Page 1


JUNE 2017

No. 05



NO. 5

ISSN 2463-042X

JUNE 2017

B O G OTÁ D . C .



PHOTO: César Martínez

La Alpujarra Administration Center, Medellín, Antioquia.


CONTENTS Cover Photo: César Martínez

EDITORIAL.......................... 5 CURRENT EVENTS.............. 6 INTRODUCTION................... 8 Challenges along the way NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE Innovation for sustainable mobility........ 12 Green movement............. 14 The big challenge facing regional entities:“Executing resources coherently”......... 18

MEDELLÍN Medellín: the first thing is to get connected........... 22 Metrocables: social engineering works........... 24 80 th Avenue Corridor: A sustainable transformation proposal.....28 Sustainable transportation.................. 32 A reference point that changed lives................... 34 Medellín: from industrial center to innovation hub.......36

COLOMBIAN CASES Making the most of the traffic jam .............. 38 “The metro, as a long-term project, is fundamental”....... 42 Four provincial capitals and their mobility ..............44 Sustainable solutions: simple and low-cost.............. 48 From adventure to pragmatism in the city ......... 52 A commitment to sustainability ................... 54



INTERNATIONAL CASES France-Colombia bilateral cooperation: A range of solutions for sustainable development ........................ 56

Future mobility Vicious congestion or virtuous circle?..............60 How London deals with the growing number of challenges facing transport.......................... 64

FINDETER Sustainable mobility in action............................ 70 DIRECTORY....................... 73 COLUMN........................... 74 Sex and the city

JUNE 2017

DIRECTOR Paola Villamarín González

GENERAL EDITOR Alejandro Torres Parra






José Luis Barragán

Luis Fernando Arboleda González

PROOFREADING Mónica Quintana Rey and Natalia Ocampo Niño.


Rodolfo Enrique Zea Navarro Y CONOCIMIENTO

PUBLISHING HOUSE Proyectos Semana S.A. Phone: 646 8400

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Orlando González Galindo

PREPRESS Publicaciones Semana S.A.

PRINTING Printer Colombiana S.A. Printed in Colombia Published in Bogotá


Rodrigo Lozano Suaza Director, CIC Ana María Palau Alvargonzález Vice-President, Planning Diana Jimena Pereira Bonilla Planning Manager Lina María Chedraui Torres Communications Director Claudia Salamanca Velásquez Communications Management María Eugenia Rubiano Sánchez Marketing Director Natalia Fajardo Hernández Leader, Publications, and Issue Coordinator


Sandra Suárez Pérez

Natalia Pinilla Morales




Camila Mejía Valencia and Catalina Losada Salgado.

PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Mario Inti García Mutis

TRANSLATION Michael Sparrow

findeter1 findeterweb

comparta esta revista

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS María José Zuluaga, María Paz Uribe, Lily Torres, María de los Ángeles Char, Diana Marcela Niebles, Liliana Castillo, Ximena Sánchez, Magda Esperanza Parada, Yenny Jaramillo, Alina Blanco, Sergio Mosquera, Sandra López, Alba Mogollón, Patricia Virgües, Iván Cabrera, Blanca Azcárate, Sebastián López, Iván Dávila, Ernesto Cáliz, Nicolás Vila, Alejandro Maya, Jaime Urrego, Andrés Trujillo Zea, Carlos Cadena and Daniel Rubio Blanco.

AUTHORS OR INTERVIEWEES Luis Fernando Arboleda, Mauricio Cárdenas, Jorge Eduardo Rojas Giraldo, Simón Gaviria, Ana Lucía Villa Arcila, Federico Gutiérrez, Tomás Elejalde Escobar, Felipe Vélez, Jorge Londoño De la Cuesta, Jaime León Bermúdez Mesa, Alejandro Franco Restrepo, Bruce Mac Master, Eduardo Behrentz, Carlos Pardo, Diego Ospina, Sergio Diaz-Grandos, Andrés Felipe Rojas, Rémy Rioux, Arturo Ardila, Jon Hodges, Juan Manuel Robledo and María López.

©Proyectos Semana S.A./17, Colombia All rights reserved. Total or partial reproduction prohibited without Proyectos Semana S.A. authorization. Headquarters: Carrera 11 # 77A-65. PBX: 646 8400 Bogotá - Colombia.


IT GIVES me great pleasure to present this fifth issue of the magazine Pensamiento Urbano, one that concentrates on studying innovation as fundamental to the development of integrated, sustainable mobility systems for creating more opportunities and improving the quality of life of all inhabitants. Cities are facing bigger challenges all the time. Rapid growth, coupled to poor planning and worsening air pollution, has forced local and national administrators to redraft their view of development and place special importance on new transportation methods, so that people, the main beneficiaries, can find them friendlier and more pleasant. Strategies like providing green corridors are fundamental for encouraging people to use bicycles and for reducing pollution. The key is to prioritize the wellbeing of the whole population. Coordinating all means of transport is an important step toward optimum mobility management, as are reducing traveling times and cutting costs, which is possible if an integrated system is structured. Medellín is today an example of innovation in Latin America, due to the coordination and efficiency of its transportation model. This strategy, together with technological progress, has enabled people to see their city from every angle as they travel calmly around it, something that has even caught the attention of Colombian and international tourists. A fundamental part of this process is encouraging a sense of belonging and instilling a culture of order and care in the local population. Public transport and bicycles are not exclusively for certain classes of people; they are for everyone, and everyone should therefore ensure their continuity and that they are in good condition.



Luis Fernando Arboleda González, President, FINDETER.

We look on this issue of Pensamiento Urbano as both a mirror and a reference point, because it is vital to identify, analyze and take on board the experiences of other cities in Colombia and in other parts of the world that are an example of how a sustainable urban transportation or mobility project can have a favorable impact on the local inhabitants. We at Findeter are assisting priority, comprehensive transportation projects that are in line with a strategic use of land and require different actors in society to work together. T he initiatives descr ibed in this magazine, Pensamiento Urbano, show us that cities cannot go on being governed by cars or by traditional transportation, but rather need to take into account people’s needs. It is a modern-day revolution. In this fifth issue we want to restate our intention of being a strategic partner in projects that visualize, right from the planning stage, an innovative country and cities that are more welcoming and more respectful of people. We aim to encourage our readers, our mayors and governors, the political class, industry leaders–in short, the entire population in general–to continue working for the sustainable development and growth of our regions. Together we make it possible!

JUNE 2017



Provincial governors Ricardo Gómez (Caldas), Carlos Eduardo Osorio (Quindío) and Sigifredo Salazar (Risaralda), together with Financiera del Desarrollo (Findeter) president Luis Fernando Arboleda, have signed an agreement of wills to implement a territorial development model in the region.


PHOTO: Archivo Semana


Findeter has disbursed 36,500 million pesos for improvements to Ernesto Cortissoz Airport, in Barranquilla. These funds are in addition to a further 30,000 million pesos already handed over this year, which are part of a loan totaling 175,000 million pesos.

SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT Findeter, Medellín City Hall, Cartagena City Hall, EDU and Ruta N have signed an agreement of wills to replicate a pilot program in Cartagena called Comprehensive Urban Projects, to improve neighborhoods in Medellín. The first neighborhood where the initiative will be carried out is San José de los Campanos.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SPORT As part of its Caribbean and Santanders Diamond program, Financiera del Desarrollo (Findeter) handed over two surfboards to Natural Surf school, in Puerto Colombia. The sports equipment will be used to train children and youths between the ages of 6 and 14 from families in the lower income brackets.


PHOTO: Fundación Natura

Findeter and Bolívar provincial government will plant 250,000 trees in honor of victims of the conflict. The project, in which 2,700 million pesos will be invested, aims to create environmental awareness and contribute to the historic memory, so that new generations can understand the past and not repeat the horrors of war. Specifically, the ecosystem of the Morrocoy stream, a water system that still boasts species of tree that have almost completely disappeared from the region and is the habitat of endangered species like the white-faced titi monkey, will be restored.



PHOTO: Coldeportes


Findeter president Luis Fernando Arboleda has announced finance totaling 80,000 million pesos for the 2019 National Games, which will be held in Bolívar. These funds will enable the province to improve infrastructure and have new venues for when it organizes the sporting events.


RENEWABLE ENERGY WORK GROUP Findeter, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory have joined forces with financial sector leaders and international development banks to talk about financing energy sector projects in Colombia, the future of non-conventional renewable energies, and their role in the country’s energy supply.

DIARY APRIL March 29 to April 2

27 and 28


First Bioenergy Congress, Chamber of Commerce. CALI, COLOMBIA.

PHOTO: iStock



CARTAGENA PEDALS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT With support from Findeter, City Hall and the Embassy of the Netherlands, the #CartagenaPedalea campaign has begun, a project that sets out to boost bicycle usage by the people of Cartagena and tourists, and hence help make the city a more sustainable one. “We should be clear about the benefits of the bicycle both for health and for the development of the city”, said Findeter president Luis Fernando Arboleda.

27 and 28 31 to June 2


31 to June 2

Meeting of provincial capital city mayors. BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA.

ALIDE General assembly. SANTIAGO, CHILE.

60th ACODAL International Water, Sanitation, Environment and Renewable Energies Congress. CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA.




Findeter and SENA have handed over more than 2,300 million pesos to 22 entrepreneurs from San Andrés and Providencia. The funds were disbursed through the Emprender Fund, to boost socioeconomic development in the archipelago. This economic aid is to finance working capital, the acquisition of machinery and equipment, and costs deriving from legal incorporation and the licenses that are required for the everyday operation of the project.

1 and 2

28 to 30

52nd “Promoting Economic and Social Development” Banking Convention. CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA.

19th ANDESCO National and International Public Services, IT and TV Congress, “Entrepreneurial, Technological and Financial Sample”. CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA .

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: César Martínez


After 28 years, integrated mass transportation systems have strengthened the country’s installed capacity for improving mobility. However, the national government is of the opinion that four challenges need to be overcome if the country is to guarantee the sustainability of this model.



By Mauricio Cárdenas,

Minister of Treasury and Public Credit.


CHANGES THAT occur in the

Construction of the Bogotá metro is included in the January 2017 CONPES document.


trillion pesos: the national government contribution to the first line of the Bogotá metro.

PHOTO: Personal file

public domain condition and favor people’s behavior. Latin American countries have faced major challenges when it has come to improving the quality of life of their people, and one of those challenges has undoubtedly been mass transportation. Cities have had to face problems of air, noise and visual contamination, as well as service quality, maintenance costs, ticket prices, coverage and capacity, among other factors that hinder their development. In the case of Colombia, population growth and the increased surface area of cities have demanded that transportation systems be introduced that offer adequate mobility. However, this growth meant an increase in the number of journeys required, but at the same time led to an imbalance that had repercussions not only on the public service rendered but also on people’s quality of life. Long journeys on obsolete buses, inadequate frequencies, pollution, high accident rates, roads in a bad state of repair and a lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure are typical features of traveling around the country’s cities. Meanwhile, a city like Curitiba (Brazil) has now enjoyed four decades of evolution (since 1974) with its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, based on buses and stations that have platforms at vehicle level and where passengers pay for the service in advance. The system currently boasts frequency planning, electronic payment methods and unified fare collection. In other words, it is a project designed to meet collective transportation needs.

I n s pi re d b y t h i s mo d e l , Colombia drew up an urban public transportation policy (Law 86 of 1989) which guaranteed an efficient service and allowed for the orderly growth of cities. This Law was modified seven years later (1996), in order to establish that the construction of Passenger Mass Transportation Systems would be co-financed using funds from the Nation and its decentralized entities in a ratio of ‘minimum 40 per cent maximum 70 per cent’ of the servicing of the project’s debt. 28 years have now passed, and the country’s Comprehensive Mass Transportation Systems (SITM, in Spanish) have been transformed in line with people’s needs. The nation, meanwhile, co-finances those that have been introduced in cities with more than 600,000 inhabitants, involving a total investment of 8.3 trillion pesos, notable among these cities being Bogotá (4.8 trillion pesos), Cali (1.3 trillion), and Soacha, Ba r ra nqu i l l a , Buc a ra m a nga , Cartagena, Medellín and Pereira, where contributions of around 2.1 trillion pesos have been made. Similarly, Strategic Collective

Public Transportation Systems have been developed, providing organized, modern operations in cities with between 250,000 and 600,000 inhabitants like Armenia, Montería, Neiva, Santa Marta, Pasto, Popayán, Sincelejo and Valledupar, involving investments of 1.5 trillion pesos. The introduction of these systems has been one of the biggest challenges in terms of public investment and policy for the nation and for the municipalities themselves. In Bogotá, for example, Transmilenio has noticeably improved the public transportation system (number of passengers carried vs. time). In 2000, two million passengers were carried at a speed of 8 km/hour, whereas today the figure for a working day, including SITP, is 4.1 million passengers at a speed of 26 km/hour. This means that average journey times have fallen by 43 minutes. Transmilenio is undoubtedly the most outstanding mass transportation system in Colombia, bearing in mind that it was the pioneer and that it currently has the greatest coverage. However, the statistics for the six SITM,

JUNE 2017

namely Metroplus (Medellín), Mío (Cali), Transmetro (Barranquilla), Me t rol í ne a ( B uc a r a m a n g a), Transcar ibe (Car tagena) and Megabus (Pereira), are also notable, quite apart from the fact that they have learned and given rise to other benefits, such as reducing traffic and pollution. The mobility projects have also led to over 874 kilometers of road being built for these systems, 2.3 million cubic meters of public land being restored, 4.5 million passengers being carried every day, traveling times falling by between 13 and 20 per cent and a 20 per cent average drop in accident rates, not to mention other factors that have improved the quality of life of the Colombian people. At the same time, these developments have provided a boost for programs that foster caring for the environment, such as the planting of 100,000 trees, CO2 emissions falling to 750,000 tonnes per year and the building of 150 kilometers of cycleways, and they have led to the formalization of public transportation, the introduction of unified fare collection systems and a fostering of national industry.

A l t h o u g h Tr a n s m i l e n i o ser ved as a guide for changes elsewhere in the country, significant developments in terms of mobility have resulted from the other systems, and this means that Colombia has more knowledge of how to implement SITM, because of the experience it has gained from having both national and regional parties involved. With more than a decade of experience in conceiving and implementing transportation systems–operating and administration ex per ience that has been transferred to the cities -, there are today four challenges facing the national government if the country is to guarantee the adequate and successful sustainability of these projects. Mobility projects should be shielded f rom c ha nges of government and cabinets, and different governments should g u a r a nte e t he i r cont i nu it y. Governments should also look on t hem as comprehensive t ra nspor t at ion a nd mobi l it y strategies and not just as the carrying out of infrastructure and urban renewal works.

The most important challenge is for city halls and provincial governments to establish financing policies through alternative sources.

2 3



PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Guillermo Torres

In 2000, TransMilenio carried two million passengers per day. Today the figure stands at 4.1 million, including the whole SITP.



Plans for the operation should include the following, from the start: (i) reducing over-supply, (ii) restructuring routes, (iii) fleet size, and (iv) mechanisms for controlling illegality. There is a need to develop scrapping mechanisms, since there are currently not enough companies certified to deal with the physical disintegration of vehicles, and those that are certified are not fully financed. Likewise, there is a need to solve the problem of the lack of a will to reorganize public transportation and to remove from service all traditional buses, due to the district or municipal authorities failing to cancel operating licenses, which has delayed this process. Perhaps the most important challenge is for city halls and provincial governments to establish financing policies through alternative sources of funds to those envisaged initially, such as demand subsidy and stabilization funds. Meanwhile, we can see that a lack of passengers is not the main problem for the financial stability of these projects, since they should be self-sustaining, which is not happening. Income from fares should cover operating costs, but recourse has had to be had to the 2014-2018 National Development Plan in order to make financing from other sources possible, such as public parking zones or garages, congestion or

pollution charges and co-financing under public-private schemes. The people of Bogotá have been promised that a metro will be built, in conjunction w ith high-capacity trunk bus routes coordinated with a suburban train system. But today the city can be certain that progress has been made, since in the last two years efforts by national government and regional entities have made it possible for a CONPES document to be issued in January 2017 which includes the Bogotá Metro and Regiotram projects for the Bogotá-Cundinamarca region and Phases II and III of TransMilenio in Soacha. The commitment by the nation to building the first line of the Bogotá metro is to the tune of 9.6 trillion pesos, and it will be 25.8 kilometers long with a 100 per cent elevated structure, 15 stations, and a terminal at 72nd Street. It will be completely electric, will be able to carry 96,000 passengers, and will bring important benefits in terms of urban renewal and higher property values along the line of its route. We estimate that once the projected works have been implemented, such as the metro, the optimization of journeys on trunk routes and the construction of roads for Transmilenio on 68 t h Avenue ( bet ween t he South Highway and 7th Avenue), Boyacá Avenue ( bet ween t he South Highway and 26th Street) and City of Cali Avenue (between Portal de las Américas and Bosa Avenue), around 99,000 journeys will be possible at peak times, which will mean a saving of between one and two hours per day for public transport users.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana


The nation has contributed 1.3 trillion pesos to the integrated transportation system in Cali.

