From April 19-23rd, Mexico City hosted thousands of people from over twenty countries to participate in the 6th edition of the World Bike Forum, under the slogan: handmade cities. This forum was a direct result of all the knowledge and collaboration inherited by the first host cities; Porto Alegre and Curtitiba, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile.
The concept for the World Bike Forum started on February 25th, 2011, when a car driver deliberately decided to run over a group of cyclists who were riding in a peaceful and organized manner. From that moment on, Brazil’s cyclist community gathered academics, the private sector, civil society, and the government for a series of discussions that would allow to communicate the benefits of urban cycling in Latin America.
During the event, over 170 activities were held, including workshops, urban interventions, and keynote speakers. Some of the distinguished guests were: Janette Sadik-Kahn, Heinrich Ströẞenreuther, Adam Greenfield, Cynthia Echave, Chris Carlsson, Sylvie Banoun, Peter Cox, Florian Lorenz, Soraya Azán, and Rachel Aldred, among many others.
ITDP Mexico participated as a strategic ally of the Forum. Salvador Medina and Marianely Patlán hosted a workshop titled “Transport-oriented Development and Active Mobility,” with support of the Inter-American Development Bank. Gonzalo Peón, Mexico’s Deputy Director and José Arevalo participated at a panel regarding bikesharing systems in Latin America. During this workshop, it was determined that ITDP’s TOD Standard has proven to be very efficient for cycling and pedestrian advocacy groups in Mexico specifically during the revision of new public transport projects in cities like Gaudalajara and Monterrey. Meanwhile, transit and planning officers in Queretaro, Cuernavaca, and Tijuana are in the process of applying concepts from the Standard. The land use regulations in those cities demand reviewing the TOD Standard, so detailed observations and amendments to the Standard were served during the workshop. ITDP Mexico is looking to strengthen their collaboration with these cities on this matter. Finally, Bernardo Baranda, Regional Director for Latin America joined a discussion titled Mobility Policies: From Legislation to Implementation, where he highlighted ITDP’s efforts to promote parking reform in Mexico City.
In addition, Areli Carreón, founder and member of Bicitekas, was elected Mexico City’s first bicycle mayor, a recognition awarded by the Dutch organization CycleSpace. During the span of her term, the bicycle mayor will seek to catalyze citizen participation, financial support of the business community, and government efforts, in order to achieve a comprehensive cycling agenda for Mexico City.
During the event, the city government announced Mexico City’s Road Safety Program (Programa Integral de Seguridad Vial), which crystallizes the Vision Zero policy that the city has been implementing in past months, and charts the route forward to achieve a significant reduction of cycling fatalities and injuries, eventually reaching zero. Furthermore, the government also announced the creation of a cyclist insurance called “Rueda Seguro” (ride safely) which seeks to give legal support and medical assistance to the cyclist community.