WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works globally with city governments, multilateral partners, and the private sector to achieve on-the-ground change while influencing local and national policy frameworks. We track the impact of our projects through five key performance indicators, which are updated regularly throughout the year. The figures below represent cumulative impacts since 2005, when we first began tracking our key performance indicators. Read on to learn more about our calculations.


The figures above represent the cumulative of all annual impacts since 2005. New projects are added to the calculations each year, and the impact per project tends to grow over time as on-the-ground projects gain momentum. Data is collected collaboratively across the network of of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, in cooperation with local government, business leaders, transport operators, and other relevant stakeholders. Specific notes on methodology for each measurement are included below:

CO2 Emissions Reduced:

For all projects, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be achieved in three ways: reducing vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT) through shortened or avoided motorized trips; shifting trips from higher emitting to lower emitting modes; and reducing emissions per VKT through improvements in energy efficiency or the use of lower emissions fuels and technologies.

People Served:

People served represents the number of total, daily users of a project, such as the passengers on a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor, bicyclists utilizing a new bicycle pathway, or residents of an improved urban development. This number reflects the total number of people served by the portion of a project EMBARQ directly or indirectly influenced. For example, if EMBARQ influences the design of half of a housing development, then only half of the residents are counted. Users can be counted more than once. This data is collected in collaboration with local government agencies and transport operators.

Travel Time Saved:

Travel time saved reflects reductions in total travel time (including accessing the system, waiting, traveling, and transfers) for all users due to increases in travel speeds, reductions in the number of transfers, and/or increased service frequency.

Lives Saved:

Our lives saved methodology is comprised of three main factors: reductions in traffic fatalities, increases in physical activity, and reduction in exposure to particulate matter. Reduction in traffic fatalities includes drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, and stems both from reducing the number of vehicles on the road to minimize risk as well as designing infrastructure that supports traffic safety. Physical activity increases are primarily the result of an increase in non-motorized transport, particularly biking and walking. Finally, reduction in exposure to particulate matter is the result of both fewer emitting vehicles on the road and improvements in fuel efficiency and technologies.

Investment Leveraged:

EMBARQ seeks to account for external funds invested in sustainable transport and urban development projects that would not have been invested without EMBARQ’s intervention or participation. In the event investment in a project would have occurred without EMBARQ, but we are intervening to improve the quality, the investment leveraged figure includes the proportion of the cost of the project we influenced. Costs included in investment leveraged may include project planning, capital costs, labor costs, marketing and communications, and user education.

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For more information on data collection and methodology, please contact Erin Cooper, Research Analyst.

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