The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has nominated Chilean capital Santiago as the 2017 International Sustainable Transport award winner, for its improvements in pedestrian space, cycling and public transit.
ITDP highlights the metropolitan train system Transantiago for its efficiency in services, inaugurated in 2006.
The award comes at a timely moment when three firms from the Transantiago system, Subus, Alsacia and Espress, are struggling with financial problems and extensive debt.
The troubled firms were also leaders among companies receiving penalties for precarious service provided in 2016.
The Transantiago network is comprised of seven private bus operators and five metro lines.
Besides Transantiago, the award also goes to works in Santiago's Calle Aillavilú in the city's downtown area, which has been transformed from a "car-congested and unregulated parking lot to a pedestrian-friendly oasis."
Calle Placer, with investments of US$2.2mn, is also now completely closed on weekends, when it is packed full with pedestrians for a weekend market. Improvements to sidewalks, lighting and sanitation were also undertaken.
ITDP also praised Santiago for its increase in cycling trips from 150 to 5,000 trips per day with programs such as BikeSantiago, for bike sharing, and BMov Trici, free bicycle taxis in the city center.
The cities of Windhoek in Namibia and Curitiba in Brazil will also receive honorable mentions for their advances in sustainable transport at an award ceremony in Washington, DC scheduled for January 2017.