225 Transport and Development Experts from 48 Cities in 21 Countries gathered in Fortaleza, Brazil to celebrate, study, and work to replicate the city’s high impact, low cost interventions at the 2019 MOBILIZE summit.
Michael Kodransky presented Roberto Claudio the Mayor of Fortaleza with the 2019 Sustainable Transport Award
Roberto Claudio, Mayor of Fortaleza discussed the many measures Fortaleza took, with impressive results. In 4 years the number of road fatalities and injuries decreased by 40%
Mayor Roberto Claudio explained how the STA encouraged Fortaleza to keep up their momentum around sustainable mobility to prepare for MOBILIZE.
From left to right, Michael Kodransky, ITDP; Jean Pejo, National Secretary of Mobility and Urban Services, Brazil; Heather Thompson, ITDP, and Henrik Nolmark, Volvo Research and Educational Foundations
Henrik Nolmark, Director of the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF) declared their continued support for MOBILIZE during the opening remarks.
Heather Thompson, ITDP CEO, newly in her position, exclaimed her pride for the many accomplishments and growth in ITDP and MOBILIZE in the past year.
Jean Pejo, Brazil’s National Secretary of Mobility and Urban Services paid his respects to Fortaleza’s progress.
Mayors and city officials discussed the cost of re-humanizing cities in Fortaleza, Minneapolis, and Bogotá. The panelists discussed the challenges of building political will and gaining consensus, and the power of civic pride in changing minds. Mayor Roberto Claudio explained how winning the STA gave Fortaleza encouragement for the work it was doing but also pushed the city to do more to prepare for the MOBILIZE Summit. Lisa Bender, Minneapolis City Council President pointed out:
“When I received pushback for “open streets,” I stuck with my beliefs even when they were deemed radical. I accompanied my bold vision with incremental change, which was the key. The open streets did not change people’s mode share but it did open their imaginations to see what their streets could be”
City officials discussed their political challenges in making change.
Angela Anzola de Toro, the Secretary for Women, Bogota illuminated some of the unique challenges in protecting women without protective laws.
Lisa Bender, Minneapolis City Council President told the story of her bold vision and election.
Diane Davis of Harvard University moderated the opening plenary on the cost of rehumanizing streets.
City officials spoke about the potential for cities to serve as the solution to failing democracies.
The global reality of climate change is real and already affecting people’s lives. ITDP CEO Heather Thompson explained, “With unprecedented heat waves, floods, and invasive species the world is already witnessing the effects of climate change.” These unpredictable and devastating weather events are only going to increase and become harder to manage. What is clear is that mayors and city leaders will be on the front lines of managing the human cost of climate change while federal and national governments will remain in charge of budgets and rules about carbon emissions and climate policy. Former Santiago Governor, Claudio Orrego explained how for Santiago, a previous STA winner and host of MOBILIZE in 2017, handled natural disasters. For example, when a flood occurred, the city focused on-the-ground solutions like buying buckets and receptacles for water to manage water accumulation. He explained that some of the most useful solutions can also be the simplest.
Ana Toni, the Executive Director of the Institute of Climate and Society in Brazil discussed how mayors are most affected by climate change despite being least able to change federal legislation.
Claudio Orrego, former Governor of Santiago, Chile, discussed the relatively simple solutions that helped mitigate climate effects.
Laetitia Dablanc, Director of Research at the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, discussed policies that encourage invisible innovations by cities.
Riri Asnita, Manager of Public Works of Jakarta discussed how walking is so limited in Jakarta because there simply are not enough sidewalks.
Firmino Filho, Mayor of Teresina, Brazil argued how work in the present will save or destroy the future.
On the final day of MOBILIZE, city officials and researchers discussed the challenges of climate change and the actions that can be taken now to secure the future.
ITDP Brazil Director, Clarisse Cunha Linke, interviewed Carolina Bezerra, the First Lady of Fortaleza about street design that incorporates the safety of everyone, including children.