Mea nwh i le, t he ac h ieve ments of Medellín, an example of sustainability in terms of mobility, are well worth highlighting, because it is a city that has a fully developed and integrated transportation system that has brought its inhabitants better living standards and more opportunities for the urban and rural population, together with a visible project administration, by providing a safe system that supports environmental stability and public health. This city in Antioquia has a metro, thanks to regional and national efforts, government funds and a debt taken on by the region which is being paid off under the Metro Law, whereby 60 per cent are contributions by Antioquia province and the City of Medellín and the remaining 40% by the nation, and it also has an integrated mass transportation system with feeder routes (Metroplus), involving an investment by the nation and the municipality of 850,673 million pesos. It has a lso attac hed a ‘ M e t r o c a b l e ’ a n d Ay a c u c h o tramway to its transportation


million passengers are carried every day by the SITM in Colombia.

system, financed totally by the municipality with investments of around 500,000 million pesos. T he cou nt r y h a s t a ken a number of g iant steps in implement i ng t he SI T M. T he World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean have highlighted the efforts made to improve people’s qua l it y of l ife and to provide greater access to public transport; however, we should be critical of the mobility situation in the cities. W hen t a l k i ng of mobi l ity, we should not only mention the infrastructure and vehicle components but should also include political, social, economic and cultural aspects. Today, more than ever, organized publ ic t ra nspor t is necessa r y i n Colombia if the countr y is to advance in terms of urban susta inabi l it y, but t his requires continued national government involvement and commitment by regional administrations. We cannot follow different routes or direct our efforts toward goals other than improving people’s quality of life.

JUNE 2017


Innovation in mobility is more than a challenge, it is practically a constitutional obligation. Traffic congestion, road accidents, air pollution and noise have negative impacts on quality of life and economic competitiveness.

PHOTO: Ministry of Transport

A MOBILITY system should al-

By Jorge Eduardo Rojas Giraldo

Minister of Transport



low for millions of travel plans to i nte r ac t , a nd t h i s m a k e s managing and planning it complex. Moreover, urban growth and commercial, institutional and industrial dynamics within cities themselves exert tremendous pressure on public sector decision-makers, who have to make optimal use of the funds available to benefit the majority. This is even more relevant in

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Andrés Gómez

Highway linking the city of Tunja to the nation’s capital.

the situation the national and local governments currently find themselves in, where innovation is vital because it means more can be done with less. The Ministry of Transport has thus headed a number of ambitious processes that set out to redirect the traditional view of highway infrastructure, based on projected growth in the number of motor vehicles, toward a perspective where the selection of more friendly means of transport comes first, ones that are effectively integrated into the social and economic structure in line with national and international policy commitments. Redirecting that view depends on innovation at both extremes: planning and financial management.

There is a clear need to progress further in the planning and implementation of transportation solutions and to adopt the ASI–Avoid, Shift and Improve– conceptual framework, whereby public policy and investment projects should seek to reduce the need to travel to a minimum and promote a change towards more energy-efficient means of transport, such as active transportation (bicycle and walking), public passenger transportation a nd m a ss t ra n s por t at ion by means of electric systems. Additionally, urban planning should be promoted that prioritizes density around mass transpor tation cor r idors and allows for diversified land use, so t h at produc t ion a nd consumption centers are close at hand, thereby helping to reduce journey lengths for both people and merchand ise. On the other hand, mobility solution pla nning shou ld incor porate an interpretation of the respect ive com mu n it y c u lt u re. We are therefore drawing up some guidelines for structuring mobi l it y plans t hat incor porate urban planning and offer participative tools, with a view to local authorities understanding the joint vision of the city. Together with these guidelines, we will provide methodological instruments and communication channels that will allow for technical and political input by the local community. As far as financial management is concerned, nationa l gover nment has co -f inanced strateg ic mass public transportation systems for more than 15 years, disbursing over

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Daniel Reina


Urban planning should prioritize density around mass transportation corridors in cities.

7.8 trillion pesos and thus enabling transportation systems to be introduced that currently carry over five million Colombians every day. However, these investments have not been sufficient to attract more users and to combat the rapid increase in motor vehicle use in our cities. Therefore, and faced with a difficult fiscal situation, we have innovated by identifying additional sources of finance, such as global funds for fighting climate change and economic measures for managing the demand for private transportation. In the first of these cases, the Ministry of Transport has managed funds totaling more t ha n 150 m i l l ion dol l a rs for implementing greenhouse gas emission mitigation projects. To administer these projects, the Center for Advanced Urban Transportation Development I nt e r v e nt i on s (C I U DAT, in Spa nish) was for med at Findeter, and this aims to prov ide tec h n ic a l a nd f i n a nc i a l assistance in implementing catalytic projects using the TOD

In 2015, funds totaling

14.7 million

Euros were obtained from the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark for transportationoriented urban development pilot projects.

approach; shortlisted candidates include the Green Corridor, in Cali, and Entre Rios station, on the Medellín metro. In t he second case, t he National Development Plan included new sources of finance for introducing and operating public transportation systems, and this is an innovation in public policy because formerly we obliged these systems to be self-sustaining from fares charged. The new sources include measures for administering the demand for private transportation, congestion and contamination charges, surcharges on public parking lots and garages, charging for parking on a public road, and the controlled and regulated electronic detection of infringements. Innovation on these points will give more power to the regions and regional authorities to come up with urban mobility solutions that meet local needs. Coordinated national-subnational action on planning and financing will enable people’s quality of life to be improved and their economies to be more competitive.

JUNE 2017



The government is working on a sustainable mobility strategy for determining guidelines that will encourage cities to come up with tailormade transportation solutions for their particular needs.



Evolution of the urban development process in Colombia, and projections Ranges




2035* 2050*

Rural population (millions)






Urban population (millions)






No. of cities with over 100,000 inhabitants






No. of cities with over one million inhabitants






Source: DANE. Census figures, 1951-2010. *NPD, projections 2005-2050.



MIO station on Cali’s busy Fifth Avenue.

By SimĂłn Gaviria MuĂąoz,

PHOTO: Manuel Barona Metrocali S.A.

Director General, National Planning Department (NPD)

ACCORDING TO the 1951 popu-

lation census, there were six cities in Colombia with over 100,000 inhabitants. In 2010, almost sixty years later, there were 41, and another four had over one million. By then, 61 per cent of the urban population were living in the 151 municipalities that made up in the Cities System, and these generated around 65 per cent of GDP. Projections for the Cities System Mission indicate that

there w ill be 18 million more urban inhabitants by 2050, and t hat 69 c it ies w i l l have over 100,000 inhabitants. T he dy namics of urban population growth will result in a corresponding increase in demand for ecosystem services, land, homes, food, public and social ser vices and, of course, transportation. This latter is of special importance insofar as one of the principal challenges

In 2050, Colombia will have


cities with over

100,000 inhabitants.

facing the Colombian cities system is sustainable mobility between and within urban centers. Mobility, which is considered necessary if people are to be able to go about their normal activities, is not just a tool that allows them to get to somewhere, it is a dynamic that transforms urban sur round ings and even transcends them, because in many cases economic characteristics exist that demand coordination between a broader spectrum of cities, and in this scenario it is mobility that makes this structural organization possible. Our country has undergone a difficult process of consolidating its roles. One example of this has been the inadequate public transport ser v ice that people have had to put up with for decades, a service noted for negative impacts that affect journey times, safety and the environment, among other things. This led to a national and regional joining of forces and resulted in the National Urban Transportation Policy being implemented, with organized public transportation systems being established whose goal, through infrastructure and technology

JUNE 2017


25.00 %

$3,000.00 $2,500.00

20.00 %


15.00 %


10.00 %


5.00 % 0.00 %

$500.00 1998





Monthly Legal Minimum Salary

2006 2008 Periodo


Motor vehicles (excl. motorcycles)




Motor vehicles


Mean Recommended Market Exchange Rate

Source: Produced from DANE, Banco de la República and ANDI figures


Motorcyclist Motorcycle Pedestrian passenger



Vehicle driver Vehicle passenger

Other means

1.84 %

6.78 %

0.71 %


0.06 %

12.79 %

7.99 %

5.06 %

3.71 %

26.57 %

20.93 %

5.74 %

10 %

5.53 %

20 %

8.60 %

30 %

13.36 %

40 %

41.56 %

50 %

38.76 %


1 Indicators taken from citizen quality of life perception study in 11 Colombian cities, conducted by the ‘Cities, How are we Doing?’ network in 2013. Data for Cali, Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín, Barranquilla, Ibagué, Bucaramanga, Valledupar, Pereira and Manizales.


30.00 %

Mean Recommended Market Exchange Rate



integration, has been to provide a more efficient service for users and for the environment. The impacts that the introduction of these systems has had range from shorter journey times, lower accident rates and fewer greenhouse gas emissions to the creation of quality public space and to these transportation solutions being accessible by people with reduced mobility. D e s p it e t h e s e b e n e f it s , challenges still remain, because poor public transportation in cities, together with a variation in the country’s macroeconomic conditions (see Graph 1), have resulted not only in low user satisfaction figures for the service provided but also in an increase in the use of the private vehicle as a principal transportation option. The intention to use public transportation systems has thus fallen from 78 per cent in 2002 to 48 per cent in 2013.1 This has triggered a whole series of highly complex proble m s b e c au s e , a s t he Gr aph shows, the motorcycle has been the response to mobility problems for a large number of people, and these citizens have, in turn, become the ones most affected by accidents, representing 47.4 per cent of fatal victims in traffic accidents. Although the increase in vehicle purchases is good for the

No information


motor industr y, and hence for the country’s economy, the fact that vehicles are not used properly has had negative effects in cities, because quite apart from these worrying accident figures, increased journey times due to congestion is one of the things people complain about most. Losses caused by traffic jams are estimated to be equivalent to two per cent of GDP. The effects on the environment, and hence the negative implications for health, merely add to the long

list of negative effects of our present mobility system. 22,188 deaths were reported in the two years 2010-2011 from illnesses potentially related to air pollution 2 , and according to NPD estimates, in 2014 the cost of deaths and illnesses attributable to urban air pollution was 12 tr il lion pesos, or 1.59 per cent of the country’s GDP. 2 National Environmental Health Diagnosis, produced by the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.



This situation gives rise to a number of big challenges in planning mobility that goes beyond a basic concept, mobility that not only focuses on highway infrastructure but also takes into account elements that interact with it (subject, specific journey needs, means of transport and territory) and how, on that basis, social models are formed that may or may not contribute to improving quality of life, in line with the balance that exists between society, the environment and the economy. This explains why the nation is currently working on the National Sustainable Mobility Policy, which aims to draw up g u idel ines t hat w i l l help t he regions achieve mobility that is in line with the sustainable

The consolidation of sustainable means of transport should also be encouraged by recognizing the vital role that walking and cycling should play. development of cities, where mobility planning and management recognize the need to plan transportation solutions that are based around the characteristics of cities and their envisaged growth (physical, demographic, social and economic), by means of coordinated work at different levels and the empowerment of planning instr uments (urban and provincial plans and mobility plans) that should become focal points for organizing the territories and city systems that have been formed in the country. 3 PHOTO: DNP


Transmetro station in Barranquilla’s integrated transportation system.

T he consolidation of sust a i nable mea ns of t ra nspor t should also be encouraged by recognizing not only the vital role that walking and cycling should play, given the benefits they represent in terms of public health and quality of urban surroundings, but also the impor tance of public passenger transportation services. These latter are considered to be an essential ser v ice, and are the principal means of transport for most of the population. Hence the value of providing systems that are fairer, more accessible, more sustainable, and safer. Fi n a l ly, a nd i n l i ne w it h the objectives of encouraging the use of sustainable means of transpor t, t he a im is t hat the different means of transport that make up a city’s mobility system should coexist in a responsible manner. In other words, although the motor vehic le and motorc yc le are one response to transportation problems, their share in the overall mobility picture should not affect its sustainability. T he nationa l susta inable mobi lit y polic y is the opportunity to strengthen the work that the nation is doing in conjunction with regional entities to maintain and increase the benefits obtained with the National Urban Transportation Policy and, in turn, to expand the framework used in this to deal with the aforementioned problems.

3 Eighteen urban conglomerations (which bring together 113 municipalities) and 38 single-mode cities.

JUNE 2017


“Executing resources coherently” PENSAMIENTO URBANO: HOW









of their different dynamics, we have to divide these entities into two: municipalities and provinces. In general, fiscal performance was adequate. Unfortunately, at the end of 2016 we were back to a surplus, and I say that because, generally speaking, a surplus in a regional entity (RE) is a sign of a poor execution capability.


we compare it with what happened before 2000, it was outstanding. But compared with the last five years, it’s very similar. For the last seven years we’ve generated a sustainable fiscal surplus in the REs.


From the fiscal point of view, it’s very positive that regional entities are nowadays reporting surpluses rather than deficits. Fiscally, it’s outstanding. But from the formation of capital viewpoint, we’re concerned that funds are remaining in the bank and not being executed. W hy is this? Execution has become very complicated in Colombia, especially in cer tain par ts of the country. In many cases, the complex contracting and control systems mean that REs are frightened to execute. Another reason is that institutions are unable to meet the ‘thousand’ requirements for executing a public work or project. Sometimes provincial governors don’t have enough time to execute funds: it’s as simple as that.


Ana Lucía Villa, a Business Management graduate, has worked for the Ministry of Treasury since 1998.

PHOTO: Carlos Forero

Ana Lucía Villa Arcila, Director General of Fiscal Support at the Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit, reviews how finances are managed by regional entities and describes the challenges faced by those who administer them, in terms of execution.


Sometimes provincial governors don’t have enough time to execute funds: it’s as simple as that.

Montería is notable for the way it manages its finances.


the 2015-2016 fiscal year revealed that it’s the national government that has suffered most, not regional entities. In fact, the most important funds that remain unexecuted include royalties, and although these have fallen, due to the fall in international oil prices, the budgetary structure of the municipalities and provinces has not been affected. P.U.: HOW DID DEBT PERFORM IN 2016? A.L.V.: Regional entity debt has fallen considerably, because with funds unexecuted the indebtedness requirement for financing is less. In fiscal language this is called non-executed balance sheet and royalty funds. Demand for credit has fallen and current debt is well served, and, moreover, we’ve not had any more scares of this kind in regional entities. P.U.: HOW HAS TAX EVOLVED IN THESE REGIONS IN THE PERIOD ANALYZED?

We haven’t had any new taxes. The Tax Reform modified the tax structure on liquor and


PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Álvaro Cardona

A.L.V.: An evaluation at the end of

From the formation of capital viewpoint, we’re concerned that funds are remaining in the bank and not being executed.

cigarettes in the provinces. This is in their favor, and it will be very profitable, if they are capable of adopting an adequate administrative configuration. The principal municipal taxes are property tax and industry and commerce tax, plus the gasoline surcharge, and the behavior of these has been favorable. In general, taxes were 7 per cent up on the previous fiscal year.


impact that is specific to tobacco and it will be very favorable for the REs, and although smuggling is a concern, we believe that if the tax is administered well, it will bring in around 600,000 million pesos.

JUNE 2017

The national government should be capable of simplifying regulations and technical assistance, and understand that this country is diverse. It’s not the same to legislate for Bogotá, Medellín and Cali as for fifth and sixth level municipalities in Upper Guajira. P.U.: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE CURRENT TAX REFORM FOR RES?

Fundamentally it’s liquor that has been affected, although this isn’t part of the Tax Reform, but rather is in a separate law. The Reform deals with the subject of cigarettes, and favors the provinces. Municipal taxes haven’t been touched, so the Reform won’t have a direct effect. There are a number of very important measures, but they aren’t in the Tax Reform, unlike the multipurpose land registry, one of the initiatives the government is promoting and which is strategic to the fiscal sustainability of the municipalities. The idea is to hand it over to the regional entity.


governor knows that he has a reference point on fiscal matters and that he must adhere to what those regulations say. The fiscal result has a lot to do with, I don’t know whether with good or bad practices, but certainly with complying with fiscal discipline regulations.









A.L.V.: There are two areas where we’re working on finding a solution. One is the single accounts plan, to help make the rules of the game clear for regional entities. Acting on advice from the World Bank Monetary Fund, the idea is that this mechanism, in terms of regional management, should be clear on reporting income and controlling expenditure. The other area is not having been able to do away with treasuries. It’s a worrying institutional matter, but we’re looking for a solution.

A.L.V.: One was adopting fiscal dis-



A .L .V.:


T hat’s a ver y difficult question, but I can answer it by pointing to one great asset that Colombia has: fiscal discipline regulations. Despite all the attacks they have received, the Ministry and Ministers have always viewed these regulations as an important asset, especially for the regions. Any elected mayor or provincial A.L.V.:



cipline regulations and reorganizing regional finances in the early 2000s. The crisis in the late-nineties led to all REs ceasing payments and to virtually the whole finance sector going bankrupt, but succeeding in halting this fiscal trend was an important moment in the sustainable decentralization of the country. P.U.: WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING REGIONAL ENTITIES, IN TERMS OF MANAGING THEIR FINANCES? A.L.V.: The big challenge facing REs


A provincial governor or mayor therefore has the problem of not knowing who to attend to first. We at the Ministry of Treasury try to carry out this coordination and to be communicating continually with the different ministries.

Each sector of national government makes a big effort to have links with regional entities, the Ministry of the Interior and others, as well as local people and political organizations. But there’s a lack of interinstitutional coordination, and this can overwhelm the regions. Frequently the attorney general, the comptroller and various ministers are all in a particular region at the same time, and nobody has coordinated this.

comes in the second year of provincial governors’ and mayors’ administrations, with their development plans, since they have to find the way to execute funds properly. The other challenge is to find coherence in their investment projects. P.U.: WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT? A.L.V.: It should be capable of sim-

plifying regulations and technical assistance, and understand that this country is diverse. It’s not the same to legislate for Bogotá, Medellín and Cali as for fifth and sixth level municipalities in Upper Guajira. When it understands that

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Pineda


Among Colombia’s biggest provincial capitals, Barranquilla is recognized for its job creation and good management.

diversity is not just geographical but also a matter of idiosyncrasies in the different communities, legislation will be consistent, yet different in both physical and institutional capacity. P.U.: COULD YOU MENTION A SUCCESSFUL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CASE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY FOR US? A.L.V.: It would be unfair, because there are fourth, fifth and sixth category municipalities, the smallest, that manage their finances excellently, that achieve equilibrium and sustainability. There are ‘capital’ municipalities that do well in terms of capital formation and job creation, and are seemingly well managed. Barranquilla and Montería are notable for their good public management. Córdoba (Quindío), a very small municipality on the edge of the Sierra, is excellent from the fiscal viewpoint and in terms of how to get the community to take part in development. At province level, the only model for work and overcoming difficulties, despite all the problems, is Putumayo. It’s currently the best-managed province in the country.

