On Wednesday June 13th, ITDP began our official events of the 10-day Rio + 20 conference with a day-long seminar on sustainable urban mobility in the city of Niterói, located just across the harbor from Rio de Janeiro.
The 2nd annual seminar, coordinated jointly with the city government of Niterói, brought together policymakers, technical and policy experts and representatives of civil society to talk about the best ways to improve urban mobility in Niterói. ITDP’s Director for Latin America, Bernardo Baranda, kicked off the meeting with a short introduction and the signing of MoU agreement. The agreement provides for joint development of actions related to transport and urban mobility with the city of Niterói, who is planning a BRS (bus rapid service) and working on encouraging land development around the new system.
The day continued with presentations from ITDP Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer Jessica Morris, who spoke on ITDP’s 8 principles for sustainable urban mobility, and ITDP Technical Director Luc Nadal, who discussed best practices in urban design. Both stressed the complementary nature of sustainable urban transport and urban development and the need for integrated planning. The city of Niterói is already coordinating planning efforts, changing their zoning regulations to prioritize transit, but it looking to ITDP to assist with further initiatives.
The seminar became even more interactive in the afternoon, when participants broke into small groups to analyze particular themes of sustainable mobility in Niterói using ITDP’s eight principles for transport and urban development as guidelines. The group discussions were especially fruitful, and focused on cycling, public transport and traffic management strategies like parking and congestion charging.