Bloomberg Selects Mombasa for Ksh 55M Design Transformation

A collage image of Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies(Left) and President William Ruto making an address on May 25, 2023(Right)
Frosts Now/PCS

Kenya was selected among 10 countries worldwide to o work with Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) under the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure(BICI) to build alternative transport structures.

Speaking during the official announcement on Saturday, June 3, Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, noted that the infrastructure built in the winning nations would allow residents to move safely and efficiently.

In Kenya, Mombasa City was selected to receive Ksh55 million and is expected to build secluded lanes for bicycle riders that are transformative and cycle-friendly street designs.

Under the deal, Mombasa City will work with the Global Designing Cities Initiative’s (GDCI) team on best practices to implement their ideas to build the cycling infrastructure.

Media mogul and billionaire Michael Bloomberg
Media mogul and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
New York Times

Additionally, Bloomberg noted that the move was a way of protecting the environment and helping the selected nations attain economic growth. 

"These proposals to make cycling safer and more accessible will necessitate substantial technical assistance, and our team is delighted to assist the winners in putting their ideas into action.

“The progress made by these ten cities will help to clean the air, protect the environment, and fuel economic growth. We are excited to see the outcomes,” Bloomberg stated.

Other winning countries that received the funds included the city of Fortaleza (Brazil) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), with the Latin American country getting Ksh137 million and taking first prize.

Additionally, the city of Bogota (Colombia), Lisbon (Portugal), Milan (Italy), Pimpri-Chinchwad (India), Quelimane (Mozambique), Tirana (Albania) and Wellington (New Zealand), were selected alongside Kenya, winning the Ksh55 million deal.

The Global Designing Cities Initiative, founded in 2014, aims to transform streets worldwide by inspiring leaders, practitioners, and communities to imagine what's possible when we design streets with people in mind.

According to a June 2022, publication by the World Health Organisation, cycling provides many social benefits, including making the community healthier and happier.

"Active modes of transportation, particularly walking and cycling, are now widely recognized as modes that are fully equal to other modes of urban transportation, have been integrated into planning frameworks, and have been adopted as part of the mainstream," the report reads in part. 

Kenya has reiterated its commitment to encouraging more communities to take up cycling as a means of transport. On June 2, First Lady Rachel Ruto received 283 bicycles donated by the Republic of Korea under the Mama Doing Good umbrella. 

Rachel Ruto Bicycles
Bicycles donated to Kenya by Korea that were received by First Lady Rachel Ruto on June 2, 2023.
Rachel Ruto

She noted that the move ensured a sustainable future for Kenyans by reducing carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions.

"Cycling is emerging as a pathway to a safe and sustainable future for all. Cycling is a zero-emission mode of transport, unlike cars or motorcycles, which rely on fossil fuels.

"By choosing to cycle instead of driving, you are helping to reduce your carbon footprint and overall greenhouse gas emissions," she stated.