Towards Carfree Cities VI - Bogotá
- Bogota 2006 - Programme - Presentations
From 20-24 September, people from all over the Americas and abroad descended on Bogota, Colombia, for this year's successful Towards Carfree Cities conference, held at the Museo de 'El Chico' and the Universidad del Rosario and hosted by World Carfree Network member organisation Fundación Ciudad Humana.
Out of 120 participants, half came from Latin America and half from North America and Europe. Thirty of the participants came to Bogota as part of an international youth exchange organised by World Carfree Network and funded by the European Commission. Two hundred people attended the public day, convened by the mayor of Bogota, Luis Eduardo Garzón.
The mornings were focused on presentations and debates, while the afternoons featured workshops, excursions and on-site visits. Click here for the conference programme, or here to the presentations. The conference emphasised various successful projects and initiatives in Bogotá and across Latin America that cities elsewhere can learn from and emulate.
One example is the Bus Rapid Transit system that was developed in Curitiba, Brazil, and spread to Bogotá and is now being introduced in Africa, Asia and North America. Participants had the chance to tour a Transmilenio BRT facility and to ride bikes in Bogotá's weekly Carfree Sunday, in which 120 km of streets are closed to car traffic.
And just before the start of the conference, Bogota initiated a street closure programme in the historic La Candelaria district, with the eventual aim of creating a sizable carfree area there. Also on the theme of carfree spaces, participants took part in a "Street Conversion Design" workshop and international competition, with the aim of transforming spaces monopolised by transport into spaces designed for community enjoyment. The 15 winning submissions will appear in Carbusters magazine #29.
Participants were overall very pleased with the conference, and gained a lot from the experience. They are encouraged to send their feedback to WCN's conference coordinator Randall Ghent (e-mail: ; Skype: randallghent), to help us organise future Towards Carfree Cities conferences.
Also see the Carfree Bogota Blog: http://carfreebogota.blogspot.com/