Mexico hosts capacity building program for Leaders in Urban Transport Planning
For the second consecutive year, the World Bank and EMBARQ Mexico led a training program for Leaders in Urban Transport Planning (LUTP) in Mexico City, Mexico. The training provided tools for urban planners and policymakers to develops systematic strategies around integrated urban mobility planning. Within this larger goal, topics under discussion ranged from public and private finance, institutional capacity, and urban governance, each of which are critical topics for Mexican cities. The month-long series of workshops and seminars emphasized a learning process that is inclusive and practical, combining case studies and knowledge exchange between participants with field visits and study tours of Mexico City’s transport network.
Best practices in sustainable mobility fuel global discussion
LUTP was attended by over 35 urban transport professionals from 13 cities and three Latin American countries. Workshops consisted of lectures and seminars as well as case studies with a hands-on, collaborative approach developed in which participants brainstormed together solutions to different urban mobility challenges from cities around the world. These sessions were led by experts Thierry Desclos, Arturo Ardila, Aurelio Menédez and Iván Jaques from the World Bank; Sebastián Varela, Fernando Páez, Luis Zamorano, and Dario Hidalgo from EMBARQ; and Carlos Mier y Terán from BANOBRAS/PROTRAM.
Participants also had the opportunity to learn from CITI, the Informative Center for Intelligent Transport, which monitors Mexico City’s Metrobús bus rapid transit (BRT) system.
The participants also explored how the Ecobici system, a government-sponsored bike-sharing program for Mexico City, has integrated with the city’s mass transport systems. Participants explored the facilities the city offers to build cycling culture, including infrastructure like parking stations and dedicated bike lanes.
Ecobici and Metrobús serve as prime examples of Mexico City’s efforts to become more sustainable and livable, and both systems have grown considerably in recent years. Launched in 2005, Metrobús now boasts five corridors and serves over 900,000 passengers per day, 10% of whom switched from private cars. Ecobici, meanwhile, launched in 2010 and has quickly grown to include 271 stations, 100,000 members, and 10 million yearly trips. Mexico City’s success in growing these sustainable transport solutions, and the support of the city’s leadership, serve as examples for other growing cities, and contributed to the city receiving the 2013 Sustainable Transport Award, among other recognitions. These achievements make Mexico City an ideal site for the LUTP training course.
Creating a more sustainable, people-oriented Mexico City, one solution at a time
However, there is still progress to be made to improve quality of life for Mexico City’s 8.8 million residents and 32 million daily commuters. To close out the training program, participants took a closer look at some of these challenges, with a focus on integrated approaches to urban transport projects and institutional design and set up for financing sustainable transport. Working in groups, they drew from case studies in Lagos, Nigeria; Jakarta, Indonesia; Buenos Aires, Argentina and others in order to craft recommendations for how to improve transport systems in four cities: Bangalore, India; Cairo, Egypt; Accra, Ghana; and Guwahati, India, which were then presented to a jury of experts that included Tanya Müller of the Mexico City Minister of Environment, Roberto Aguerrebere, of the Mexican Institute of Transportation, Fernando Páez, Transportation Systems Director at EMBARQ Mexico, and Cecilia Martinez, international consultant and former director of UN-HABITAT New York. This culminating project aimed to develop solutions, drawn from local contexts, that can be applied globally to foster sustainable urban mobility and improve quality of life for urban residents worldwide. Within this discussion, breaking down silos between different planning and regulation departments in city government was a prominent topic.
As a host organization, EMBARQ Mexico is proud of the outcomes of this work, and looks forward to LUTP Colombia in November 2014 and LUTP Mexico in 2015 – when this year’s proposed solutions may become next year’s best practices.