The big challenge facing REs comes in the second year of provincial governors’ and mayors’ administrations, with their development plans, since they have to find the way to execute funds properly.

JUNE 2017


Metrocable is still expanding: late 2017 will see services begin on Line M, and the Picacho route is also planned.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Natalia Botero


PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Emmanuel Zerbos

Antioquia’s provincial capital is transforming for its people. It has gone a long way towards its goal of becoming a reference point for social innovation and inclusive growth, but there is still much to do. Urban planning, centered around mobility, has been key to this process.

NOTHING IS more democratic

By Federico Gutiérrez Zuluaga, Mayor of Medellín


MEDELLÍN 22 / 23

than a good public transportation system. Connecting areas and providing a service at a reasonable cost and in reasonable times is a prerequisite for improving people’s quality of life. Medellín today is a reference point for other cities in the country and the world, because it boasts an integrated transportation system that consists, among other things, of one metro line, four ‘Metrocable’ lines (five in a few months), buses, a tramway,

and a free bicycle system. We have come a long way, but there is still much to do in terms of fairness and sustainability. The terrain in the city is an obstacle. We are surrounded by mountains, which means that access to certain neighborhoods is complex. This has been an enormous challenge in terms of social inclusion: how could we connect thes e is ol ate d communi t ies and reduce travelling times and problems? Additionally, rapid urban and population growth has

62,447 million pesos was the total investment in the preferential bus lane project.



To be high on the global urban agenda, we have to ‘change the chip’, and we are doing just that. We are working to view mobility from a social and cultural angle, to recognize that it is not just a question of infrastructure or machines, but rather of involving human beings, who make their travel decisions on the basis of their cultural, economic, social and physical surroundings. We are all responsible when it comes to achieving a transportation system that is friendlier and more efficient: the local inhabitant, when he decides to forget his private car, and the state, when it provides the necessary conditions for improving mobility. Coordinated work by the different sectors of our society is essential. Now, as an administration, many of the big projects aim for sustainability based on mobility. We set out to renew 70 per cent of motor vehicles in the city in five years, when the initial target was 20. This means a considerable reduction in PM 2.5 (particles in suspension of that diameter), from 27 tonnes

to 5. Additionally, with a view to encouraging local inhabitants to use public transport, we are providing 84 kilometers of preferential bus lanes, 55 of which are already in use. This project is costing 62,447 million pesos. A y a c u c h o T r a m w a y, o n which ser vices commenced in early 2016, is linked to two new Metrocable lines: H and M. The whole project involves an investment of approximately 752,000 million pesos. The first line is in La Sierra, one of the city’s most deprived neighborhoods, where both infrastructure and an institutional presence are needed. Services began in December 2016. Commercial operation of Line M, in November 13 neighborhood, will commence late this year. We will also build Picacho Metrocable, in the northwestern part of the city, and we are planning the 80th Avenue corridor, in the west, which will connect the city from north to south. These projects are part of a determined commitment to sustainability, and national government funding is therefore required. We are convinced that development in the city should go hand in hand with development of the region. There is a need to talk about common agendas at local and national level, but also to learn good practices from other cities in Latin America that have suffered the same problems we have. It is thus worth mentioning that at Habitat III, in 2016, we signed a technical cooperation agreement with the city of Quito to support it in the building of a public cableway system based on our Metrocable. We also have a lot to


is the volume to which the PM 2.5 (particles in suspension of that diameter) measurement fell in Antioquia’s provincial capital, from 27.

learn from capital cities like Lima or Buenos Aires, where mass transportation systems predominate. Finally, I repeat that guaranteeing a good public transportation system is a moral imperative for local governments, since it is a first step - a big first step - on the path towards building fair, just cities. We should understand that it is not just a question of the ability to move around, but rather a matter of finding many innovative ways of getting from one place to another, of reducing travelling times, stress and pollution as much as possible, and, consequently, of improving our quality of life. Democratizing the system and making it affordable, safe and environment-friendly is not just preparing ourselves for tomorrow, it is starting to project ourselves and to meet the needs of today’s society. Sustainable mobility has ceased to be an option: it has become an obligation.

The Integrated Transportation System, with the Metro at its heart, consists of buses, a tramway, Metrocable, and a free bicycle system.

PHOTO: Medellín City Hall

unquestionably had an impact on people’s wellbeing. T herefore, when we proposed the Medellín we wanted to achieve, sustainability was always high on the agenda, and by ‘sustainable’ we meant a city that projects itself into the future, one that is always trying to improve the quality of life of its people. In terms of mobility, we thus had to face at least two big challenges: reducing social inequality, and quality of the environment.

JUNE 2017


PHOTOS: Medellín Metro


Medellín is a world pioneer of aerial cableway systems for mass transportation. These works have brought about a major change, and meet the need for mobility, fairness, inclusion and positive transformation.

By Tomás Andrés Elejalde Escobar General Manager, Medellín Metro


MEDELLÍN 24 / 25

ON AUGUST 7, 2004, in a landmark move, Medellín Metro inaugurated the first aerial cableway system specializing in the provision of a continuous mass transportation service for passengers. Similar systems that existed in the world prior to that date were solely for tourism purposes. The Antioquia transportation company made the headlines in

national newspapers at the time, and the event was even reported by the international press. It was an innovative work of social engineering, devised as a way of using ingenuity and technology to solve a society’s problems and meet its needs. Metrocable Line K, running from Acevedo metro station to Santo Domingo Savio neighborhood,

linked people living in those areas in the northeastern commune to the rest of the city, integrating them with Antioquia’s provincial capital for the first time, because previously, getting to the center, for example, involved taking two buses and spending a lot of time and money. “We’re going to go to Medellín”, some of those who lived on the mountainside used to say, as if they were not already part of the city. Metrocable made life more dignified, shortened distances, attracted other works, and led to institutions, the private sector and the rest of the city turning their attention to this area where basic social and economic needs had historically not been satisfied. Gradually it was transformed, people hitherto invisible were discovered, undertakings were set up and innovations developed that started to reflect the great wealth that existed in these deprived neighborhoods, where violence had reigned in the eighties and nineties. Line K made them famous. Tourists from all over the world began to arrive. Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alber to Moreno, former German President Joachim Gauck, American professor and 2001 Nobel Economics Laureate Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, Japanese academic Hakio Hozono and even Spain’s royal family, among many other leading figures from the academic, social and political world, travelled on Metrocable and walked the streets of Santo Domingo Savio neighborhood, a place where for many people it had formerly been unthinkable to go.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Natalia Botero


Metro Culture programs bring people from the area together, including children and youngsters, to create a sense of belonging.

More than

30,000 people use Metrocable every day.

Everything improved as a result of the necessary social work being planned well in advance. Three years before construction work on the line began, Metro staff went to the area to find out who their new neighbors would be, identify the community’s leaders, approach education establishments and traders, and also support, both institutionally and socially and from beginning to end, the few inhabitants who needed to sell their properties because they would be affected by the project. Thus it was that the company built a friendly and trusting relationship and took part in community activities, and when the Metrocable was finished a number of social shielding programs commenced, such as Metro Friends, which aims to get children living in areas around the stations to learn through games and play why the transportation system is important and why they should care for it and treat it as their own. Metro Culture was thus developed into an educational, social and cultural model that covers user training, living in harmony and

following the rules for using the system, and caring for and respecting other people and public works, for all of which games and cultural activities were arranged. The Metro was there to stay, and today, almost 12 years after the first Metrocable began operating, the company still provides a sustainable daily service for over 30,000 users. All the Metro Culture programs are also still running for people living near the stations, such as Community Christmas and gatherings for children arranged by Metro Friends and with youngsters from the School for Leaders, which trains people who are committed to the development of their communities. Life in the city today is unthinkable without the Metro and Metrocables, which visitors to the city always head for and witness for themselves the social transformation they generate. EXPANSION PROJECTS

The positive experience with Line K formed the basis for the city’s second cable line, Line J, which was inaugurated four years later and benefited the western part of

JUNE 2017


PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Pienda

Arvi Park is reached by Metrocable Line L.

Medellín. The two Metrocable lines, J and K, were integrated with the Metro both physically and for fares, meaning that users paid only once. In 2010 a third Metrocable line began operating, this time for tourists. This was Line L, or the Arvi cableway, which takes passengers arriving off Line K to a nature reserve with 16,000 hectares of woodland and green zones in the village of Santa Elena. This is a rural area where countryfolk who love their land grow a brightly colored variety of flowers throughout the year, which they later display in Medellín’s traditional flower parade. O n De cemb er 27, 2016, the media reported more positive news. The Metro system had spread its arms as far as the east-central commune, with Line H, the fourth Metrocable line. This is one of two lines that are linked to the Ayacucho tramway and the metro system, thus allowing passengers to use different modes of


MEDELLÍN 26 / 27

transport for the same fare, thereby reducing costs and travelling times considerably. This line starts at the Ayacucho tramway’s Oriente stop, has an intermediate stop in the Las Torres area, and ends at Villa Sierra station. The system is particularly useful for Commune 8, Villa Hermosa. Neighborhoods like La Sierra were very deprived after years of violence, but the story is a very different one today in this part of the city. “Times were very hard in the neighborhood, but all that suffering is behind us now. Nowadays we live in peace”, recalls Jazmín Villalobos, who has lived there with her husband and three children for 18 years. “I thank God that I was able to bring up my children to be good people. One of them works as a security guard in Itagüí, another is at university, and the little one is at school”, she adds. On the day of the inauguration Jazmín, who is a representative of her community, received a small cablecar as a symbol of the service and

Because of the experience the company has gained with the Metrocables, it has given advice in Rio de Janeiro, Manizales and Bogotá, and in the town of El Peñol.

as a commitment by users to take care of it from Medellín’s Mayor, Federico Gutiérrez. “Metrocable is a blessing for me. It has improved everyone’s economy, my children get home quicker, people feel there’s more culture, kids play in the park they built above the station, and at night we do aerobics in a very healthy environment”, says Jazmín. In her house she runs a community playschool for 13 children between the ages of 1 and 5, from 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Monday to Friday. It’s hard work: she cooks lunch, gives them a mid-morning snack, and also plays with them and teaches them. Her home is opposite the final Metrocable station, and she saw this as an opportunity to increase her income. She divided the house up so she could have a small shop where she and her husband sell soft drinks, juices, pies, snacks, and sometimes even breakfasts and lunches.

But the most important thing for her is that, in addition to the new sources of income for her family, her children can get home quicker and do not have to get up so early. One of them, Brayan Sosa, who is 18, is studying software development at Jaime Isaza Cadavid Polytechnic. “Before, to go to classes, he used to walk down almost two blocks to catch the bus, and then in the center he took the Metro. Now, as we have Metrocable right here opposite, he can leave home at 5.30 a.m. and with just one ticket he can go down, change to the tramway and then take the Metro to Poblado station”. This is barely 100 meters form the Polytechnic. Ever more people are therefore using the city’s fourth Metrocable, which runs to the same schedule as the rest of the system, namely from 4.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. Before the gates open every morning, people can be seen waiting to take the cablecar down, and at the end of the day many wait at Oriente station to go back up the mountain to Commune 8, which at night looks like an illuminated crib. “I use Metrocable every day, then the tramway and the metro, to get to Itagüí station, because I work there. The system is excellent, because you can go a long way for not much money. I used to spend 8,000 pesos per day on transport, but now I only pay 4,000. Generally speaking, we are very proud of the progress the neighborhood has made because of this project”, says Jennifer Hincapié, a young girl from La Sierra neighborhood as she waits to board one of the cablecars. One important contribution these systems have made is in

air quality. In 2016, for example, 20,300 fewer tonnes of CO2 were released into the atmosphere because of the Metrocables, an impact worth 3,059 million pesos. Lines H, J, K and L, all fully operating, and the future Picacho and Line M systems, are currently certified by the United Nations as Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM). As a result of this contribution to the environment, the Metro issues green bonds on the international market so that companies the world over can buy them and redeem the pollution they generate. Because of the experience the company has gained with the

PHOTO: Medellín Metro


Metrocable made life dignified, shortened distances, attracted other works, and led to people turning their attention to this area where basic needs had historically not been satisfied. Metrocables, it has given advice on how to implement these projects in Rio de Janeiro, Manizales and Bogotá, and in the town of El Peñol, in eastern Antioquia. The Metrocables have undoubtedly had a dual meaning for the Metro: a challenge and an achievement. A challenge because, as already mentioned, a cablecar system had never before been used anywhere in the world in an everyday mass passenger transportation context, let alone connected to a metro system. And an achievement because nowadays it carries over 12 million passengers per year and has made a valuable contribution to the region, not only in terms of sustainable mobility but also by improving social

conditions. The Metro is therefore socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. It is precisely these achievements that can be seen when watching some Afro-descendant children dance around a teacher in the small square at Villa Sierra station. Many of them, who live in areas like Chocosito, enjoy the children’s games and the gymnastics equipment. Jazmín enthusiastically relates all her experiences of the Metrocable. “I never imagined I would meet people from abroad, because visitors have come from the United States, Germany, and even a man from Spain who bought a pineapple juice from me and then a mango one”, she says. These cabins suspended from steel cables carry illusions, banish fears and break paradigms, and in the air, feelings of inclusion, equality and empowerment spring as if by magic from parts of the city that were unknown to their inhabitants for years.

JUNE 2017


80 Avenue Corridor: th


Construction of the 80th Avenue corridor confirms Medellín’s status as a worldwide multimodal transportation reference point, not only because of its services portfolio but also because of its ability to adapt and innovate, economically and environmentally.

PEOPLE WHO know Medellín or

live there know that 80th Avenue crosses the city from north to south as it winds its way through the west of the city, where 38 per cent of its population live: in other words, approximately a million persons.


MEDELLÍN 28 / 29

When the light metro is fully up and running there, it will benefit not only those who live in the eight communes and 35 neighborhoods it serves, but also everyone living in the metropolitan area. Distances will be less, due to the

city boasting a structural transportation system consisting of trains, Metrocables, buses and a tramway, which will shortly be joined by a light metro. Passengers will be able to transfer from one means of transport to another, travel long


PHOTOS: 80th Avenue Corridor

is to invest in a sustainable, environment-friendly public transportation system. IS THIS POSSIBLE?

By Felipe Vélez Roa

Manager, 80th Avenue Corridor; law graduate from Pontificia Bolivariana University with Top Management Studies at Los Andes University.

distances and reach neighborhoods they never before knew, all for the same fare. A mass urban migration begins every day before sunrise. Some people walk or ride bicycles, while others prefer motorcycles and private vehicles which cause pollution indices to shoot up, because 80 per cent of pollutants come from mobile sources. Long lines of vehicles, motorcycles and buses build up at traffic lights and roundabouts, emitting tonnes of polluting agents into the city’s air and harming the local inhabitants’ quality of life. This scenario is frequent, both at peak times and off-peak. It is a scene that is repeated every morning, but the solution does not lie in building more roads. At the time of writing, Medellín is on the verge of a new environmental emergency. Air pollution levels are high and our valley simply cannot take more vehicles, so the most responsible measure the state should adopt

The current administration is committed to building a light tramway 13.5 kilometers long, which will have five intermodal stations and 15 stops. It will thus be able to carry over 280,000 people per day and will reduce travelling times by 21% in this part of the city. Our commitment, when we designed the 2016-2019 Medellín is Counting on You Development Plan, was to plan the city for the long term, based on sustainability principles. The light metro on the 80 th Avenue corridor will thus meet present and future demand for this mass means of transport and also the commitment to the environment, providing a boost for a transportation system that uses clean fuel and electric energy and which will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 28,000 tonnes per year, the same amount that is produced by 14,000 private vehicles during the same period. The 80 th Avenue corridor is the second most important in the city, after the one that runs along the river, since it links areas with different characteristics and has every type of trading establishment, hospitals, leisure zones,

28,000 tonnes of CO2

(carbon dioxide) per year is the forecast saving in air pollution in the area of Medellín where the 80th Avenue corridor will be built.

