Buenos Aires mayor and his peers from the Metropolitan Region of Santiago and the city of Salta participated in the "The future of cities and mobility" series of meetings, organized by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires together with the IDB.
Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta; the Mayor of the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile, Felipe Guevara Stephens, and the Mayor of the city of Salta, Bettina Romero, participated in the "The future of cities and mobility" series of meetings organized by the Government of the City and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The objective of the meeting was to promote the exchange of experiences and good practices in the context of the pandemic and adaptations to the "new normal".
"The health crisis has accelerated the transformations that we were already implementing in our cities. The expansion of the bicycle lane network, the creation of new pedestrian streets and the promotion of local commerce are part of our vision of a Buenos Aires on a human scale, with fewer cars and where more and more people choose sustainable and public transportation", said Rodríguez Larreta.
With the discussions moderated by Secretary General and Secretary for International Relations of Buenos Aires, Fernando Straface, the mayors shared their urban visions for transformation and discussed current accelerated changes, such as interventions that create new public spaces, better and safer opportunities for waking, and more sustainable mobility.
"When you open and generate infrastructure that gives safety to the cyclist, the use of bicycles grows", said Mayor Bettina Romero, and then explained that the objective in the coming months will be to expand the network of bicycle lanes to improve the connection between neighbourhoods from the periphery and the centre of Salta city. "By generating this new network of safe and illuminated spaces and with the corresponding signage, we will be able to see growth in a transport system that is highly beneficial for the environment, the economy and, today more than ever, for health", she concluded.
For his part, Mayor Guevara Stephens highlighted the work done to promote the bicycle as an alternative for sustainable mobility. "We have the space to create true bicycle highways and we are promoting 200km of new bicycle lanes", he explained. In addition, he pointed out that they are designing a system of streets and avenues of single use for public transport, to improve the efficiency of the service.
In one of the subsequent panels, the Secretary of Transportation and Public Works of Buenos Aires, Juan José Mendez, and international experts Tatiana Gallego Lizon, Head of the Housing and Urban Development Division of the IDB Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, and Flavio Coppola, Manager of the C40 Urban Planning Program, focused on the tools to implement comprehensive policies and strategies to achieve compact cities -or 15 minute cities as they are referred to- and financing for transformations in urban centres.
During the first four meetings of the cycle, authorities of provincial and municipal governments of the country and the region, together with representatives of international organizations, presented good practices and lessons learned with regards to transport and mobility in the context of the health crisis. They discussed the main initiatives to promote sustainable mobility and road safety, and how to incorporate technology and smart mobility into the new normal.
The specialists agreed that the city reactivation and recovery plans offer a unique opportunity to reinforce commitments to sustainable development, social inclusion and the environment.
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