Wellington, the healthiest city in New Zealand

  The University of Otago in New Zealand and the University of Auckland previously jointly issued a report, naming the capital “Wind City” Wellington as the country’s “healthiest city”. Compared with the other five cities in New Zealand, Wellington people walk, cycle and take public transportation more often, and the air in the city is cleaner.
  Wellington is located at the southernmost tip of New Zealand’s North Island and is a transportation hub city in New Zealand. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides, facing the sea on the other, and there are many shops on a small flat area in the city center. It is a modern consumer city. There are no serious polluting industries, only small-scale printing, publishing, hardware, auto repair, and food processing industries. The urban hills are undulating, the sea breeze is strong, and earthquakes are frequent. Most of the urban areas are low-rise buildings and the roads are curved and narrow. The dwellings are dominated by wooden structures, scattered among the green trees. 27.5% of Wellington residents like to go out on foot, far surpassing Auckland (16%); the public transport rate is 6.2%, ranking first in each city; only 36% of households own two or more cars, which is as high as 55 in Auckland %. In New Zealand, Wellington has the lowest level of particulate matter in the air, and light-to-medium cars emit the least carbon dioxide emissions per 100,000 people. This is due to the large number of Wellington residents who use public transportation and walk and bike to travel.
  On January 13th last year (2019), New Zealand researchers published an article in the International Journal of Epidemiology called “Is the mortality rate of office workers related to the mode of transportation?” ”Article, after 3 to 5 years of follow-up of 3.5 million New Zealanders, it was found that among all modes of travel, the death rate of people who ride to work by bicycle was reduced by 13%. The number of cyclists in Wellington is about 1.5%, higher than that in Auckland (0.4%). Adopting a healthier way of travel has greatly helped the health of Wellington residents. Their prevalence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes is lower, their bodies are healthier, and their carbon emissions are also lower.
  Living in Wellington, people like to take public transportation because the interior is clean and spacious, the windows are wide, and the beautiful scenery outside is unobstructed. In particular, the drivers and passengers are very friendly. The author’s parents once said with emotion: “It’s a pleasure to take a bus in Wellington.” Once, the old couple took the bus to visit the National Museum of New Zealand. After getting on the bus, ask the driver to tell them when they arrive at the station. After arriving at the station, the driver actually stopped the car, led them to an intersection tens of meters away, and specified the route in detail before returning to the car, and waved goodbye to them with the passengers through the window.
  With the rapid development of the city, Wellington’s bus and train capacity has approached saturation in recent years, and traffic congestion in the urban area has directly affected citizens’ walking and driving safety. In order to further increase the utilization rate of public transport and bicycle lanes and reduce self-driving trips, the relevant departments of New Zealand and Wellington have launched many measures. According to New Zealand’s National Radio, the government has decided to implement a 6.4 billion New Zealand dollar (1 New Zealand dollar equals RMB 4.5) plan, and it is expected that in the next 20 years, a public transportation, walking and bicycle-centric transportation system will be built in Wellington. , Thereby greatly improving the health travel rate of the people.
  In order to improve the traffic between Wellington city and the airport, a project started in 2017, invested 4 million New Zealand dollars to build a 3-meter wide two-way bicycle lane and 2 meters wide in the coastal recreation area to the east of Wellington. The sidewalks are separated by a 1-meter buffer zone from the motor vehicle lanes. There are green trees, flowers and benches along the way, facing the blue sea, making people linger. Starting from May 2019, the Wellington City Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the government have cooperated to plan to invest 37.25 million New Zealand dollars to build a complete cycle network around Wellington in phases. As the plan progresses, Wellington’s transportation mode will become more green, environmentally friendly and healthy.