The light metro will be 13.5 kilometers long and have five intermodal stations and 15 stops.

shopping malls, large stores, education establishments and other services along its length. But there is also a need to look at the many public areas that have been affected by the multiplicity of economic activities on 80th Avenue, in eight of Medellín’s sixteen communes. Extensive green zones that existed years ago in residential areas have given way to a concrete jungle, with land use changing from residential to commercial, and this has had a negative effect on public space, since it is hardly conducive to use by people with reduced mobility, while children and the elderly find it aggressive, because apart from anything else it favors a car-centered lifestyle. Because of its geographical location and its morphology, Medellín has decided to adopt a more orderly growth model, since it aims to be a city where people can walk and enjoy fresh air, but if we are to achieve this, we must change the way we get around today. This model, which sets out to return the city to its inhabitants and to discourage private vehicle use, requires investment in the mobility pyramid: at the top must come the pedestrian, followed by non-motorized means of transport (bicycle) and, finally, mass and collective public transportation. It is there where the state should concentrate its investment. But when we talk of strengthening the public transportation system, we also mean it in social terms. “Nothing creates greater social distances today in Medellín and in other Colombian and Latin American cities than the way we

JUNE 2017



Va r i o u s p l a n n i n g i n s t r u ments, such as the 2008-2020 Metropolitan Development Plan, the 2030 Bio-Guidance Plan, the 2014 Land Use Plan, the 2030 Metro Expansion and Trust in the Future Plan and the 20162019 Medellín is Counting on You Development Plan, view the 80th Avenue corridor as an extension of the integrated transportation system to the western part of Medellín. This project, which is currently at the feasibility stage, brings together two complementary concepts: the mobility corridor and the green corridor. The result of studies conducted in 2010 and 2015 was that a light metro should be the technology selected for the mobility corridor: a tram vehicle that runs on an exclusive right of way and has steel wheels. Many systems were compared and a multi-criterion analysis was carried out, which determined that this technology is the best


MEDELLÍN 30 / 31

This model sets out to return the city to its inhabitants and to discourage private vehicle use.

option because it meets current, and above all, future, demand along the corridor, especially in an area with a high growth potential. This selection also took into account technical limitations in the corridor, the interaction with an elevated metro line, technological compatibility with the current operation, and execution problems. But above all, the criteria where the light metro came out on top were its environmental footprint, because it is a non-polluting electrical system, together with its cost, and the urban insertion it makes possible. We talk of the 80 th Avenue corridor rather than the 80 th Avneue light metro because it is a comprehensive work rather than just a transportation system, one that will change development and the urban context in western Medellín for ever, a project that plans a building-by-building intervention in the area of influence with a transforming impact on culture and safety, one that will create a favorable environment for peaceful coexistence and will allow for social inclusion and an increase in the city’s resilience. TRANSPORT-ORIENTATED DEVELOPMENT

Corridors connect and compact in this project, since they help concentrate goods and services around them. New centers are

RENDERS: 80th Avenue Corridor

move around, because the people who pay the most are the ones who have the least”, Medellín’s Mayor, Federico Gutiérrez constantly says. 80 th Avenue is thus a vital, dynamic and productive part of the city, one which requires work that is consistent with the great effort that has been made for decades by the different local, regional and national administrations and even multilateral entities and organizations to make Medellín a leading player in the country and the region, and one of the most sustainable cities.

thus promoted around stations, and a mobility solution is created that enables inhabitants to move around more efficiently. Multimodal transportation in Medellín should aim to connect areas of influence, so that they are more accessible by ordinary people. We therefore envisage a footpath network along the line of the corridor which, in addition to being commercial, will revive real estate dynamics with new buildings near station accesses, located approximately every 500 meters, the idea being that a person can cover this distance in a mere 10 minutes. T his intermodal concept should also include traditional means of transport like the bicycle, because of its efficiency and the fact that it does not pollute. There will also be a network of


cycleways along the corridor, with cycle parking lots, and this will be coordinated with the public bicycle system that has been growing, in order to reach stations in the mass transportation system. This high-demand corridor, which will have a first class transportation system, means that public transport in the macro-area will have to be restructured so that each subsystem feeds into a bigger one and mobility in the area is reorganized. GREEN CORRIDOR

This project is fundamental to sustainability, since it will perform ecological and landscape connectivity functions and is associated with eight streams: La Guayabala, Alta Vista, La Picacha, La Matea, Ana Díaz, La Hueso, La Iguaná and Malpaso. It will also help combat

The light metro tramway that will be built along this corridor will carry

280,000 people per day.

the general rise in temperature in the city by making the ground more permeable, and will have significant bio-climatic effects, with a drop in temperature of 2°C to 3°C and better flood mitigation in the rainy season. Ecolog y has the potential to act as a driving force for longterm sustainable design and environmental quality. This project will therefore offset the impacts that occur while it is being carried out by compensating for the quantitative shortage of trees and quality public space with trees that provide shade and improve the city’s health. METRO CULTURE

Medellín’s inhabitants and authorities have shown that every peso invested in mass transport

and urban development has been worthwhile. People’s quality of life has improved notably in areas where those investments have been made, and visitors can see how every station, every metro car, cablecar, and now even every tram vehicle is proudly cared for. We have made them available to every Colombian and foreigner who visits us, and the culture that has grown up around them is recognized worldwide. There is even evidence to indicate that levels of peaceful coexistence have increased in areas of influence. Medellín and its inhabitants need and deserve this project, and it will become a reality so that the city can be more sustainable and an example of public urban transportation policy that fosters sustainable, smart territories.

The light metro is a cost-efficient, non-polluting system. The project involves not only the transportation system but also a revitalization of the whole area.

JUNE 2017



An EPM public charging point for electric vehicles.



With initiatives like vehicular natural gas and charging points for electric cars, EPM is committed to making Medellín the most innovative city in Colombia.

AS IT strives to help develop

the areas where it operates and to contribute to improving the quality of life of the community, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) is progressing along the route to sustainable mobility


MEDELLÍN 32 / 33

with initiatives like vehicular natural gas (VNG), rapid public charging points for electric vehicles, and slow domestic charging points where inhabitants of the Aburrá valley can ask to have a charger installed at their home or company for their vehicles. EPM is a leader in the field of electric mobility and brings other parties together to promote the use of this technology. No longer is sustainable mobility a dream for the future, it is here today. Thus, together with authorities producers, distributors, vendors and importers of electric vehicles with two or more wheels - and suppliers of charging equipment, financial entities and insurance companies, the company is working toward achieving mass usage of this technology in a few

years, as has been the case with other technologies. Innovation in the energy business can, in our opinion, be divided into two major objectives: introducing new, clean sources, such as solar and wind power, with a view to achieving greater efficiency in the energy generated, and creating new uses for energy. And it is in this latter field that the electric mobility project becomes very important, since it leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions, offers a more rational use of energy in electric vehicles, and opens up opportunities for the country to diversify its clean energy network. STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITY

A quick glance at energ y use figures for the country reveals


By Jorge Londoño de la Cuesta General Manager, EPM

that the transportation sector consumes 37% of the total and that 54% of this is diesel fuel; in other words, vehicular natural gas (VNG) represents only six per cent of the figure. This is the main cause of the pollution problem in many cities, where most of the public transport fleet (buses and trucks) is not only more than ten years old but also runs on diesel fuel, which generates most particle material. In 2010, EPM began to study what was going on in the motor vehicle world and also the growth in sales of electric vehicles and in segments such as motorcycles, cars and buses, plus the continual developments and improvements that were being published by the principal manufacturers of batteries. The increase in energy accumulation capacity in batteries over the last ten years, coupled to falling prices, points to a very bright future for manufacturers who are fully aware of environmental demands and international climate change commitments. It is the perfect scenario for electric vehicles to take center stage. As in many other countries, environmental and economic

6 %: the vehicular natural gas (VNG) consumption figure for the transportation sector in Colombia.


the number of vehicles converted to VNG in the Aburrá valley, eastern Antioquia and Urabá.

policies in Colombia have resulted in strict regulations for dealing with air quality and mobility problems in cities, and these have led to improvements being stipulated for fuels and a requirement for lower emissions of CO, NOx and SOx, and of PM10 and PM2.5 material, which are responsible for a high percentage of respiratory illnesses. It is important to take up the challenge and to make long-term decisions and commitments to achieve cities with low air pollution indices, less noise, and safer and more efficient mobility. WELL-BEING FOR THE COMMUNITY

EPM began its vehicular natural gas program in 2002, when it joined forces with private and governmental entities to offer users of this fuel environmental and economic benefits, and to replace a portion of traditional ones. That same year it started an electric vehicle pilot program, the aim being to validate efficiency, power, autonomy and reliability, and to learn all about slow and fast charging infrastructure. The first two public charging points entered service in 2015, and this year it is envisaged that 30 slow public charging points will be installed in different parts of the Aburrá valley, such as at hospitals, universities and shopping malls, so that people can leave their vehicle charging while they go shopping or to a restaurant or

class. Three new rapid charging points will also be installed at strategic sites with easy access. We expect the price of electric vehicles to fall, and that they will gradually enter the market and hence energy figures for each sector will improve, but the priority lies in public services, because we are convinced that that is where all of us will gain most: taxi and bus operators, users, and the community in general. In conjunction with Medellín m u n i c i p a l i t y, t h e A b u r r á Valley Metropolitan Area and Metropolis, we are thus committed to carrying out a pilot program with two electric buses and, at the same time, a further pilot program with taxis (50 or more), in an attempt to care for the environment and to provide people with healthier air. EPM is also passing on its knowledge and local experience to national and international affiliates, because this opportunity has no limits, and it will be future generations that will benefit from the innovative projects we undertake today. We know we are not alone in this, that other organizations are doing similar things and that the time will come when market conditions will enable us to work together to establish charging infrastructure networks on national highways, meaning that electric mobility will cease to be merely urban and become limitless.

It is important to make long-term decisions and commitments to achieve cities with low air pollution indices, less noise, and safer and more efficient mobility.

JUNE 2017


A Reference Point

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Sergio Gaitán


The escalator project also led to local inhabitants being able to enjoy new leisure and meeting places.

The escalators in Medellín’s Commune 13 are an example of urban innovation that not only involves physical structures but also modifying behavior patterns and reviving a sense of belonging through a work that benefits everyone. T HE E SC AL ATOR system in

By Jaime Bermúdez Mesa Manager, Urban Development Company (EDU)


MEDELLÍN 34 / 35

the upper par t of Medellín’s Commune 13 has not only brought the community together, it has also become a tourist attraction and has created new opportunities to progress for people who live in its area of inf luence. The aim was to introduce a mobility system that

would transform communities historically isolated due to intra-urban violence. The concept of innovation is particularly important, because it implies making available to the community works that change the dynamics of the way it thinks in the search for alternatives that will change its quality of life. The escalators

in Las Independencias neighborhood, in the upper part of Commune 13, enable 12,000 people who formerly used 350 concrete steps to now go up and down quickly and in comfort. It is nevertheless much more than just this. The local inhabitants now have reasons to think about their environment, to study and to look for business alternatives as they take advantage of the boom in tourism the escalators have brought. Locals point to the fact that the escalators are not just a transportation system, since they help to fine-tune integration and foster pride in a work that was built by and for the community, which expresses its gratitude for the project every day and hopes it will be more and more of a tourist attraction in an area with greater security. When a work meets the local population’s needs and those same people play a leading role in carrying it out, it increases their sense of belonging. They start using public spaces, and the conflict gradually loses ground. And this is without taking pedagogical coexistence processes into account. The fact that families now enjoy leisure activities or simply stop to chat for a while in areas that used to be dark, dirty and lonely means that coexistence conditions are improving. The Medellín City Hall and Urban Development Company (EDU) Social Urban Development philosophy is expressed in this project, as it allows the community to be jointly responsible for works that are carried out, with the result that the community takes care of those works and enjoys them. This is the very essence

of promoting urban innovation, since it brings together such factors as community participation, local government assistance, understanding by technicians and support for efficient information systems. It is building a city collectively, thus ensuring that public space is appropriated and protected as an expression of the manifest common interest. The escalator infrastructure helps build a sense of community. These projects give value to everyday matters that make life in the neighborhood better, like sitting on balconies, playing in the street, chatting on a terrace or having a coffee in the local shop. People start to go out and make use of urban facilities, while children use terraces and ramps to meet their friends and play where formerly there were just steps and dark, narrow corridors full of trash and rubble. Here, town planning is a great opportunity to create new reference points that go beyond the merely physical and are signs of a city that has evolved in its search for a better future. The main advantage is that people who live near the project, in addition to using the escalators, can enjoy new public areas where they can gather, thus fostering coexistence. The project also makes other needs in the area visible, resulting in other programs being introduced in the city. This initiative also stimulated an interest by local leaders in administering their own projects. Examples of action taken with encouragement from EDU include assisting Terminales MedellĂ­n, the operator of the escalators, in continuing the educational activities that were carried out for several years.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Pineda


The six double escalator sections in Las Independencias neighborhood was openned to the public in early 2012.

12,000 people who formerly used

350 concrete steps

now go up and down quickly and in comfort.

The idea is to make the work a reference point for tourists in the city, to break down community isolation, and to allow access by the state, thereby boosting the local economy, since there are already a number of places and projects that could become attractive to tourists and passers-by. The escalators in the upper part of Commune 13 are thus proof that urban innovation with excellent social and economic results in vulnerable areas is a real possibility, since it brings with it a change of culture towards a modern, just society.

JUNE 2017



to innovation hub With a strategy designed to include science, technology and innovation in its industries, Antioquia’s provincial capital has succeeded in synchronizing its economic development with sustainability and progress. How has it done it?

The Ruta N building is the heart of Medellín’s Innovation District.

mark on the ground, and Medellín is no exception. Known in the 19th century as ‘the industrial capital of Colombia’, the city developed the necessary infrastructure to support that manufacturing activity and boost its development. Today, Medellín is looking to ‘hack’ that linear economic development system and to add science, technology and innovation to it. This does not mean that industrial or manufacturing activities have taken a back seat. The aim is for those traditional factories or industries to generate value, create jobs and grow by making them innovative, and also to attract companies that want to conquer


MEDELLÍN 36 / 37

PHOTO: César Martínez

ALL URBAN processes leave their

Latin America from this region and boost new knowledge businesses. We had to pass through various stages before we arrived at this reflection and/or conclusion. Above all, the industrial city we used to talk of had to realize that without

1 Specifically, the Medellín Science, Technology and Innovation Plan, Agreement 024 of 2012, approved by Medellín Council. 2 In 2013 it won the ‘Most Innovative City in the World’ award, granted by Citi Group, the Urban Land Institute and Wall Street Journal. 3 Global Innovation Cities Index, published by Australian agency 2ThinkNow.



By Alejandro Franco Restrepo

Director, Ruta N Corporation, Medellín

change it was not going to be competitive in a globalized world. The rest is a combination of political decisions and preexisting conditions on the ground. It was the public administration that decided to form an entity like Ruta N and to promote business based on science, technology and innovation, but it is also true that Medellín had the necessary conditions for this to happen, with some of the best universities and big economic groups in the country and a private sector that was committed to regional development. Medellín’s commitment to innovation is essentially economic, but it is also social and urban. The city found its production vocation in innovation, particularly in the energy, health and IT sectors, regulated it in a public policy1, and drew up a promotion and attraction strategy. This initiative is based on four key ingredients of worldwide innovation ecosystems that have a direct impact, namely training suitable personnel, access to capital, project development, and the establishment of suitable environments. Medellín’s success lies in the fact that it set out to prepare itself for taking full advantage of this plan. A ZONE FOR THE FUTURE

As Medellín worked to ensure that innovation became a trademark of the city, a differentiating factor and


the number of jobs created in Medellín since the Innovation District was formed.

154 foreign

companies from


countries have set up in business in Antioquia’s provincial capital with this valued added system.

a characteristic that was common to both public and private initiatives, it also searched for details of how other cities around the world had transformed themselves for the better. We therefore looked at examples like Boston and Barcelona, where we witnessed the need for physical space if this strategy was to materialize. Thus the Medellín Innovation District came into being, a project covering over 115 hectares in three neighborhoods: Jesús Nazareno, Sevilla, and Chagualo. Having an Innovation District in Medellín has so far enabled 2,939 jobs to be created and brought 154 new companies to the city from more than 20 countries. But it has also made the city a global reference point on the subject. EAFIT University Chancellor Juan Luis Mejía Arango once said that the only international journalists who visited Medellín in the 1990s were war correspondents. Today, the city is known around the world for its commitment to innovation2. One of the most positive aspects of building the Innovation District, moreover, is that it was done with the help of the community. Over 120 workshops have been held with local inhabitants because, unlike other experiences where the local population has been excluded, this project aims for social and economic inclusion. It is also true that although references were sought from innovation ecosystems already developed, the Innovation District is tailor-made for Medellín and its skills, abilities and practices. A commitment like this involves regional planning processes, and the Innovation District was

therefore included as a macro-project in the development plan for the city that was approved in 2015. WORLDWIDE HUB

Although the goal of making innovation the principal driving force behind Medellin’s economic development is a medium- and long-term one, achievements are already starting to be seen. The most recent Global Innovation Cities Index3 classified the city as a global innovation hub. This is due not only to the city’s positive indices on related issues but also to local cultural and infrastructure matters. Being an innovation hub puts Medellín on a par with major Latin American cities like Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, and it is also the first Colombian city in this category. This recognition continues to make the city attractive for startups and innovative global projects and sends out a clear message, that growth is possible from Medellín to Latin America and the world. The experience of Antioquia’s provincial capital is relevant to other cities, because it shows that by planning and defining a production vocation and through collective work by all members of society involved, regional sustainability and development can be given a boost. It is innovative, resilient, and undoubtedly a clear example of a transformation that is reflected not only in urban or infrastructure matters but also in a social and cultural metamorphosis. We at Ruta N and the city’s administration, and also the inhabitants themselves, believe that the best is yet to come.

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Julio Martínez

According to the 2015 Mobility Survey, it takes approximately 119 minutes to cross Bogotá. The average in Medellín is 91 minutes.


THE TRAFFIC JAM Development of urban mobility cannot be seen as a battle lost, rather as an opportunity to be more innovative and to improve people’s quality of life.



By Bruce Mac Master President, National Entrepreneurs of Colombia Association (ANDI)

12.7 million journeys are made in Bogotá every day.

