Actions to move sustainably in Latin America

This article is part of our #StoriesofChange where we profile the work of our partner countries in developing climate actions in transport. Read more #StoriesOfChange and follow the Hashtag on Twitter.

The European Mobility Week beyond Europe

European Mobility Week is over! As each year, from September 16 to 22, cities in and outside Europe carried out actions to promote sustainable transport measures and invite people to use alternatives to the private car.

In 2002, the European Commission created this campaign and over the years it has increased the importance of these themes around the world, especially on World Car Free Day.

In 2021, 3,055 cities in 53 countries were registered. As the European Union‘s flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change at the regional level, in EUROCLIMA+ we promote the participation of our partner and beneficiary cities representing Latin America.

This year, we invited cities to align themselves with the 2021 theme “Safety and Health with Sustainable Mobility” and thus pay tribute to the difficulties that the world experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cities and urban administrations have established creative and resilient responses to the pandemic. So this year we celebrate the resilience of cities and their achievements, as we seek to maintain this momentum.

Trends that started last year, such as the rise of active mobility and the use of low- or zero-emission mobility, require further promotion from us.

Therefore, we present the activities carried out by EUROCLIMA+ beneficiary cities: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (Mexico), Arequipa (Peru), Curridabat and Montes de Oca (Costa Rica) and Ibague (Colombia).

Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (Mexico)

Cyclists in Guadalajara, Mexico ©IMEPLAN

On September 18, the Institute of Planning and Development Management of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (IMEPLAN) held the Metropolitan Ride for Sustainable Mobility, in which some 70 people participated in a 9-kilometer route on emerging bicycle paths and those under construction in the metropolis.

Held as part of Mobility Week and World Car Free Day, the ride was a recreational opportunity to gather the contributions of cyclists on active mobility and its challenges, which will be integrated into the construction of the Integral Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility (SUMP) being carried out by the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (AGM) with the support of EUROCLIMA+ and the assistance from GIZ.

Arequipa (Peru)

Peru ©IMEPLAN Arequipa

On September 17, Arequipa launched the virtual perception survey on urban mobility in Arequipa, information that will be used for the SUMP of Arequipa, which is being carried out with the support of the EUROCLIMA+ programme.

On September 21, the “Situation of Urban Mobility in Arequipa” photo contest was launched to encourage citizen participation and show, through cameras, images that portray the current conditions of the city’s streets and transportation.

On September 22, World Car Free Day, the municipality carried out a road awareness campaign and a coexistence forum to promote ecological awareness of the excessive use of private automobiles. To close Mobility Week, the Peruvian city closed its historic center to motorized vehicles and held a bicycle ride.

Curridabat and Montes de Oca (Costa Rica)

Costa Rica ©Montes de Oca

From September 9 to 25, the cantons of Curridabat and Montes de Oca held virtual urban cycling workshops. Through a space for teaching and consultation with experts, citizens had access to the basic concepts and tools for the use of bicycles as a means of transportation.

This activity is part of the pedagogical actions axis of the “Promotion and development of urban cycling”, developed in the framework of EUROCLIMA+ in Costa Rican cities, with the assistance of GIZ.

The series of workshops included explanatory videos on types and parts of bicycles, basic accessories for urban cycling, the logistics of cycling rides, road regulations, street regulations that are not covered by law, as well as scenarios for safe cycling.

After the videos, there was a Q&A session between the inhabitants of Curridabat and Montes de Oca and the urban cycling experts.

On World Car Free Day, the signing of the Intermunicipal Agreement for Active Mobility took place, which integrated the cantons of Belen, Curridabat, Desamparados, Escazu, La Union, Montes de Oca, Mora and San Jose to advance and work on improving the conditions of walkability and cycling for all people.

Ibague (Colombia)

Colombia ©Infibague

The city of Ibague organized a series of activities during Mobility Week to remind its inhabitants of the importance of having a pedestrian culture and using alternative means of transportation, with a focus on children and young people.

From September 16 to 20, there was a Cycling Festival with students from 8 to 10 years old, a BMX Festival, an Impulse Bicycle Festival for children from 3 to 6 years old, a public bicycle lending program, and finally a night Cycle Tour.

Within the framework of the EUROCLIMA+ programme and with the assistance of GIZ, the city of Ibague is in the process of implementing a public bicycle sharing and pedal-assist system, which will promote an increase in the use of bicycles among the population.

As part of the EUROCLIMA+ Urban Mobility sector, at GIZ we also thank the 17 cities of 6 Latin American countries for joining the European Mobility Week. We invite regional governments to promote actions that encourage the use of alternative means of transportation, with low and zero emissions.

The EUROCLIMA+ project is commissioned by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Ana Alcántara