The conversation between Clarisse Cunha Linke, ITDP Brazil Director and Carolina Bezerra, First Lady of Fortaleza, highlighted how the perspective of young children identified inequalities within public transport space and services in Fortaleza.
Key to mitigating climate change is getting motor vehicles off of the road by moving people with other forms of transportation, and making vehicles less polluting. During a discussion at MOBILIZE, Ana Nassar of ITDP Brazil explained how the mindset of both people and politicians needs to redefine the dream of owning a car.
“While in so many countries car ownership is seen as a signifier of wealth and therefore something that people aspire to, this dream of car ownership needs to be replaced with another dream that doesn’t include private car ownership. We need a new dream.”
Transforming a car ownership mentality so radically includes creating spaces that are accessible on foot. Walking is the cheapest form of transportation, and as Herrie Schalekamp, of the University of Cape Town, explained, like in the United States, the poorest people in South Africa spend a disproportionately large amount of expenditure on transportation. People would rather walk, but it is not viable in cities with pedestrian hostile infrastructure.
Shuai Ren of DiDi Chuxing discussed data ethics surrounding user data with mobile transportation applications.
Lina Lopez of C40 Cities discussed the many successes and challenges in launching public bike share in Medellin, Colombia.
Luiz Sabóia, the Executive Secretary of Fortaleza Office of Public Services presented on public and private partnerships.
Aswathy Dilip of ITDP India explained the changes made to increase bicycle usage in India.
Keynote speaker Gil Peñalosa discussed the value in making cities work for 8 year olds and 80 year olds.
Gil Peñalosa explained the public health crisis caused by unsafe roads and conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Cecilia Vaca Jones of the Bernard van Leer Foundation discussed creating harmonious cities for everyone including young children.
From left to right; Shomik Mehndiratta of the World Bank, Lake Sagaris of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Leticia Bortolon of ITDP Brazil, and Cecilia Vaca Jones of the Bernard van Leer Foundation discuss Harmonious Cities during a plenary session.
Kathryn Carlson, Director of Transportation of A Better City, moderated a session on policies surrounding road space and road pricing.
Valentino Sevino, Mobility Planning Director of Milan, Italy discussed Mobility Pricing with (from left to right) Shreya Gadepalli, ITDP India, and Gonzalo Peon, ITDP Mexico
Gonzalo Peon, Deputy Director of ITDP Mexico, discussed whats next after Mexico City’s off street parking reform.
Amy Malaki of ClimateWorks moderated a session on electric mobility with (left to right) Xianyuan Zhu, ITDP China, Adalberto Maluf, BYD Brasil, and Jules Flynn, Lyft.
Jules Flynn, Head of Operations at Lyft and ITDP Board Secretary, discussed electrification of bicycles and scooters.
Aimée Gauthier (right) moderated a session on data ethics with Gina Porter, Professor at Durham University; Rafael Pereira, Institute for Applied Economic Research; and Shuai Ren, DiDi Chuxing.
Skye Duncan, Director of National Association of City Transportation Officials discussed her organization’s role in Fortaleza’s interventions.
Changing people’s minds takes seeing the change in action. Many former mayors and city officials spoke of how temporary ‘open streets’ days helped people see the potential of fully pedestrianized spaces. This change in imagination required showing people in cities what their streets could really be if they had space for more than just cars. Some ways of changing politicians’ minds are strikingly simple. For example, in Chennai, the ITDP team took the Commissioner on a walk around the city in the middle of the day. His experience, traversing the hostile or nonexistent sidewalks one time completely transformed his perspective. He now supports their measures and is an advocate for pedestrian spaces. This small example shows how political will has to be tackled head on, but doesn’t take complicated solutions. Other modest actions can make large impacts. Laeticia Dablanc explained how solutions are sometimes better unseen. For instance – in Paris certain policies have forced the freight industry to innovate in unforeseen ways like delivering goods at night, when traffic is lighter, or having warehouses within city limits to decrease the amount of distance needed to travel. She mentioned that a cultural mindset is also necessary – when people no longer expect items next day, freight can be decreased.