COLOMBIAN CITIES have mobility problems, but at the same time, they offer great opportunities to innovate. To resolve these issues, and also the implications they could have for competitiveness, various proposals contained in Urban Planning documents (POT) and the Intermodal Transportation Master Plan (PMT1) need to be executed. It should be stressed that not all the solutions involve budgetary action, and the skills and willingness of entrepreneurs, political leaders and ordinary people are essential. According to National Planning Department (NPD) estimates by its Cities System Strengthening Mission, 85 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from cities, where 76 per cent of the population live. It is estimated that by 2050 the country will have an urban population of 54.5 million (in other words, 85 per cent of the total), and at least 69 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants (the current figure is around 47). Colombia therefore needs a planning strategy for urban areas

that provides a boost for the regions, and for their inhabitants and activities. It is thus inevitable to think of mobility as an essential, transverse factor in the development of Colombian cities. It is so relevant, in fact, that it has a direct impact on inhabitants’ purchasing power and quality of life, and also on industry and trade in the national economy. As the NPD aptly states in its book Cities System,1 “In an urban context, mobility is important for productivity because it connects the worker to his job, but it also has a bearing in terms of equality, because it ensures access to services and opportunities. Finally, a guarantee of connectivity within the cities system allows the country to fully exploit opportunities for trade”. The 2015 Mobility Survey estimates that 12.7 million journeys are made every day in Bogotá alone. Similarly, as far as cargo transportation is concerned, the survey reveals that an average of 97,000

journeys are made every day, with 28,049 trucks entering and leaving the city. The NPD Mission, meanwhile, states that “it can take more than an hour and a half to cross cities (Bogotá 119 minutes, Medellín 91 minutes, Barranquilla 82 minutes, Cartagena 45 minutes)”. Let’s look at competitiveness for a moment. According to the 2015 National Logistics Survey, for every 100 pesos in sales, 15 are spent on logistics processes. If we compare this with the rest of the world, it becomes clear that logistics costs in Colombia are among the highest: Latin America 14.7 per cent, Paraguay 12.9 per cent, United States 8.7 per cent, and an OECD average of 6 per cent.2 The diagnosis carried out in the survey concludes that logistics operations in cities constitute a big bottleneck in the value chain for industrialists and traders. Budget is not the only solution to mobility problems. There is a need

According to studies by ANDI, for every 100 pesos in sales, 15 have to be invested in logistics operations.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Guillermo Torres

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Alejandro Acosta


1 NPD and IDB, ‘Cities System. Transportation: Congestion and Mobility’. 2 2016-2017 National Competitiveness Report.

JUNE 2017


to innovate using new technologies and by modernizing management, and there is therefore also a need for planning, with personnel who can provide technical and methodical, rather than political, support, so that projects can succeed, irrespective of changes of administration.

32.3 %

High transportation costs Insufficient highways, ports and airports

21.1 %

Lack of logistics information systems

19.7 %

Complex customs procedures

11.8 %

Congestion and pollution problems require quick solutions, such as: • Smart signposting • Promoting the use of fast roads by reducing the number of entry and exit points, and also traffic lights


Lack of adequate loading and unloading areas

32.3 %

Insufficient highway infrastructure and congestion

22.0 %

Lack of logistics staff Insufficient logistics zones and/ or high warehouse prices

Constructing bays: • Compulsory at health centers • Bus stops on narrow roads • At strategic points throughout the city for emergency use (ambulances, police, fire brigade)

16.9 % 10.2 %

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Andrés González

SOURCE: 2015 National Logistics Survey, Colombia is Logistics

For loading and unloading operations: • Encourage nighttime loading and unloading operations • Develop and optimize bus and taxi terminals • Demand cargo vehicles less than ten years’ old, to mitigate pollution There are various initiatives in the POT which stipulate that every plan should be backed by passenger and cargo mobility studies that take the city’s provisioning needs into account. It is worth mentioning that the PMT2 study analyzed the 38 cities where access has the biggest impact on national competitiveness or seaports, etc. Average speed is affected when long-distance and urban traffic mix. Speeds generally fall on reaching urban perimeters.





Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta. With a score of 6.45, the Caribbean region is above the national average for logistics services and industry.

In line with international experience, measures aimed at optimizing urban access routes include actions, in addition to increasing capacity, relating to private, cargo and public transportation and highway infrastructure, as well as the forming of region-cities that become more competitive and have a high investment index and innovation model projects. It is essential for public policy on urban access to be defined, for progress to be made on technical studies aimed at detailing investment needs, and for co-financing

Access roads to cities, ports, airports and other transfer hubs should be consistent with the various competitiveness initiatives, in order to reduce traveling times and logistics costs.

agreements to be established between the national government and regional entities for carrying out investment projects that boost cities and their areas of influence. Access roads to cities, ports, airports and other transfer hubs should thus be consistent with the various competitiveness initiatives, so that traveling times and logistics costs can be reduced as environmental sustainability and infrastructure service level increase. Mass transport use should also be fostered, as proposed in Law 105 of 1991, in order to integrate rail routes with areas of greatest influence and reduce dependence on other means of transport such as the car, bus and truck, while changing to cleaner and more efficient technologies. Development of urban mobility cannot be seen as a battle lost, rather as an opportunity to be more innovative.

BIBLIOGRAPHY • World Bank, NPD (2012). Transportation: Congestion and Mobility. In Cities System. • Private Competitiveness Council (2016). 2016-2017 National Competitiveness Report. Bogotá, D.C. • NPD (October 21, 2014). CONPES document 3819: ‘National Policy on Consolidating the Cities System in Colombia’. CONPES document. Bogotá, D.C., Colombia. • NPD, UN-Habitat (2014). Transport: Congestion and Mobility. In Cities System Mission. Bogotá, D.C. • NPD (2015). Colombia is Logistics. Bogotá, D.C.

JUNE 2017


Mobilit y in Bogotá would get four, at the very most. The city is facing every challenge you could possibly imagine in terms of mobility. We have public transport that is not only expensive, it also provides a deficient service and at certain times of day, especially during pea k per iods, is insufficient. There are road infrastructure limitations which affect buses and private vehicles alike, and the problem with motorcycles is growing all the time. We lack major highway infrastructure for enter ing t he c it y a nd for non-motorized means of transport, and all that’s without even mentioning the debts the city has on all mobility fronts.

PHOTO: Francisco Contreras


Eduardo Behrentz, Vice-Chancellor, Development, at Los Andes University and an expert in mobility and transportation, talked with Pensamiento Urbano about mobility today and in the future in Bogotá.



per square kilometer–one of the highest in the world–and this brings further complications and problems, such as overcrowding and a lack of roads and public space. Thus, although town planning literature and good practices say that a well-planned city should be dense, in Bogotá this phenomenon has been synonymous not so much with good planning as with improvisation. P.U.: WHAT ARE THE MAIN MOBILITY PROBLEMS IN BOGOTÁ? E.B.: The first is insufficient public

transport in various parts of the city, especially at times of peak demand, coupled to the dreadful quality of the service. The second problem is that because of the high population density, the road infrastructure is not good, and to this must be added poor intersections and the absence of underpasses and flyovers.





WHAT’S THE DIAGNOSIS? E . B . : Wit h g reat l i m it at ions. Despite being a big cit y w ith more than eight million inhabitants, it’s excessively compact. Additionally, it has a population density of 20,000 inhabitants

As a concept, SITP is the solution. A recent study shows that every developed city in the world has an integrated transportation system where fares are unified, there’s planning, and people can travel using different modes. The intention here is excellent,


but the problem lies w ith implementation, the awarding of contracts, and the problems that certain concession holders have– some of them are currently bankrupt. Implementation is where the challenge lies.


P.U.: IS BUILDING THE METRO A NECESSITY? E.B.: As a long-term project it’s fundamental, especially along corridors where demand is high, such as Caracas Avenue, which handles 55,000 passengers per hour. There, it’s key to have a heavy and truly ‘mass’ transportation model; TransMilenio is good as far as it goes, but it’s an intermediate-capacity system. A metro, whether underground or elevated, can handle greater volumes of people because it has no intersections or traffic lights. However, solving the problem of SITP and TransMilenio is more urgent.

‘Pico y placa’ is neither a mobility strategy nor a measure to improve mobility.

E.B.: I’ve never liked it, and I’ve said so for several years, although we have to admit that without it, the traffic would be much worse. What happens is also a consequence of having had this model for many years. ‘Pico y placa’ is neither a mobility strategy nor a measure to improve mobility. It’s a demonstration of the fact that we’ve failed with every measure and policy, and that since we couldn’t do anything else, we simply had to prohibit. P.U.: HOW CAN WE GET PEOPLE TO ABANDON THEIR CARS? E.B.: Firstly, by improving service quality, making it reasonably convenient, safe, more organized, and with good frequencies. If public transport is good, people leave the car at home. What we have here is a race against time to avoid losing those users and seeing them migrate to motorcycles.



E.B.: There’s not much that can be done in the short term. We have to be patient. Certain things can be done to reduce them, but the fundamental causes, such as the deficient road network and the problem of private vehicles, which cause the greater part of the congestion, will still be there.

USE BE REGULATED? E.B.: Motorcyclists

are a very serious problem, because although

they provide the user who needs a fast and economic means of transport with an effective solution, they’re dangerous and accident rates with them are high, and they pollute and are exclusive. I wouldn’t ban them, but I’d charge them for the pollution they cause and the risk they create. As long as they cover the risk and pay, it would be a mechanism that should subsist. P.U.: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO INTERMEDIATE CITIES? E.B.: The message is that they should learn from our mistakes, because the opportunity for urban development in Colombia lies with them. I sincerely hope that cities with 100,000 or 200,000 inhabitants develop correctly, with a population density that is high enough to promote efficiency but with quality spaces and good roads, and good infrastructure and public services. What we can see now is that there has been a lack of planning, and there is a clear need for government assistance; on this latter point Findeter plays an extremely important role. Let’s hope we plan those cities and their POT well.

Projection of the elevated metro in the capital.

PHOTO: Personal file.

“The message for intermediate and small cities is that I hope they don’t copy Bogotá, but rather learn from our mistakes, because the opportunity for urban development in Colombia lies with them.”

JUNE 2017



Pensamiento Urbano spoke with the mayors of Bogotá, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena about mobility management and their commitments.





Bogotá is the Colombian city with the most inhabitants (8,080,734, according to DANE projections). Its demographic potential and the fact that it has over a million private vehicles, according to the Capital District Economic Development

Observatory, are two factors that have a very big bearing on mobility. The 2016 Citizen Perception Survey conducted by ‘Bogotá, How are we Doing?’, threw up a statistic relating to what getting around the capital of the Republic is like: 6 of every 10 people say that their journeys are taking longer.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Diana Sánchez


PHOTO: iStock

Cali mayor, Maurice Armitage

Bogotá’s elevated metro is expected to add almost a million passengers to the mass public transportation system each day.

City mayor Enrique Peñalosa m a i nt a i n s t h at “mobi l it y i n Bogotá is at an inflection point”, and stresses that a plan of action exists that will form the road map that the country’s capital will follow in terms of infrastructure and mobility. “We are currently in a recuperation process, and we have a clear plan. The commitment is to build the elevated metro as far as 72nd Street, and this will benefit around 1.57 million inhabitants and will add almost a million more people to the public mass transportation system every day. We are improving connectivity and the quality of cycleways with work like that done on Eleventh Avenue. We are also restoring public space through strategies like the pedestrianization of Seventh Avenue and by regaining control of squat areas, such as on 80 th Street in Alquería and Santa Paula neighb or ho o d s ”, he e x pl a i ne d t o Pensamiento Urbano.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Luis Benavides

PHOTO: Bogotá City Hall

Bogotá mayor, Enrique Peñalosa

Colombia Avenue Boulevard transformed public space in the heart of Cali four years ago.

The mayor is pleased with the drop in the last five months in traffic accident deaths, which are 17 per cent down, and also with the 23 per cent increase in the number of fines imposed. He also highlights the repairs carried out to 51 Transmilenio stations, plus the asphalting of the whole of Boyacá Avenue and the filling-in of 15,889 potholes in the city. “In 2017 we will start operating the Transmicable cable car system in Ciudad Bolívar (it will cost 164,000 million pesos), we will have the design ready for the Transmilenio trunk route along Seventh Avenue, together with the structuring of the metro and its trunk routes, so that building work can commence in 2018”, he added. But in addition to the investment in improving the road infrastructure, the mayor maintains that the contribution to strengthening the city’s installed capacity will lead to the city being more friendly for

residents and visitors alike. “The only thing that belongs to all of us is public space, and we believe that this has to be the best possible. Investing in public space and quality transportation is excellent, because it is the most environmentally, economically and socially sustainable investment there is”, he concluded.



The capital city of Valle del Cauca province contributes 9.6 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to official figures. It is also the city with the most inhabitants in Colombia’s Pacific region. As the city expanded, everyday travel became a headache for its 2,420,000 inhabitants. Mayor Maurice Armitage evaluates the mobility situation in terms of quality on the basis of works executed, and reviews the main actions being taken by his administration in order to offer users a better service.

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Daniel Reina




PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Guillermo Torres

Barranquilla envisages expanding the infrastructure for bicycle users.

“ T he overa l l sit u at ion is positive, insofar as we are working on various fronts to meet the challenges facing us. The first step is to improve MIO services. Since December 2016 we have therefore increased the number of buses from 650 to 718, with a resulting increase in frequencies. Last month, total journeys averaged 153,775 kilometers per day”, he explained. Alterations have also been made during his administration to measures like ‘pico y placa’, with a view to letting traffic flow more freely. The 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. times have been brought forward to 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. because he says two studies showed that the greatest congestion is in the early hours of the morning. The measure has also been imposed on 21,000 private vehicles that were previously exempt. “A n u m b e r o f s t r a t e g i c work s to ea se congest ion i n the south are projected, such

the most important thing is to create jobs and generate income, because a city with opportunities is capable of behaving well. And the indicators are good: unemployment rates have been falling for several months, even reaching levels not seen for very many years, and we are making big social investments, because the real war is against poverty”, he concluded.

Barranquilla mayor, Alejandro Char

as widening the Cali–Jamundí road, which involves a major f lyover at 25th Street and 100 th Avenue, and extending the ring road, which currently goes as far as 80 th Avenue but which we want to extend to 122 nd Street. As far as work currently in progress is concerned, the extension of City of Cali Avenue will link the north and south of the city v i a t he ea st ”, A r m it a ge told Pensamiento Urbano. Apart from short- and medium-term investments in civil works, the mayor suggests that the best way to make the city a more friendly place is to improve its workforce, which means reducing unemployment. “I’m sure that


I t w a s a t C o l o m b i a ’s Golden Gateway that navigation on the River Magdalena began, thus enabling many cities in the interior to develop. Today, Barranquilla is the capital of the most competitive province in Colombia’s Car ibbean region, according to the Private Competitiveness Council (PCC) and El Rosario University, and also has the fifth highest property values in the country, according to Agustín Codazzi Institute. City mayor Alejandro Char maintains that mobility should be v ie wed a s a com m it ment where users play a definitive role. “Citizen behavior is highly complex in this respect, especially when the national trend is to show a disrespect for authority and traffic regulations. The big challenge we face is to change that ‘chip’ in the people of Barranquilla, to make them appreciate that we are all part of the mobility problem and that we should therefore all be part of the solution”. In order to promote a change in urban mobility, his administration included in its 20162019 De ve lopment Pl a n t he execution of various works of different sizes, both operational


PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Tadeo Martínez

One of the main challenges facing the current Cartagena administration is implementing the Transcaribe system.

More than five million foreigners visited Cartagena in 2016, a record that brings with it challenges in terms of infrastructure and transportation.

the rainy season, goes hand in hand with other actions aimed at fostering an overall transformation. “The city’s administration designed the urban renewal program with a view to making mobility more sustainable. We expanded roads by adding new bus lanes, in our efforts to consolidate the Integrated Public Transportation System, and by providing stops and facilities for the disabled”, Char concluded.



Colombia welcomed 5,092,004 foreig n v isitors in 2016. Not only was this Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism figure a record, it also confirmed how much tourism has grown in the last five years and the bigger contribution it is

Cartagena mayor, Manolo Duque

PHOTO: Cartagena City Hall

and infrastructure, in the five parts of the city. “As far as major works are concerned, we have designed an investment plan for the road network, sidewalks and urban development, in order to improve mobility for pedestrians, public transport users and other vehicles. We are prioritizing sustainable means of transport by improving sidewalks, introducing preferential lanes for collective and mass public transport, and expanding the bicycle infrastructure for cyclists”, he explained to Pensamiento Urbano. He added that expansion and reconstruction of some of the city’s busiest roads is projected in the Highways Plan, including La Cordialidad, 30 th Street, 40 th Avenue and 72 nd Street. But the most ambitious project is perhaps to canalize the city’s main streams, since the civil works will involve diverting the watercourses, rebuilding roads, and creating a new urban environment in areas around the canals. This project, which will make local inhabitants feel safer during

making to the national economy. Cartagena is at the very heart of this boom, not just in terms of the number of visits it receives but also as the city with the most hotel developments. Mobility in the city thus presents the local administration with a big challenge. Cartagena mayor Manolo Duque says there were serious mobility problems when he took over the administration. “We encountered a number of very difficult situations, including roads in a bad state of repair, insufficient and damaged traffic signs and urban infrastructure, reckless pedestrians, roads saturated with vehicles at peak times, and an informal motorcycle transportation service”, he says. As a first step toward dealing with this, the administration has speeded up introduction of the city’s mass transportation system (Transcaribe). Building work is not yet complete, nor have operations commenced at the system’s yard or road changes been made that will considerably improve journey times for passengers. Signposting of roads, school areas and sports facilities also still needs to be done. Works being carried out in 2017 include road construction on 14th and 17th Avenues, in Torices, and in Getsemaní neighborhood, as well as collective public transportation routes in Bocagrande neighborhood, while Decrees 1328 and 1329 of 2016 discourage the use of private vehicles and motorcycles by imposing restrictions. The mayor maintains that creating areas where pedestrians have precedence is a priority for his administration.

JUNE 2017


SIMPLE AND LOW-COST One problem that hinders progress in cities is that the people who make decisions think the solution lies in complex, highcost works. But there are others, particularly with mobility, that can bring low-cost benefits and be introduced quickly.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Guillermo Torres

Bogotá has over 400 kilometers of asphalted cycleways.



