. Making great things The Sustainable Transport Award is presented annually to a city that has shown leadership and vision in the field of sustainable transportation and urban livability in the preceding year.

  2. Pingback: AD Little & UITP Benchmark Urban Mobility in 84 World Cities | Toward a General Theory of Transport in Cities

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