On August 8th in Mexico City, federal congressmen René Fujiwara Montelongo and Rosa Elba Pérez Hernández led a bicycle tour from the city’s central plaza, the Zocalo, to Congress, arriving at the “Budget for Sustainable Urban Transformation: Public Policy for Mobility” forum. They were joined by local representatives Laura Ballesteros, Jorge Gaviño and representatives of several NGOs.
The forum was organized by the Special Commission for Sustainable Development and the Non-Motorized Mobility Group of the Commission for Climate Change, with the support of ITDP and the NGO Fundar. The event emphasized budgetary equity in order to build dense, compact and mixed cities, with accessible, comfortable and efficient mobility systems. It also promoted the advancement of a Sustainable Urban Development, including the national stakeholders that have worked to further the topic.
During the forum, ITDP presented the study “Investing in mobility, a pressing priority: Diagnosis of federal funds for urban transport and accessibility in Mexico, 2012 ”. This continuous research analyzes mobility expenditure trends in the country, and is supported by the British Embassy in Mexico. The study discusses how federal funds from the country’s budget, which are meant to improve sustainable transport in cities, are in fact primarily used to build and maintain infrastructure for automobiles. This increases incentives for car use and leaves sustainable mobility investments, like public transport and bicycle infrastructure, behind. This results in disproportionate spending on car infrastructure, when only 30% of the Mexican population gets around by car.
The event also hosted the panel “Future challenges for urban sustainable transformation”, led by Fundar, an NGO dedicated to transparency. This panel featured José Ángel Mejía Martínez del Campo, head of the Performance Evaluation Unit of the Secretary of Finance, and focused on the priority of creating an institutional and legal platform to implement a national sustainable mobility policy. Public officials at the federal level, academics and civil society members in attendance emphasized the need to revise the operation and evaluation criteria for PROTRAM, which has the objective to foster public transport projects.