COLOMBIAN CITIES are facing significant mobility challenges: the proliferation of motorcycles (at up to ten times the rate for automobiles in the last decade1), difficulties in establishing sustainable financial models for public transportation (two SITP operators in Bogotá have gone bankrupt), and worsening road safety (more than 6,000 people die in traffic accidents each year 1 Rodríguez, D., Santana, M., & Pardo, C. (2015). ‘The motorcycle in Latin America: classification of its use and impacts on mobility in five cities in the region’. (Despacio, Ed.). Bogotá: CAF.

PHOTO: Carlos Pardo


Pedestrianized area on Seventh Avenue, in downtown Bogotá.

By Carlos Felipe Pardo

and 4 per cent of GDP is lost because of this, according to the WHO) are but some examples. To make matters worse, cities have no significant sources of finance for solving the problems. At t he sa me t ime, t he i llusion exists that the only effective mobility projects imply long-ter m pl a ns, h igh costs, and state-of-the-art technolog y. Ty pica l solutions bandied around include smart systems with cameras that recognize vehicles and their license plates, autonomous electric systems, and mass–and sometimes rail– transportation systems. A lthough these solutions can help resolve certain mobility issues, it is essential to start by introducing immediate, low-cost measures to solve priority, critical problems. If those problems are road safety, growing motorcycle use and the financing of mass transportation, an evaluation of the causes shows that the solutions relate principally to education, regulation, improving financial models and pricing

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - David Amado Pintor

Executive Director, Psychologist, town planner (MSc LSE)

Fixing speed limits (for example,

50 30

or even kilometers per hour) in high risk areas has proved very effective in many cities.

policies, and promoting more sustainable means of transport. The first of these solutions is educating users, to get them to obey the rules. The country’s driv ing schools need to place greater emphasis on the main risks on the road than on the mechanics of driving a vehicle. Understanding the interaction between road users and knowing the likelihood of accidents occurring due to bad driving (excess speed or driving under the influence of drink) can lead to greater adherence to traffic regulations and a reduction in risky driving. Regulation plays a critical role, by permitting or restricting the use of a vehicle or other means of transport and establ ishing t he cond it ions under wh ic h it c a n be used. Fi x ing

Few cities in Latin America have public bicycle systems, and only a fraction have good, integrated, safe bicycle parking facilities.

proper speed limits (50 or even 30 kilometers per hour, for example) in high r isk areas has proved to be ver y effective in many cities around the world in reducing deaths and injuries on t he road 2 . Reg u lat ing t he 2 Archer, J., Fotheringham, N., Symmons, M. and Corben, B. (2008): The Impact of Lowered Speed Limits in Urban and Metropolitan Areas. Monash University Accident Research Center, (276), 71.

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: Carlos Pardo

Mass transportation system fares should cover operating costs and also be affordable for lowincome passengers.

In addition to the bicycle, walking is the means of transport considered least legitimate, despite the fact that everyone walks at some point in their journey. maximum speed of certain vehicles (electric bicycles, for example) during the manufacturing process has resu lted in t heir being used more responsibly 3 . Using a helmet when riding a motorcycle, as well as other safety items, can significantly reduce the risk and likelihood of injuries and deaths. 3 Cherry, C. (2009). Electric Bikes in the People’s Republic of China: Impact on the Environment and Prospects for Growth.



The most difficult measures to introduce successfully are the two remaining ones: reformulating any financial model or devising better pricing policies are subjects that governments find it hard to accept or promote, but they are crucial when it comes to finding sustainable solutions 4 . The fare for travelling on a transport system, for example, should be capable of covering operating costs while also being affordable for a low-income passenger who needs public transport to get to work. It should also result in a 4 Sakamoto, K., Belka, S. and Metschies, D.G.P. (2010). Financing Sustainable Urban Transport Module 1f. Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing Cities. (GIZ, Ed.), 1-88.

satisfactory agreement for operators, so that their business can be an attractive proposition that they want to take part in. Collecting real costs involved in the use of private transportation (automobile, motorcycle), meanwhile, is an issue that very few cities in Latin America, and especia l ly in Colombia, have got to grips with 5. Almost none charge for parking on the street, and it is very uncommon to find one which demands that establishments meet the maximum requirements for parking on their

5 Inter-American Development Bank (2013). ‘Guía Práctica: políticas de estacionamiento y reducción de congestión en América Latina’. (Despacio & ITDO, Eds.). Washington. IDB.


property. Moreover, the possibilit y of lev y ing a congestion charge is remote, even virtually impossible, despite the existence in Colombia of the necessary legal instruments for doing so. As long as cities opt not to restrict indiscriminate use of the private car by raising prices for owning and using one, it will be hard to have public transportation systems for which demand is sufficient6. Finally, promoting sustainable means of transport is an area where progress seems to have been made, but it is difficult to consider it a positive achievement. A lthough there are cities like Bogotá, where over 400 kilometers of cycleways have been built, there is still a lack of respect for cyclists on main roads, and also a lack of any real bicycle-inclusion policy that not only includes building bicycle infrastructure but also the provision of adequate regulations, education, participation, monitoring and good quality operation.7 Progress in these areas is crucial. Few cities in Latin America have public bicycle systems and good, integrated, safe bicycle parking facilities, and virtually none permanently monitor use of this means of transport. In addition to the bicycle, walking is the means of transport considered least legitimate, despite the fact that ever yone


of GDP being lost.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Julio Martínez

6 Broaddus, A., Litman, T. & Menon, G. (2009). Gestión de la Demanda de Transporte. Documento de entrenamiento. Eschborn: GTZ. 7 Ríos, R.A., Taddia, A., Pardo, C. & Lleras, N. (2015). Ciclo-inclusión en América Latina y el Caribe: guía para impulsar el uso de la bicicleta. Washington D.C.: InterAmerican Development Bank.

Traffic accidents in Colombia result in the equivalent of

The lack of any pedestrian policy in cities relegates walking to the status of a forgotten means of transport, and sadly it is the one with the most victims in Colombia. wa l k s at some point in t heir journey (even if only to the car). The lack of suitable infrastructure for pedestrians, the time allowed for crossing the road at a traffic light and the absence of signposting giving them priority, coupled to a general lack of any pedestrian policy in cities, relegates walking to the status of a forgotten means of transport, and sadly it is also the one with the most victims in Colombia. It nevertheless has to be admitted that these low-cost solutions–which are more immediate

and close at hand–can be complemented by technology, such a s mobi le apps t hat mon itor their use and can point to how infrastructure can be improved, or smart information systems on the street that can help calibrate speeds and repor t users who break the rules. But if these measures are to be introduced, there is also a need for sustainable transportation to be promoted, with affordable prices, well-defined regulations and user education. All this can bring many benefits.

Promoting the use of a helmet and other safety items has been decisive in reducing the number of road accident victims.

JUNE 2017

to pragmatism in the city



Thanks to Mejor en Bici, users save an average of 27.5 minutes per journey.

Mejor en Bici (Better by Bike) is an enterprise that sets out to foster quality of life for the people of Bogotá by using the bicycle. The company continues to innovate in order to offer users and society numerous benefits.

T H I S PR O J E C T h ad ad ve n -

ture in its blood right from the start, since the three founding members decided to be the first people to go by bike to the four cardinal limits of Colombia. Part of their preparation for the adventure included adopting the bicycle as a means of transport, a nd t h is int roduced t hem to urban cycling. After travelling to the country’s frontiers, they decided to see what more there was to do. Their experiences in Europe convinced them of the benefits of the bicycle, not just for their adventures, and they t he re fore de c ide d to ret u r n home and spread the message that “Life is Better on a Bike”. Sedentarism is becoming a health problem that costs the exchequer millions. How better to fight it than to get around by bike? In 2016 alone, 7,334 Mejor en Bici users travelled 647,827 kilometers, equivalent to going round the world



16.2 times, and t he y bu r ne d 13,404,303 kcal, the equivalent of 17,944 hamburgers with cheese.1 Moreover, it is not only physical health that benefits, but also mental health, because it has been shown that physical activity combats depression. Mejor en Bici fights for the fairness and inclusion that are so l ac k i ng i n Colombi a. T he company has a department that promotes bicycle use at all levels, that breaks down prejudices like bicycle usage being a means of transport associated with poor people. It therefore fosters an env ironment of equa lit y and generates a saving for users that totaled 245,520,000 pesos in 2016. 2 This not only represents a bigger benefit for people in the lower income brackets, it also empowers them by prov iding

t hem w it h a n autonomous means of transport. This part of the company also fights for gender equality by encouraging more women to use the bicycle, since most users are men. This is also achieved through an innovative, personalized accompaniment service for new users called Bike Angel, where an expert urban cyclist helps the new user to plan his route and rides 1 Calculated using data entered by users on enrolling; data for average Colombian person [4]; average bicycle speed in the city of Bogotá [5]; average of online calorie calculators [6], [7] and [8]; and average hamburger calorie content [9]. 2 Calculation based on data entered by users on enrolling. 3 An average of 27.5 minutes per journey was saved. 4 The average saving was 0.14 kg of CO2 per km travelled.

PHOTOS: Mejor en Bici


By Harry Luque

R&D Director, Mejor en Bici

Diego Ospina

General Manager, Mejor en Bici

7,334 Mejor en Bici users travelled

647,827 kilometers, equivalent to going round the world

16.2 times.

PHOTO: Paula Salas

In 2016 alone,

beside him on the first journey, to provide safety and trust. The project also helps solve the complex mobility problem in Bogotá: the lack of quality public transportation, the fact that the private car is seen as a symbol of prestige, and the bad state of the roads, which increases accident rates and reduces the average speed of conventional transport. Last year, thanks to Mejor en Bici, its users saved 5.4 years.3 This figure is even higher when other benefits the cyclist obtains and which represent a further saving of time are taken into account. Mea nwh i le, one solut ion t hat cities have found to t he

With Bike Angel, an expert urban cyclist helps the new user on his first journey.

mobility problem is to establish intermodal transportation systems, where different means of transport are combined, including the bicycle, and even shared usage. Last year, this initiative led to 91.3 fewer tonnes of CO24 being emitted, a nd a lt hough t here a re no i nd ic ators, it is known that it did not cause any emissions that were harmful to health and that it helped reduce noise pollution levels. It a lso provided a transportation solution that was not based on consuming non-renewable resources (the average car can weigh 1.5 tonnes, whereas a bike weighs only 20 kg). The bike is the most efficient means of transport. Mejor en Bici continues to innovate in order to meet local needs. It offered added value right from the start by proposing shared bicycle systems for private individuals. Currently it is forging alliances with big companies in order to propose the public bicycle system as a solution to the transportation problem. As a result of this commitment to improvement and its contribution to the environment, it has been awarded Company B certification.

The company will be able to offer automated management and parking systems not only for its own bicycles but also for those belonging to private individuals and its users. It thus offers solutions for applying recent laws encouraging bicycle usage, which stipulate the provision of a certain number of spaces in parking lots and compensatory days off for public employees who use them. Our management also brings society closer to the collaborative economy, which optimizes resources by concentrating on service rather than private property. We therefore support the Capital District Mobilit y Secretar iat’s goal of making Bogotá the continent’s cycling capital: all because “Life is Better on a Bike”.

BIBLIOGRAPHY • J. Schwartz (2013, Nov. 2). “Calories Burned Biking One Mile”. [Internet] • L.M. Bernal (2016, Apr. 18-21). “Basic Parameters for the Design of Intermodal Public Transport Infrastructures”. Transport Research Procedia. [Internet]. Vol. 14, pp. 499-508. • S.M. Lea and J.R. Burke, Physics: The Nature of Things, St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1997, pp. 426-430. • Sistemab (undated). “La Empresa B | B Corp” [Internet] • Secretaría Distrital de Movilidad (2016). “Temas de impacto: Plan Bia” [Internet]

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: Asobancaria

Entities should take the environmental factor into account in projects they finance.

By Andrés Felipe Rojas

PHOTO: iStock

Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Asobancaria


sustainability Protocolo Verde, headed by Asobancaria with financial sector and national government participation, aims to introduce environmentally responsible practices that will bring a collective benefit.



AMID EVENTS like the El Niño phenomenon, which afflicted Colombia in 2010 and 2011, President Juan Manuel Santos’ government presented the country with its 20102014 National Development Plan, Prosperity for All, which set out three major challenges: reducing unemployment, eliminating poverty, and meeting the challenges posed by climate change. Financial entities understand the need to guarantee sustainable development, and they

appreciate the role they play in boosting the future economy as they face up to economic, social and environmental challenges. They also know that opportunities associated with sustainable growth should be fully exploited by generating value with their interest groups and creating an environment for building alliances and projecting the country’s future economy. It was against this background that Protocolo Verde came into being, an agreement headed by Asobancaria that was signed on June 7, 2012 by the national government and the financial sector for the purpose of facilitating the convergence of efforts to introduce and implement environmentally responsible policies and practices which, in turn, will facilitate sustainable


The financial innovation pilot program for the transportation sector identified a possible way to remedy financial shortfalls by accessing international cooperation funds.

As part of this agreement, work is proceeding on a project called Financial Innovation Pilot Programs, which seeks to generate innovative schemes that will enable sustainable business and investment opportunities to be taken advantage of. They are called ‘pilot programs’ because it is hoped that lessons can be learned from these particular cases, and that models can subsequently be established that will act as a guide for drawing up public policies and regulating and designing financial instruments, products and services in order to achieve sustainability. As a result of this project, it has been possible to identify a mechanism for each sector prioritized that will allow us to make progress with the strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change, and also help us to have sustainable environments. The mechanisms selected for each sector are as follows. • •

Transportation. Climateresistant infrastructure. Industry. Training financial entities’

• • •

commercial personnel in matters relating to climate change (with emphasis on energy efficiency). Housing. Mechanism to amplify construction sector life cycle sustainability. Farming. Associativity Energy. Energy efficiency Water. Green bonds and credit lines

Protocolo Verde aims to help financial entities become vehicles for a more sustainable economic, social and environmental development. This means providing instruments and generating skills so that progress does not imply destroying our ecosystems and hence losing our principal asset. If we want friendly cities with public transport that does not pollute, efficient energy and water usage, green areas where we can breathe pure air and a more sustainable countr yside, we need coordination by everyone involved in decision-making. And this is precisely what we are achieving with Protocolo Verde.

This initiative promotes the sustainable use of resources by all financial entities.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana

development and meet the needs of present generations, without compromising the possibilities for future ones. This agreement illustrates the commitment by the sector to develop and encourage practices based on development with sustainability, and it defines four strategies. 1. Green products and services. The aim is to produce guidelines and instruments for promoting the financing of sustainable development through credit facilities and/ or investment in programs that promote the sustainable use of renewable natural resources, help protect the environment, and contribute to the competitiveness of the country’s production sectors and to improving people’s quality of life. 2. Environmental and social risk analyses. Credit and investment risk analyses should consider the environmental and social costs of activ ities and projects that are to be financed, taking environmental regulations as the reference point. 3. Eco-sufficiency. Promote the sustainable use of renewable natural resources or of goods and services deriving from their activities within entities. 4. Reporting and dissemination. Communicate the protocol through its dissemination channels, and inform and make interest groups aware of, and permit them to take part in, the policies of the institution associated with the protocol.

JUNE 2017

France-Colombia bilateral cooperation:

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - León Darío Peláez


FDA financed Medellín’s Metrocable project.

The French Development Agency, with a presence in Colombia and in 90 other countries, boasts a wide range of specially-adapted resources to spread and interlink local and urban development experiences.



T HE F R E NC H Development A genc y (FDA) has been in Colombia since 2008, and provides technical and financial support for regional entities committed to sustainable development whose objective is to achieve cleaner air, better connected neighborhoods, and better quality

public services. Regional entities and French companies thus have the essential knowledge, in fields like water management, air quality, energy efficiency in buildings, low-carbon transportation systems and data usage, for improving service quality. It is therefore thanks to French technology that



One of the Agency’s current initiatives is the river transport project in Montería.

By Rémy Rioux

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Álvaro Cardona

Director General, French Development Agency

Medellín’s Metrocable, financed by FDA, makes it possible to do “the most beautiful thing for the poor”: invest, as a priority, in marginalized neighborhoods and strengthen social cohesion. The Agency’s projects favor reciprocal knowledge between the two countries–an essential aspect

in 2017, which has been declared France-Colombia Year–through three highly illustrative initiatives. The first of these is reflection workshops on the sustainable city, organized by FDA, the French Embassy and the French Ministries of the Environment and Energy, in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali.

50 %

of FDA projects are cofinanced with multilateral, national and regional banks.

The second initiative brings together public and private actors and favors new alliances related to big data and sustainable transportation. The mobility data held by telecommunications operators is a useful and formidable source of information about usage by the city’s inhabitants, and this can be accessed under certain conditions. From this year, FDA is going to experiment in Colombia and Senegal with this OPAL (Open Algorithm)-based idea. The project will open up access to data held by Telefónica, in Colombia, and Orange/Sonatel in Senegal, with guarantees for all parties involved: citizens, whose private lives will not be exposed, public entities, whose statistics that are generated will allow for better policies, and operators, who can create value and offer services. The third example sees FDA promoting technical and scientific cooperation directed toward urban innovation. In Colombia, it supports Los Andes University’s applied research program, which enables interactions between mobility and land occupation to be

JUNE 2017

Plan. Since then, the two cities have enjoyed a close alliance, and together with Cape Town, Dakar and Rotterdam they launched the Paris Action Plan for inclusive growth in cities, during last year’s international Cities for Life summit. FDA promotes the exchange of experiences in both directions, north-south and south-north.

FDA’s functions also include pre-investment studies and diagnoses, and it was involved in mobility plans for Pereira, Manizales and Ibagué.

