Changemakers gather in Quito to discuss sustainable urban mobility under the New Urban Agenda

16 October 2016, Quito, Ecuador: Today, local governments and experts from around the world gathered in Quito for the opening of the EcoMobility Days, a 5-day program dedicated to sustainable urban mobility. EcoMobility, with the support of the FIA Foundation and Euroclima, is bringing together change-makers to allow them to share good practices on urban mobility and equip them to implement the New Urban Agenda.

Alliance cities shared their experiences on innovative sustainable urban transport systems to reduce motorization, improve quality of life, environment, and economy.

  • “We are united to talk about the commitments we have to future generations.” Eduardo Hussein Del Pozo Fierro, Deputy Mayor of the City of Quito, presented the efforts of the city to build an integrated transportation system considering marginalized populations and the environment.
  • Tsai Po-Ying, Deputy Secretary-General of Kaohsiung City, invited everyone to join the EcoMobility World Festival and Congress which will take place in the city in October 2017. The city is seeking to move away from private transportation which still represents 92% of the transportation today.
  • Federico Gutiérrez, Mayor of Medellín, told the story of Medellin, which went from being the most violent city to being one of the nicest city to live in. Mobility played an important role in improving the city quality of life. Medellin is particularly paying attention to bringing better mobility options to poorer communities.
  • Yeom Tae-Young, Mayor of Suwon, presented the experience of the city with the EcoMobility World Festival in 2014. Facing strong resistance from citizens when the city announced its intention to ban cars from an entire neighborhood for a whole month for the festival, the municipality worked with the community to get the buy-in from citizens. The festival proved to be a success, increasing air quality as well as the economy and quality of life in the neighborhood.
  • Carlos Sousa, Director, Local Energy Management Agency of Almada and Catarina Freitas, Head of Department for Environment, Climate, Energy and Mobility, presented the new plan for urban mobility for the City of Almada which now includes for the first time urban logistics. After successfully reducing the number of cars in the city, Almada realized an important element was missing: urban logistics. The city is now working with the support of the European Union to make urban logistics transport more sustainable.

Development banks and local representatives discussed the challenges to finance and implement sustainable urban mobility within the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Matthew Appelbaum, Councillor of the City of Boulder, demonstrated how creativity allows cities to develop a sustainable urban transport system despite low resources. For instance, Boulder created bike lanes that also serve as flood control facilities, thereby being entitled to more funding. The Councillor reminded that the biggest challenge in urban mobility remains to change people’s behavior.
  • Clarisse Cunha Linke, Country Director, ITDP Brazil, reminded of the need to include poorer communities in transport planning. She showed how in cities with very good transport systems, most of the time, poorer communities have the less access to public transportation.

Using this occasion to celebrate entrepreneurial genius, theThe global smart Mobiprize was awarded to Federico Gutiérrez, Mayor of Medellín, (Enterprising City MobiPrize Winner Partner: ICLEI EcoMobility Alliance), Devin DeVries, Where Is My Transport (Global Grand Mobi Prize Winner. Partner: Ford Motor Company), Chetan Temkar (Mobi-X India MobiPrize Winner. Partner: Ford Motor Company, Institute for Competitiveness, India)

Lauren Flanagan, Current Motor (Michigan MobiPrize Winner. Partner: NextEnergy). The Mobiprize celebrates entrepreneurial genius, recognizing those who are helping to make the world a better place through sustainable transportation enterprise and industry.

Participants hopped on a BYD electric bus and ended the day with a visit of the intervention by Alliance partner Despacio in Habitat Village. Despacio transformed parking spaces along a street into a public space for pedestrians to enjoy the street.