'Cities Safer by Design' is a global report for urban planners and policymakers that offers practical guidance for designing safer towns that can reduce traffic fatalities.

More than 1.3 million people are killed in traffic crashes worldwide, making traffic fatalities one of the leading causes of death in cities.

The report from WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities includes more than 30 specific urban design recommendations.

“With the right urban design, we can make cities more livable, with safer streets for everyone,” said Ben Welle, senior associate at WRI and one of the report’s co-authors. “It’s often children, the elderly and the poor who are most at risk for traffic accidents. As cities around the world rapidly expand, there’s an urgent need to design communities that are compact and connected, with calm traffic and streets that promote walking, cycling and access to transit.”

The report focuses on two ways to improve traffic safety in cities. First, by building and retrofitting urban environments to reduce the need for individual vehicle trips; and second, by reducing vehicle speeds in areas where motorised vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists mix.

Illustrated recommendations for specific design elements proven to improve traffic safety, include traffic calming measures, junctions that reduce conflict between different road users, and protected cycle networks.

You can also read Welle's blog on the seven proven principles for designing a safer city.