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Daniel Reina


modeled. Thanks to FDA, the model developed initially in Bogotá will be used in Medellin and Cali. In broader terms, the Agency fosters the exchanging of experiences between regional entities in all areas and at all levels. Dialogue across frontiers and continents between regional entities can be a source of reciprocal inspiration to innovate and serve people better. This is why FDA has had a French regional-entity financing facility since 2014 which enables entities to be connected, to dialogue, and to back projects that associate them with their counterparts around the world. T hu s i t wa s th at Johannesburg (South Africa),


through financing, had recourse to the experience of Paris for drawing up its climate plan. In addition to this centralized cooperation, FDA financed a direct loan of 120 million euros to the South African city to carry out a socially inclusive and ecologically responsible municipal investment plan. A movement in the other direction in 2012 saw the municipality of Paris take an interest in Medellín’s unique experience in the field of social inclusion and urban innovation. It all began with an operation, financed by FDA, between Paris Urban Development Workshop and the capital of Antioquia province to draw up the Medellín 2030


FDA acts at a secondar y level with financial institutions that have a national responsibility for local development. In the case of Colombia, Findeter has been a sound and much-appreciated partner, as a result of a loan granted in 2012 (a 150 million euro credit line) and a 5 million euro European Union Latin Amer ica Investment Facility (LAIF) subsidy. There is a threeway interest in this assistance. For us, because it means we can work directly with small and medium-sized municipalities, not just to finance urban infrastructure investments but also to diagnose and to conduct studies such as mobility plans for Ibagué, Pereira and Manizales, Bucaramanga’s linear park, and the market square and r iver transport project in Montería, plus environmental studies in eight cities. For Findeter, because the alliance means it can strengthen its skills and finetune its strategy for transforming from a bank that finances regional entities to a bank that provides a service for regional development. And, finally, for Colombia’s regional entities, since these can benefit from proven tools and methodologies



Finally, the agency works at tertiary level with other international financial institutions to invest in sustainable local development. 50 per cent of its projects are co-financed with other multilateral, national and regional banks and institutions. The ‘100 Cities / 100 Climate Projects’ initiative, launched during COP21, enables the resilient urban projects of 100 regional entities in the south to be financed. Thus, FDA and CAF will co-finance an integrated urban development program worth 500 million dollars over four years in Fortaleza, Brazil, to strengthen social cohesion by improving the quality of life of people living in poor neighborhoods. In addition to these investments in urban services, there is technical cooperation financed by the European Union through the

The Agency has a presence in 90 countries, and also in France’s overseas departments.

‘Cities and Climate’ LAIF, which consists of assisting the municipality in drawing up a low-carbon urban plan. These examples show that our work consists of catalyzing investment and accelerating public action for sustainable development. More than half our annual financing projects are aimed at non-governmental partners (regional entities, companies, banks and NGOs). We have a presence in 90 countries and in France’s overseas departments, which means we have extensive knowledge and can offer a wide range of development solutions and experiences. We place this vast

The Agency’s projects favor reciprocal knowledge between the two countries, an essential aspect in 2017, which has been declared FranceColombia Year.

wealth at our partners’ disposal so that, together, we can identify appropriate solutions and walk hand in hand as equals toward a shared world.

PHOTO: iStock

for equipping themselves with medium- and long-term development plans that enable them to guarantee greater continuity in public policies. FDA also assists Findeter’s counterparts elsewhere in the world, such as Minas Gerais Development Bank in Brazil, South A fr ican Development B a n k , C i t y o f Ho C h i M i n h State Financing and Investment Corporation (HFIC), in Vietnam, and Reg ional Entities Loans and Support Fund (CPCSL) in Tunisia. Technical dialogue, exchanging experiences, financing for intermediate cities with public and private banks: FDA offers tailor-made solutions to meet local development challenges on a country scale.

One exchange of experiences promoted by FDA resulted in Johannesburg (South Africa) following the example of Paris when drawing up its climate plan.

JUNE 2017


Vicious congestion or virtuous circle?

Even though car ownership figures are low, traffic congestion in developing cities is severe. Reducing it is vital to accessing the job, health, education and entertainment opportunities each city offers.



MOST CI T IES in developing countries suffer from severe traffic congestion, even though the figure for cars per thousand inhabitants is low. In Africa, for example, the congestion level is high, despite a figure of less than fifty cars per thousand inhabitants, while in South America and Asia it is severe, even though the figure is an intermediate one

(between 100 and 200 cars per thousand inhabitants). Severe congestion affects people who travel in buses that share streets with cars and trucks (mixed traffic) disproportionately, because buses cannot maneuver as quickly as cars to take advantage of a space on the street. They also carry between 30 and 80 passengers and occupy as much space


Principal Global Economist, Global Transportation and IT Practice, World Bank. Co-leader of the Global Urban Mobility Solutions Group. PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Carlos Julio Martínez

PHOTO: Arturo Ardila

By Arturo Ardila-Gómez

Underpass on 94th Street in Bogotá.

as two or three cars, whereas a car (taxi or equivalent) carries on average 1.3 persons. Congestion could be said to be highly regressive, because it affects the majority who travel by bus. This also reduces a city’s competitiveness, because journey times are longer and this causes tiredness. Worse still is the fact that car ownership can increase much more,

1 Taxis and equivalents, such as shared cars, congest streets and, as such, increase vehicle ownership figures. 2 The list is not complete, because it does not refer to such things as regulatory issues.

as the levels reached in the United States and Europe clearly illustrate: up to 700 cars per thousand inhabitants.1 Future mobility projections for cities in developing countries can therefore be rated as disastrous: severe congestion, air pollution, reduced competitiveness and lost income. A chaotic vicious circle. What can be done? And who will benefit? WHAT CAN BE DONE?

There are various causes of severe congestion, and an overall solution is needed. Some of the points for achieving it are as follows. 2 The first point is to segregate public transport from cars and trucks. When these share the same lanes, everyone wastes time. Buses have to stop frequently to pick up and drop off passengers, while cars and trucks want to continue straight on toward their destination. Conflicts therefore arise over road space, and these can be resolved by segregation, with all parties benefiting: buses go faster, as do trucks and cars, at least initially, until vehicle ownership increases and exclusive car and truck lanes become congested.3 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) technology, of which Transmilenio is an example, tends to be justified for corridors with over 350,000 journeys per day. The second point is to integrate public transport so that it functions as a single system where users can transfer for as little as

possible in terms of money and time. Smartcards simplify the payment of fares, while mass transportation stations, whether BRT or metro, with easy connections to mixed-traffic buses (feeders) reduce transfer times. The third point is to build sidewalks and cycleways so that pedestrians and cyclists can get around easily and safely. Walking in a city is a pleasure, if there are good sidewalks. More and more people want to walk at least 1,000 steps every day, encouraged by the pedometers they have on their phones or watches. Cycling, meanwhile, enables them to travel greater distances. Sidewalks, cycleways and more trees are key elements of a pleasant urban design that covers diverse activities: housing, trade, offices and leisure. These initial three steps will improve the quality of public and non-motorized transportation and make them viable alternatives to the private car. Charging for car use does not require quality public transportation; quite the contrary, since this charge is a source of finance for improving public transport, as explained below. 3 Ardila-Gómez, Arturo, 1995. ‘Reducción de la congestión vehicular en Bogotá con herramientas microeconómicas’. Desarrollo y Sociedad, No. 35. Litman, Todd, 2017. ‘Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs: Best Practices Guidebook’.

A blocked intersection causes long tailbacks and others will quickly follow. Congestion spreads like an oil spill and we all lose out.

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: iStock

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Daniel Reina

Smartcards make it easier for users of integrated transport systems to pay.

Around 10 per cent of people suffer from some type of disability. Every transportation system should comply with universal access regulations.

The fourth point is to maximize the possibilities offered by Smart, or Intelligent, Transport Systems (ITS), if these are used in a Smart City context. Examples of ITS include closed circuit cameras and speed detectors, as well as information for users and drivers, and digital fare collection using smartcards and electronic tolls. 4 Smart City initiatives use open data protocols to publish (without personal information) data gathered by sensors. 5 Civil society can produce applications that use this data to inform users better. Examples of this include programs for smartphones that help users to plan journeys by public transport. Smart cities are also more receptive to complaints or information about things that are not working well, and hence can come up with quick solutions: the 311 applications in cities like



Cities where congestion is severe tend to have only a fraction of the traffic lights they need.

Boston6 are an example of these technologies. The result of introducing ITS in the Smart City context is called Smart Mobility, since data is not for the exclusive use of planners, and vast possibilities are opened up for civil society to contribute. The cost of solving problems falls, and response time improves.7 The fifth items consists of improving traffic light programing so that they facilitate mobility for everyone: pedestrians and cyclists will cross streets in safety and comfort, buses will have priority,

4 Steer Davies Gleave, 2012. ‘Incorporación de los Sistemas Inteligentes de Transporte en Latino América. White Paper’. Inter-American Development Bank. 5 Krambeck, Holly, 2012. ‘Open Data + Urban Transport = ?’. http://; and Mehndiratta, Shornik and Quiros-Peralta, Tatiana, 2017. ‘Traffic jams, pollution, road crashes: Can technology end the woes of urban transport?’.

and trucks and cars will move at a safe speed for everyone of no more than 35 km/h. Cities where congestion is severe tend to have only a fraction of the traffic lights they need, and these also tend not to function in a coordinated manner. More coordinated traffic lights around critical intersections prevent those intersections from getting blocked and collapsing.8 A blocked intersection causes long tailbacks and others will quickly

6 7 Chen, Yang, Ardila-Gómez, Arturo, Frame, Gladys, 2016. ‘Achieving Energy Savings by Intelligent Transportation Systems Investments in the Context of Smart Cities’. World Bank, Washington, D.C. ©World Bank. https://openknowledge. 8 Keyvan-Ekbatani, Mehdi, Anastasios Kouvelas, Ioannis Papamichail, and Markos Papageorgiou, 2012. ‘Exploiting the fundamental diagram of urban networks for feedback-based gating’. Transportation Research, Part B 46.



Reducing congestion benefits everyone, because they can all have full access to the job, health,

Bicycle lanes in Amsterdam, the city that pioneered the use of these means of transport.


the worldwide average number of occupants of a private car and/or taxi.

30 to 80:

the average number of people travelling in a public transport vehicle.

education and entertainment facilities the city offers. The main function of a transport system is to make all these possibilities available to all users: pedestrians, cyclists, public and cargo transportation users, persons with a disability and car drivers. The modern approach to the financing of solutions is that ‘he who benefits, pays’.9 This principle begs for a detailed analysis to be conducted of who, for example, will benefit from the building of a metro or a wide road for mixed traffic or sidewalks, and also for charging mechanisms to be proportional to the benefits. Many of these improvements are general, and a tax like property tax is therefore the ideal tool for financing them. On the other hand, the beneficiaries of big urban roads are PHOTO: iStock

follow. Congestion spreads like an oil spill and we all lose out; coordinated traffic lights form the basis of better traffic management. The sixth point is that a city’s transportation system should comply with universal access regulations, so that people with reduced mobility due to physical disability or age, such as small children or senior citizens, can access all the opportunities the city offers. Around ten per cent of the population suffer from a disability. Many of these people are mentally sound but cannot access job opportunities due to the inadequacies of their city’s mobility system.

If smart mobility bears fruit, there will be less need for bridges and roads in order to achieve the same access to opportunities. These savings and the charges for cars should finance more public transport, more sidewalks, and more cycleways.

mainly cars, and cars have a negative impact on public transport: electronic tolls are the ideal tool. And if smart mobility bears fruit, there will be less need for bridges and roads in order to achieve the same access to opportunities. These savings and the charges for motor vehicles should finance more public transport, sidewalks and cycleways. With all these measures, cities will exit the vicious circle of severe congestion and enter a virtuous circle that favors accessibility and opportunities.10

9 Ardila-Gómez, Arturo, Ortegón-Sánchez, Adriana, 2016. ‘Sustainable Urban Transport Financing from the Sidewalk to the Subway: Capital, Operations, and Maintenance Financing’. Washington, D.C. World Bank. https://openknowledge. 10 See Sclar, Elliot, Mans Lonnroth and Christian Wolmar (compilers), 2016. ‘Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment’. Earthscan.

JUNE 2017


Millennium Bridge over the River Thames in the UK’s capital.

Faced with handling more than 31 million journeys per day, Transport for London has devised creative strategies for reorganizing the transport system in the UK’s capital in a sustainable manner. THE TRANSPORT for London

( TfL) network handles more than 31 million journeys per day. Users not only need these links for getting around the capital,



they also require constant, real-time information about the metro, buses, and river and road networks, so that they can personalize it all for their journeys in the format that digitally-aware Londoners expect. We are undergoing an unprecedented period of technological and social change. The biggest taxi company has no cars, the world’s biggest provider of accommodation has no properties, and the most popular media company in the world creates no content. These are

not original observations, rather merely a fascinating starting point when urban mobility is considered in the light of modern technology. The challenge facing cities and their leaders is thus how to respond to this period of unprecedented changes and how to plan for meeting the future needs of their residents and visitors. FOLLOW THE RHYTHM

Technology is transforming all industries, including transport, because they are facing a period

PHOTO: Transport for London


By Jon Hodges

PHOTOS: Jon Hodges

Transport for London (TfL)

of major disruption. More changes are predicted for the next five or ten years than in the last fifty, as new technologies, products and services modify consumers’ expectations and opportunities. The digital era began by giving power to the travelling user and transforming the way transport providers operate and administer their services. Consumers are becoming more connected all the time and can access travel information in real time, often more quickly than front-line operating personnel. Digital technology has speeded up customer expectations, and the transport industry has to respond. Much of London’s success in terms of innovation in mobility has been due to it establishing an integrated transport authority that has allowed integrated ticketing systems to be developed. At TfL, the introduction of initiatives like contactless payment was accompanied by the setting-up of a user-centered website designed for mobile use. The result of introducing these strategies has been a smoother flow of services for the passenger and less tension for travellers and TfL staff. Today more than a million contactless

journeys are made every day on London’s metro and bus network. TfL is also the company with the fastest-growing number of Visa cardholders in London. In this article, I will explain how the UK’s capital is dealing with the growing number of challenges in the field of transport, and will give examples of lessons learned from London 2012 and focus on some of the challenges that lie ahead in the future. MANAGING DEMAND

The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games can be said to have been the event that saw the biggest change ever in human behavior in the United Kingdom. It set out to be the first ‘Public Trans p or t Games ’ (O ly mpic Delivery Authority, 2011). The work to deliver a Travel Demand Management (TDM) program began roughly four years before the Games started, and focused more on demand than on supply. This would mean a shortterm change in travel habits for regular transport users during the Games, based on providing them with informed travel options. • Increased awareness of the impact the Games would have on transport and of available transport options. • Provision of information about the busiest parts of the network. • Travel advice to regular users of the transport network and to businesses and spectators. • Encouraging people to plan their journeys in advance. To back up Travel Demand Management work, London focused on promoting a change in

The city is expected to have

10.5 million inhabitants by 2041.

people’s travel habits and encouraging smarter journeys in the city. It concentrated on informing people of potential disruptions they might encounter, in order to help them make choices. The ambitious objective was to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in demand at certain times and certain congestion points while the Games were on, via a concept referred to as the 4Rs: reduce, retime, re-mode or reroute. Travel Demand Management was innovative in its ‘Get Ahead of the Games’ (GAOTG) marketing and communications campaign, which was confident it would make people more aware of congestion points and would offer alternative travel advice. A combination of social media, advertising and interactive planning tools meant that the general public, businesses and visitors to London alike all had a vast amount of information available to them. We also learned that employers have a big influence on their employees’ journeys, since people whose bosses gave them advice were more likely to change their route. One important element of the campaign focused on promoting walking in London. My work as a member of the TfL team saw me involved in designing tailor-made walking maps, which were handed out at London’s main railway stations to encourage suburban workers to walk the last stage of their journey to work instead of transferring to the metro or bus for a short ride, especially when weather conditions were better during the summer months. Travel Demand Management was clearly extremely effective in

JUNE 2017

10.4 per cent increase in public transport use in recent years.

reducing the demand for transport and offering a good quality-price ratio, but most importantly it showed that people’s travel arrangements are flexible and can be influenced to a large extent in order to make more efficient use of London’s transport networks. Since the Games, TfL has continued to use Travel Demand Management schemes to help in the planning of major engineering works, and social media have been used to connect with customers. They have become an important tool for managing our transport network more efficiently. Hosting the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games had a profound effect on the city and its people. Close teamwork was shown to be an effective way to achieve goals for the whole city. In terms of results, on a weekday while the Olympic


Games were on, a third of the population changed their travel habits. Furthermore, 75 per cent of regular travellers made at least one change to their normal travel arrangements during the period when the Games were on. A study entitled London: A Platform for a Successful Behaviour Change Programme? showed that 63 per cent of users travelled less, 28 per cent changed times, 21 per cent changed route, and 19% changed transport mode (Jones, 2012). THE FUTURE IS NOW

London has grown rapidly in recent years, despite the recession, and this has led to increased demand in the transport system. This growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, and will form the context for our long-term transport planning. The city had a population of 8.7 million


in 2015, thus beating the previous record of 8.6 million the year before, and it is expected to have 10.5 million inhabitants by 2041. A Transport for London report published in 2016 revealed that there had been an unprecedented 10.4 per cent increase in public transport usage, away from the private car to public transport, walking and cycling, reflecting the sustained investment in these modes, capacity limitations in streets, and broader social and behavioral factors. We need to develop even more innovative solutions with the help of new technologies.

Transport provides the connectivity that is needed more and more, is valued by businesses, and means better opportunities for all Londoners.


