Cities in Mexico and Colombia focus on sustainable mobility

Cities around the world are developing innovative projects to improve mobility. These projects are making cities more environmentally-friendly, more inclusive, and more people-centric, while addressing the twin challenges of growing urbanisation and intensifying climate change. 

Mexico City and Bogotá, for example, are leading on urban mobility in their region.The new bus corridor on Eje 8 Sur in Mexico City will be 22km long and serve an estimated 160,000 daily trips, and will be the first e-bus project of this scale to be implemented in Latin America. And in Bogotá, the 25km-long Quinto Centenario cycle highway will connect citizens from low, middle and high-income neighbourhoods with jobs, schools and recreational opportunities, and will support approximately 34,000 bicycle trips in the morning peak hours. 

The C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United States Agency for International Development, is supporting both projects.

Separate workshops in October aimed to ensure that other cities across  Latin America are learning from the Mexico City and Bogotá examples. A workshop on October 11th-12th in Mexico City aimed to inspire the shift to electric buses at the national, state, and municipal level in Mexico. Held on the sidelines of the World Resources Institute’s International Congress of Cities and Transport, the workshop was attended by Mexican cities and states, including Aguascalientes, Colima, Tijuana, Mérida, Ciudad Juárez, Morelos, Sinaloa, Nuevo Léon, and Mexico City.

Laura Ballesteros, Under-Secretary of Planning at the Department for Transport of Mexico City (SEMOVI), welcomes the attendees of the workshop in Mexico City. Photo credit: Ari Santillan/WRI.

Bogotá is also positioning itself as a knowledge hub for the whole region, sharing its achievements and objectives with other cities in Latin America and beyond. At a workshop in Cali, Colombia, on October 18th-20th participants discussed ways to plan and finance sustainable mobility projects, particularly cycling initiatives and transit-oriented development projects. The event, organised in partnership with the Alcaldía de Cali, FDI Pacífico, GIZ Connective Cities, and the World Resources Institute, was attended by Colombian and Latin American cities, including Medellín, Cali, Pereira, Ibagué, Armenia, Yumbo, Palmira, Quito (Ecuador) and Trujillo (Peru). 

Attendees of the Cali workshop included city officials working on cycling and sustainable mobility from 10 cities in Colombia and Latin America.

Both the workshops in Cali and Mexico City included presentations of best practices on sustainable mobility, technical overviews of the different technologies and business models, peer-to-peer exchanges between attendees to discuss common issues, and structured breakout sessions about the successful development and implementation of mobility projects.

Although the CFF – and C40 – have so far focused their efforts on megacities, this workshop represented a novel opportunity to assist secondary 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 to support more cities around the world.