Conference Paper

“Al Colegio en Bici”: Bogota’s Bike-to-School Program

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Abstract

Bike to school programs are aimed at improving the daily travel experience and safety for young commuters and constitute an opportunity for behavioral shifts towards sustainable mobility. However, only a few cases of bike to school programs have been documented. The lack of information is especially critical in rapidly growing cities of the global south. This paper documents a promising bike to school program called “Al Colegio en Bici” implemented in Bogotá, Colombia. The program started running in 2013, after a year of planning. It is aimed at alleviating poverty by providing improved access to public schools to low income populations, and giving the children the opportunity to travel safely while using a sustainable mode of transport. More importantly, “Al Colegio en Bici” is expected to influence travel behavior in young generations, and thus may contribute to positively impact health and reduce harmful emissions in the long run. The paper describes the program and how it was implemented, and is expected to help other cities considering such programs as part of their sustainable mobility and access to education plans.

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Article
Mobility is a prerequisite for satisfying essential human needs. Work, education, social participation: all these activities generate regular journeys. Particularly in cities, however, the “side effects” of mobility such as traffic jams, traffic accidents, air pollution, noise and the resulting health effects are also evident.The planning of settlement structures, the necessary infrastructures, and the design of urban spaces are tasks of urban planning. Urban planning can have a decisive influence on the means of transport people choose, the distances they travel, and the environmental and health effects associated with these choices.This article examines how urban planning can promote alternatives to motorized individual travel. It focuses in particular on active mobility, such as cycling and walking. The paper begins by presenting the fundamental effects of everyday mobility and the resulting traffic on health. It then gives an overview of the potential for promoting active mobility in Germany and how urban planning and the factors it regulates, such as settlement density or mix of uses, influence mobility decisions. An overview of current initiatives and an in-depth presentation of planning strategies in the cities of Barcelona and Bogotá will be used to show which instruments and measures are being used.The article emphasizes that urban planning and the built environment it creates can promote walking and cycling. The examples show, however, that promising initiatives are not realised through spatial planning and the creation of infrastructure alone. Rather, they are cross-sectoral measures aimed at changing the mobility culture in cities.
Conference Paper
Bogotá is developing an ambitious mobility strategy whose main objective is to initiate a structural change in transportation to improve livability and make the city more efficient and competitive. The strategy seeks transit priority, exploration of alternative transport modes and reduction of private automobile use. This paper summarizes some aspects of Bogotá's mobility strategy including the situation prior to its initiation, objectives and program formulation, resource mobilization, process description, goals achieved, sustainability, lessons learned and transferability.
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