Mobility opportunities are not limited to the fixed transport network, since they include, for example, increased bicycle usage and a change in the emphasis placed on active means of getting around, as evidenced by the success of London 2012. Wider social trends have also resulted in more flexible work and travel patterns. We have seen a growing trend toward living ‘without a car’, particularly among younger people who are struggling to get around London and facing the reality of owning and maintaining a vehicle. There is much work to be done in order to understand the influences of owning a private car in London over the next ten or twenty years. The goal is to understand the evolving geo-demography of having motor vehicles and the mixture of travel alternatives that these people find attractive, and thus encourage less dependence.



40 %

of Londoners fail to get the weekly recommended

150 minutes

of physical activity.

Continued investment in transport is vital as London grows, in terms of meeting additional demand in a more efficient and environmentally sustainable manner and helping solve the problem of the need for more housing to accommodate the extra inhabitants. Building enough new houses and meeting the needs of all Londoners is an enormous challenge. Transport provides the connectivity that is needed more and more, is valued greatly by businesses, and means that everyone in London has better opportunities. Transport provides access to jobs and services and creates places where people want to live, while areas that are well connected have more people and a greater density of workplaces. Connectivity is bad in many areas where major development is

There is a growing tendency in mobility to share services —bicycles, taxis and cars— rather than to possess products, thus eliminating maintenance costs.

feasible, and this has directly limited private sector investments in housing. Transport therefore plays a vital role in making these processes possible in the future. Cities will need to prioritize design and planning more and more if health is to be actively improved, and they should make walking and cycling options that are much more viable and attractive. This work has already started in London. HEALTHY STREETS

In London, the health sector represents around a million journeys per day; in other words, about five per cent of the total. As a strategic transport authority in the city, we also play an essential role in the health of all Londoners. Recent policy for the capital’s streets is focusing more and more on the ‘Healthy Streets’ concept, which sets out to help improve public health by optimizing the experience of being on London’s roads and fostering a positive change toward encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport. Encouraging people to walk and cycle has enabled them to do physical exercise directly as they make their way to entertainment facilities and open spaces, giving them the chance to engage in other activities, such as sport. And the benefits are not limited just to good health and wellbeing, because what makes a street function well for people also works the same way for local and international businesses, resulting in a resistant, sustainable environment. Transpor t can never theless have negative effects. Road accidents, harmful emissions

JUNE 2017

and noise can affect mental and physical health. Depending on the car can mean fewer daily opportunities for physical exercise, and travelling conditions can also lead to discomfort and stress. London is also facing an inactivity crisis. For decades now, cars and technology have been g rad u a l l y t a k i n g o ve r m a ny tasks that used to require physical effort. Over 40 per cent of Londoners fail to get the weekly recommended 150 minutes of physical activity, as we have excluded it from our daily lives almost without realizing. We urgently need to introduce this new practice into our daily lives. Using public transport, which starts and/or ends with a journey on foot, walking more and cycling are the easiest options available to many people for becoming more active and living healthier lives. London has made real progress in encouraging people to swap the car for public

transport. Private cars are an inefficient way of moving people. The transport system has a huge influence on the character of our city and the experience of living, working and spending time here. London’s streets occupy 80 per cent of the city’s open space, yet they are dominated by traffic. Our vision for the future is a city where the streets are designed for people, pleasant places where people choose to take a bus rather than drive because buses will have priority over traffic. As Bogotá’s former mayor has said, “a developed country is not one where the poor have cars, but rather a place where the rich use public transport”. As with the 2012 London Games, we cannot deliver ‘healthy streets’ on our own. We will have to work with partners in the public, private and community sectors. Tools will be needed, as will training, support and guidance, for incorporating this approach into street arrangements, local and

regional plans and policies, and development and renewal schemes. SMART MOBILITY

Travel Demand Management was innovative in its ‘Get Ahead of the Games’ marketing and communications campaign.

Technology is placing the customer at the center of the transport service more and more. The sector has traditionally provided fixed services, meaning that users have had to plan their journey from door to door, calculate fares and decide on the best routes, based on their particular requirements or preferences. But these models are changing. There is a growing tendency, for example, to share a service instead of possessing a product and incurring all the costs associated with it. Having access to shared cars, bicycles and taxis will probably become the trend in this new mobility. Smart mobility means using innovation, technology and data to create transport systems that are more integrated, efficient and sustainable. The expression ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) has been used to describe a single platform that

75 per cent of regular travellers made at least one change to their journeys during the Olympic Games.




Automated vehicles represent an opportunity for a fundamental change in urban mobility and could mean cities becoming healthier. combines all transport options and presents them to the user in an integrated way. The principle advantage lies in the fact that the customer is in control, but it also helps meet the needs of certain groups, such as the young and old, many of whom will be more active and healthy for much longer. Cities like London need to coordinate resources and talents to ensure that new technologies are useful for their customers, and to create a better experience. To achieve this, public and private sectors need to work together to guarantee future transport growth and sustainability. The challenge lies in getting round the uncertainties that exist about transport, so as not to

impede progress. London needs to take this challenge on board and make it its great opportunity. There is currently much discussion about automation and connectivity. Now that we have automated vehicles, it is an opportunity for a change in urban mobility that could mean cities becoming healthier. But only if the authorities and public transport companies play an active role in integrating them. THE FUTURE FOR BOGOTÁ

Any future state requires a shared vision. I believe that Bogotá is in a good position, since it has already invested in bus priority and promoting active travel, walking and cycling, with initiatives like its cycleways. In view of the financial limitations, measures that have a big impact and are easy to implement are attractive, since they can be delivered relatively quickly and cost less. It is essential to appreciate that human behavior is being

influenced by new technologies, services and operating models. Cities of the future not only need to recognize the key role that transport can play in improving public health, especially through active travel, they should also synchronize themselves with technological developments and consider associations with small startup companies that can study data and come up with solutions. Demand management measures are part of developing smart mobility services. We need to find ways to interact with inhabitants and communities in order to prioritize, plan and implement the challenges facing transport through the joint creation and use of data with a more transparent approach. The challenges are great, but technology and innovative solutions are helping cities like London to face up to them now, and will continue to do so in the future. Are you ready?

The 2012 London Olympics were expected to be the first ‘Public Transport Games’, according to the organizers.

JUNE 2017


in action

By Juan Manuel Robledo Restrepo

Four fundamental issues govern Findeter’s strategic mobility projects; it focuses its technical support on these, and it also aims to bring national and regional government policies on sustainable mobility into line with them.

Director, CIUDAT and sustainable mobility, Sustainability Management, Findeter


Diana Galarza Molina

Consultant, Sustainability Management, Findeter

CITIES ARE places where people

live, study, work, and engage in a whole series of activities, either in or outside their homes. For activities away from home, they need different ways of getting around. The means of transport they choose depends on accessibility and where their journey starts and ends, and these dynamics are thus a function of each city’s structure and its historic socio-spatial development. Ac hiev ing ha r mony bet ween travel needs and the trend toward sustainability in today’s world means thinking about the sustainable mobility concept. At Findeter, based not only on t heor y but a l so on t he experience we have gained by putting t heor y into practice, and notwithstanding or overlook ing ot her va l id mobi l it y


FINDETER 70 / 71

Icons: The Noun Project


Public transport

st rateg ies, we have developed a sustainable mobi lit y action model centered on four main issues, t he f irst t wo of which form the fundamental basis while the other two a re t ra ns verse m at ters t h at should be present in every project that is carried out or action that is taken. 1. INVERTED TRANSPORT PYRAMID

This establishes the urban mobility hierarchy, in which priority is given to means of transport that promote fairness and social benefit, and cause least harm to the environment. As can be seen from Figure 1, action taken in the field of transport should prioritize pedestrians (young

Cargo transport

Private vehicle

children, the elderly, people with reduced mobi l it y, etc.), t hen c yc l i st s, followed by public transp or t pa sse nge r s, c a rgo transport and, finally, private vehicles, the goal being a rational use of this latter. 2. AVOID, CHANGE, IMPROVE (ACI)


This is based on three principles. The first is to AVOID journeys that are not strictly necessary. This is followed by two strategies for making journeys that cannot be avoided: the aim is to CHANGE the means of transport to sustainable, active ones, such as cycling and walking. In the case of journeys that cannot be avoided or changed, the aim is to IMPROVE the technology in order to make them more efficient and



sustainable. This implies improving technology or the operation. 3. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTORIENTATED DEVELOPMENT (TOD)

Su st a i n a ble Tr a n s p or tOrientated Development focuses on urban projects that are desig ned to ma x imize public transport and active transport accessibility. They are comprehensive projects w it h urban, economic and mobility concepts, the aim being to ensure that system sustainability is achieved, b a s e d a r o u n d f u n d a m e nt a l mobility issues, including the means of transport.

Change to more environmentally friendly means

Improve energy efficiency of means of transport and technologies

National sphere Fundamental to correct performance of the sustainable mobility action model structured by Findeter is the development of tools that enable theory, principally what has been planned FIGURE 3 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT-ORIENTATED DEVELOPMENT (TOD) COMPONENTS

Connect Compact

Mix Densify

Illustrations: 123RF and The Noun Project

In general terms, the Findeter sustainable mobility vision is

Reduce or avoid journeys or the need to travel


materializing in two major geographical spheres, namely national and regional, including municipal and supra-municipal areas.




Source: Pardo and Calderón, 2014


A c it y ’s mobi l it y a nd publ ic space system guarantees that the urban fabric and major areas of the city are connected, thus enabling inhabitants to access economic and social opportunities. Integrated planning instruments are necessary, because these guide cities toward comprehensive mobi l it y a nd ensure urban development and their general competitiveness strategy, with the principal focus being the human scale. This planning instrument identifies needs deriving from urban development, with a view to creating a management tool that coordinates different means of transport, rationalizes the use of physical space, prioritizes sustainability, and takes on board the city’s vision and vocation.


nationally, to be put into practice in the regions. To achieve this, two national government programs have been adopted to date, directed by the gover nment but taken on board and implemented by Findeter. The first of these programs i s C olom bi a T OD - N A M A , a Sustainable Transport-Orientated Development (TOD) program which sets out to transform the country’s public transportation model from a private-vehicle to a TOD one. This new model aims to improve service quality, help system financial sustainability and lead to a fall in greenhouse gas emissions connected with the use of fossil fuels in transport. It also complements the AVOID component in the second of Findeter’s main sustainable mobility issues (ACI). The second program is NAMA TAnDem, an Active Transport1 and





Source: ITPD, 2013

JUNE 2017


High density

Medium density

Medium density Corridor

Low density

Public Space Master Plan

Urban Development Plan

Demand Management program. Its main objective is to improve urban quality of life and help mitigate climate change through greater use of the bicycle and the responsible use of motor vehicles. It complements the CHANGE component in the second of Findeter’s main sustainable mobility issues (ACI). Bot h prog ra ms a re m a naged by an entity called CIUDAT (Ce nt ro p a ra Inte r ve n c ion e s Urbanas de Desarrollo hacia el Transpor te), m ade up of t he Ministry of Housing, City and Territor y, the Ministr y of the Environment and Sustainable D e ve lo pme nt , t he M i n i st r y o f Tr a n s p o r t , t h e Na t i o n a l Planning Department (NPD), the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) and Findeter. The model enables the financial company’s sustainable mobility area to be in permanent contact with the national authorities and those 1 Term used to refer to non-motorized means of transport.


FINDETER 72 / 73

Mobility Master Plan

responsible for drawing up polic y on su st a i n able mobi l it y, thereby, in turn, simplifying its work of establishing good practices in the regions. Municipal and supra-municipal spheres The aim here is to implement what has been planned, both by national government and by theoreticians, and because of this we have identified a series of projects that have now been carried out or are currently being executed. One clear example of this is the R iver Transport System for Passengers in Montería, the objective of which is to improve north-south connectivity in the city using electric boats on the natural corridor formed by the River Sinú. This project clearly illustrates how all Findeter’s main mobility issues have combined, since priority is given to public transport and the pedestrian is given the value he or she warrants, while

TOD models were encouraged when desig n ing t he st at ions for the system, thus making an overall contribution to the ACI strateg y, encouraging the use of public transport, improving ve h ic le tec h nolog y by u si ng env ironment-fr iend ly energ y and, finally, ensuring that all planning instruments available in the region at the time were integrated. A number of similar projects are currently being executed in the regions, such as the Infrastructure Cycle Project– Life Reg ion, t he Strateg ic Bicycle Plan in Cartagena, the Cycle Infrastructure Project in Vil lav icencio and Chinchiná, and the Integrated Operations Control Center in Ibagué. By generating an overall vision with sound foundations and a national scope ranging over the regions, we at Findeter are succeeding in taking sustainable mobility to parts of the country that want to improve their quality of life on a human scale.


IS WITH COLOMBIA BARRANQUILLA Phone: (5) 358 7970 / 358 5019

CARTAGENA Mobile: 311 210 1054


CARIBBEAN REGION Includes Atlántico, Bolívar, Cesar, Córdoba, La Guajira, San Andrés and Providencia, Magdalena and Sucre provinces.

Mobile: 300 441 4276

MONTERÍA Phone: (4) 781 6480 / Mobile: 321 249 9199

NORTHEASTERN REGION Includes Arauca, Norte de Santander and Santander provinces, and towns in the south of Cesar province.

SANTA MARTA Mobiles: 301 786 5747 / 320 695 4036

SAN ANDRÉS Phones: (5) 358 7970 / 358 5019 / 3580425 Mobile: 315 770 2403

SINCELEJO Mobile: 320 228 7574


BUCARAMANGA Phones: (7) 630 2043 / 652 6569

CÚCUTA Mobiles: 300 536 7007 / 300 565 4935

BOGOTÁ Phone: (1) 623 0370

VILLAVICENCIO Includes Bogotá and the provinces of Amazonas, Boyacá, Casanare, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, Meta, Vaupés and Vichada.

PACIFIC REGION Includes Cauca, Nariño and Valle del Cauca provinces.


BUENAVENTURA Phone: (2) 3321899 / Mobile: 316 7539874

CALI Phones: (2) 3321899 / 332 1900

PASTO Mobiles: 301 376 1918 / 320 304 3461

POPAYÁN Mobile: 300 491 6445

Social Networks: findetercol @findeter

Findeter1 Findeterweb

Includes Antioquia and Chocó provinces.


COFFEE REGION Includes Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda provinces, and towns in the north of Valle del Cauca province.


MEDELLÍN Phones: (4) 268 3580 / 268 7480 / 268 1032

Mobile: 310 216 2574

Phone: (6) 335 8701

Phone: (6) 335 8703

IBAGUÉ Mobile: 311 532 5385



For questions or suggestions:

Includes Huila, Putumayo, Tolima and Caquetá provinces.

Phones: (8) 871 4123 / 871 7768 Mobiles: 316 454 1281 – 320 490 2596

GENERAL MANAGEMENT: Tel.: +57 (1) 390 5575 - 623 0311/88 - Fax: (1) 623 0360

JUNE 2017

PHOTO: Archivo Semana - Juan Carlos Sierra

Sex and the city MARÍA LÓPEZ CASTAÑO Vice-President, Content, Publicaciones Semana

Integrating gender equality into urban planning is not as difficult as it seems, and it has an enormous impact on everyone’s wellbeing. INEQUALITY IS the principal filter through which we are forced to view reality in the country. There will never be a single definition of Colombian woman: reality, for a woman living in upper-class districts of Bogotá, Cali or Medellín, will be more like that of Carrie Bradshaw, the character in the series Sex and the City who transformed the popular view of female autonomy, than of one of her compatriots in intermediate cities. In many ways, Chicó, in Bogotá, is more like Manhattan than Soacha. We run the risk of concluding that it is impossible to accurately describe what reality means for women living in Colombian cities. But this is really not the case: we know from DANE statistics that urban women are more educated, on average, than men, but that they earn less and are the victims of far more cases of harassment and rape than men, And there can be no doubt that they work at least four, even up to eight, hours per day more. An interesting experiment was conducted in 1991 in Vienna, in Austria. A group of urban planning students put on a photographic exhibition entitled Who does public space belong to? The everyday life of women in the city. The images showed women’s everyday routines, from which it could clearly be seen that safety and ease of movement were most important for them. As a result, a pilot series of urban planning experiments was conducted, to bring together gender considerations. One of these experiments was a housing project called FrauenWerk-Stadt, or City of Work and Women. The habitation complex was designed to make life easier for women, and included parks and green zones, a children’s playground,


COLUMN 74 / 75

a pediatrics surgery and pharmacy, and easy access to public transport so that schools could be reached and everyday activities performed simply and quickly. It would not be out of place to pluck up the courage to carry out a similar venture in Colombia. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in order to focus on what is most important. For example, according to the Bogotá Gender Equality and Women’s Observatory, 84 per cent of female victims of alleged sexual offences are minors. Priority could thus be given to providing safe places on routes to and from schools, even to providing accessible facilities for reporting offences in places frequented by young people. Given the exponential growth in families where women are the head of the household, how could social housing projects be developed that foster women’s quality of life right from the design stage? They would have to be asked. However, measures like nearby banks with extended hours, supervised internet facilities, libraries and play centers and doctors’ surgeries are all good ideas, whichever way you look at it. All of them are proposals that could make commercial sense by bringing supply close to demand. When it comes to making small design modifications that could have a big impact, Soacha or Montería should be treated like Vienna. It could well be that the average Colombian woman is not concerned, as Carrie Bradshaw was, about buying shoes costing thousands of dollars. But she definitely is concerned about her safety and about having five more minutes with her children instead of having to run to the bank.

PHOTO: Juan Fernando Cano

Ayacucho Tramway, in MedellĂ­n.

Revista Pensamiento Urbano Edición No. 5 English  

Medellín, meets the environmental challenge.

Revista Pensamiento Urbano Edición No. 5 English  

Medellín, meets the environmental challenge.