How to get from Planning to Financing Sustainable Urban Mobility Projects? A workshop Report
¿Cómo llegar desde la planificación al financiamiento de proyectos urbanos de movilidad sostenible?
Cycling is growing as a mode of transport in cities across the world, due to congestion on roads and public transport and an improved understanding of its benefits to one’s health and quality of life. Cities are not only just investing in now ubiquitous public bike-sharing systems, but also in cycling infrastructure to ensure riders can enjoy safe, fast journeys. Bogotá has long been a leader on cycling in Latin America and in the world. Currently, it is aiming to double the number of cycling trips from 5% to 10% of all trips, through innovative projects like the Quinto Centenario cycle highway, supported by the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Resources Institute.
Bogotá is also positioning itself as a knowledge hub for the whole region, and disseminating its achievements and objectives with other cities in Colombia, Latin America and beyond. A workshop on October 18th-20th aimed to discuss ways to plan and finance sustainable mobility projects, especially cycling ones, and related transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. The event, organised by the CFF in partnership with the Alcaldía de Cali, FDI Pacífico, GIZ Connective Cities, and the World Resources Institute, was attended by cities in Colombia and Latin America, including Medellín, Cali, Pereira, Ibagué, Armenia, Yumbo, Palmira, Quito (Ecuador) and Trujillo (Peru).
The C40 Cities Finance Facility is supporting Bogotá to develop the ‘Quinto Centenario' cycle highway, which will epitomise the city's vision of sustainable mobility in the run-up to its 500th anniversary. Traversing the city from north to south, this 25 km-long cycle highway will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighbourhoods with jobs, schools and recreational opportunities. It will support approximately 34,000 bicycle trips in the morning peak hours. The project will include bicycle parking facilities, and measures to enhance the security of vulnerable users and promote economic development.
The workshop included presentations of best practices on sustainable mobility, peer-to-peer exchanges between attendees to address common issues, and structured participatory sessions about how to develop and implement business models for public bike-sharing systems and TOD projects. David Uniman, Bicycle Manager for Bogotá, presented the city’s Plan Bici, which includes the Quinto Centenario project, a bike centre including vocational courses, new bicycle parking standards, and policies to improve the behaviour of road users.
Existing cycle network in Bogotá
Cycling trips per day in Bogotá
The city of Pereira outlined its objective to double the cycling mode share and increase walking by 20%, through pedestrianisations, 10km in cycleways, and a public bike-sharing system. In Ibagué, a focus on stakeholder engagement has led to more participation in cycling activities such as Critical Mass rides. Focused interventions through 8km of cycle routes in Armenia have led the city to create a ‘public system for bicycles’. Finally, Cali, which hosted the workshop, presented its ‘Corredor Verde’ project, an ambitious, cross-sectoral and cross-jurisdictional plan to create a green pathway cutting through the city.
Colombia is also active at the national level. The country is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, with respect to a business as usual trajectory. The national government, through its National Planning Ministry and the SISCLIMA programme, is supporting the inclusion of different climate change scenarios in urban planning, while facilitating the mobilisation of resources from the private sector and international climate funds. Moreover, to implement its Nationally Determined Contribution, the national government in Colombia is providing technical assistance to TOD and active mobility projects in its cities.
This support is timely given the increasing need for sustainable transport projects in Colombia. Cities are facing the issues of increasing motorisation - both private vehicles and, increasingly, motorcycles – and rising demand for public transport, which has led to overcrowding on existing services. Their attempts to adopt urban planning policies that are more environmentally friendly and more people-centric are currently hindered by the lack of appropriate capacity and financial resources to implement this vision.
Although the CFF – and C40 – have so far focused their efforts on megacities, this workshop represented a novel opportunity to assist mid-size cities in Latin America. Activities focused on sharing knowledge with other cities and with national and regional policy-makers will be scaled up as the CFF expands its support to more cities across the world. A similar workshop was held in Mexico City on October 11-12 around how to encourage the shift to electro-mobility in public transport in Mexico, building on the CFF’s experience in Mexico City.