Carolina Tohá, Former Mayor of Santiago and ITDP Board Member discussed the challenges of sustainability in developing regions.
Gil Peñalosa gave a preview to his keynote address at a public event held the evening before MOBILIZE.
Prior to the MOBILIZE summit, local stakeholders, city officials, and the general public gathered to discuss reclaiming streets for people.
Shreya Gadepalli, ITDP India Director, discussed many of the changes throughout India.
Clarisse Cunha Linke, ITDP Brazil Director interviewed transportation experts on challenges in reclaiming space for the public.
Members of the public as well as those present for MOBILIZE attended a panel the night before the summit.
Workshops and Site Visits
During the afternoons of MOBILIZE, attendees were offered opportunities to visit the various interventions throughout Fortaleza. The progress in pedestrian safety is staggering. Since 2014, there has been a 40% reduction in fatalities and injuries from road crashes. Tactical urban interventions, like temporary reclaimed space for people have been hugely impactful. Many have become permanent interventions, and foot traffic and feelings of safety have both increased in the areas of the interventions.
MOBILIZE Attendees were offered cycling tours of the new cycling infrastructure in Fortaleza.
Over 2.6 million bicycle trips have been taken with Fortaleza’s bicycle sharing program.
Fortaleza offers four separate bike share programs aimed at different users.
Fortaleza’s Bicicletar bike sharing program has the highest usage in Brazil with an average of 5 trips per day.
Fortaleza has seen an increase of 153% among cyclists between 2012 and 2017.
Fortaleza has 257.5 km of cycle lanes, an increase of 280% from 2013.
MOBILIZE attendees traversed much of the city on bicycle on a guided tour.
Participants had the opportunity to participate in a tactical urbanism project where they reclaimed space for pedestrians through paint, planters, and urban furniture.
This tactical urbanism workshop was based on methods previously used in Fortaleza.
Using furniture, paint, and planters, space was reclaimed for people in Fortaleza.
This urbanism workshop mimicked efforts taken previously by the city of Fortaleza to reclaim space.
Workshop participants worked on an intervention that took unclaimed space on the road back to use for the people.
Most of the daily trips in Fortaleza are taken on foot at 35-40%, which has made walking a priority for interventions.
Interventions, like this one, with bright paints, turned spaces into gathering points for people.
For these interventions, Fortaleza focused on hot spots where fatalities and injuries occurred the most.
Fatalities and injuries have decreased by 40% in Fortaleza between 2014-2018.
Fortaleza has targeted 244 intersections for safety improvements.
A temporary transformation has become permanent and has increased pedestrian circulation by 34%.
Tactical urban interventions featured creative ways of engagement and prioritized community engagement.
Fortaleza has constructed safe intersections, along with raised crosswalks, pedestrian islands, and diagonal crossings.
Fortaleza was one of the 10 cities worldwide to receive support from the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety in 2015 to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.
MOBILIZE attendees took public buses to the city center where they began the walking tour.
Fortaleza’s Bus Improvements
Fortaleza created over 100 kilometers of dedicated bus lanes.
The Public Transit Tour took attendees through the BRT system in Fortaleza.
Fortaleza’s complete streets approach has adopted a golden rule in which any road with 3+ lanes must have one dedicated to transit.
The Papicu Terminal is intermodal and connects the light rail with the bus and bikeshare systems.
The Papicu terminal serves 51 bus lines and 280,000 trips daily.
Operating speeds of buses have increased by 80%, significantly reducing travel time for passengers.
77% of surveyed passengers indicated that public transportation has improved.
Bike parking and bike share options have been integrated with bus stations and terminals.
Bringing the Experience Home
On the final day of MOBILIZE, participants had an opportunity to work together to iron out some of the most complex themes discussed during the preceding days. In small groups, attendees were able to go over what had been discussed and dig further into some of the challenging questions of the topic. Workshops were hosted and presented by members of ITDP staff as well as other transportation experts.
Ricardo Giesen of the BRT Centre for Excellence led a discussion on rapid and reliable buses.
Daniel Ernesto Moser of TUMI explored the Future of Research and Capacity Building.
Transit-oriented development workshop discussed how to create access to destinations where people can walk, cycle, and take transit.
Participants shared ideas that they would bring back to their organizations.
Workshops gave participants to deep dive into topics and themes that had recurred throughout the event.
Workshops included knowledge and capacity building in the field of urban development and transport.
Much of the MOBILIZE experience is the opportunity to work among the world’s leading experts in transportation and development.
A “walkshop” focused on experiencing the city from the perspective of a child or caregiver.
Workshop participants were able to use a ‘periscope mask’ to see the city from the perspective of children – giving them insight into the city’s design and how it affects children, toddlers, and babies.
One workshop on the final day explored BRT operations and how to improve reliability.
Participants discussed the ‘how’ of transit-oriented development and how to achieve those goals within cities.
Workshops on the final day gave participants opportunities to put into action what was discussed.
A workshop on BRT operations discussed methods and incentives to increase reliability of transit services.
Bernard van Leer Foundation sponsored an immersive VR experience showing the viewer what a city would look like from 95 cm (the average height of a 3 year old).
Bernard van Leer Foundation sponsored an immersive VR experience showing the viewer what a city would look like from 95 cm (the average height of a 3 year old).
Attendees participated in interactive workshops focused on a variety of topics.
Interactive workshops gave participants an opportunity to put to practice many of the themes and topics discussed during the sessions,
The first evening of MOBILIZE, the attendees enjoyed an outdoor reception and forró music, a type of traditional music to the Northeastern region of Brazil.
Musicians playing forró, a genre of music typical to the northeastern region of Brazil, performed on the first night of MOBILIZE.
Attendees enjoyed their time in Brazil, particularly in Fortaleza in June when the weather is nice and warm.
MOBILIZE offers the ITDP staff a chance to meet during the year.
Some participants even enjoyed caipirinhas, the national cocktail of Brazil along with other typical food of the region.
Speakers and attendees enjoyed the many evening activities at MOBILIZE..
Participants got to show off their fancy footwork on the first evening.
Those who were not well versed in the dance moves got tutorials from local performers.
Revelry was abundant throughout Mobilize evenings.
MOBILIZE attendees managed to enjoy themselves after a day of discussions and learning.
Festa de São João performers gave MOBILIZE attendees one of many spectacular arts performances of the evening.
Local São João performers and musicians gave quite the performance for attendees.
The São João Festival coincided with the dates of MOBILIZE, giving attendees a great performance typical of that region.
Dancing into the evening, performers joined attendees to celebrate summer solstice and sustainable transportation.
Line and group dancing was enjoyed by all.
People danced into the evening, enjoying an opportunity to listen to fantastic live music in a great setting.
On the final day of MOBILIZE, Pune, India was announced the winner of the 2020 STA and Jakarta, Indonesia was given an honorable mention. Pune was chosen for its work in public transport, with a robust BRT, increased pedestrian infrastructure, parking policy, and strong commitment to improving mobility. Pune is a leader among Indian cities and will host the 2020 MOBILIZE summit. Read more about Pune here.
Michael Kodransky, of ITDP and who directs MOBILIZE, thanked Fortaleza for its hospitality during the preceding days.
Patricia Macêdo, the Secretary of International and Federal Affairs of Fortaleza, thanked the many attendees of MOBILIZE for their enthusiasm during the events
Heather Thompson, ITDP CEO proudly announced that Pune, India is the host for MOBILIZE in 2020.
Shreya Gadepalli. ITDP South Asia Director and Pranjali Deshpande, Senior Programme Manager with ITDP India, applauded as Pune was announced.
As was typical of Fortaleza’s MOBILIZE, the announcement of Pune and farewell address were accompanied with musicians.
Participants themselves couldn’t hold back from moving their feet to the local rhythms.