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Reclaiming public space: The economic, environmental, and social impacts of Bogotá's transformation

Wright, Lloyd; Montezuma, Ricardo; (2004) Reclaiming public space: The economic, environmental, and social impacts of Bogotá's transformation. Presented at: Cities for People Conference, Walk21, Copenhagen, Denmark. Green open access

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Abstract

Over the course of a few short years, the city of Bogotá (Colombia) has dramatically transformed the quality of its public space. This session presents primary and secondary data documenting the economic, environmental, and social benefits of improved public space and urban mobility. Bogotá has benefited from a series of political leaders with a highly progressive view on the importance of urban space. This high degree of political will contributed to dramatic changes in several areas, including: 1. Reclamation of public space; 2. Improvement of public transport; 3. Promotion of non-motorised transport; and, 4. Implementation of auto restriction measures. The near simultaneous application of these policies has produced quantifiable benefits to the quality of life of city residents. The research shows that property values in areas with urban upgrades have appreciated considerably when compared to a control group of similar properties. Additionally, the research shows employment benefits from the city’s Sunday “ciclovía” (closing of streets to motorised vehicles) is significantly greater than week-day auto-related employment along the same corridors. Air quality monitoring shows emission reductions by as much as 40 per cent for some pollutants. Social indicators related to accidents, crime levels, and equity are also quite positive. Traffic deaths have been reduced from over 1,300 in 1995 to less than 700 in 2002. Bogotá’s transformation has attracted visits by city officials from over 50 nations. The replicability of Bogotá’s successes will depend upon local circumstances, and especially upon levels of local political will. Further documentation of the economic, environmental, and social benefits stemming from Bogotá’s efforts will help instil the confidence of city officials to move ahead with urban transformations of their own.

Type:Conference item (Presentation)
Title:Reclaiming public space: The economic, environmental, and social impacts of Bogotá's transformation
Event:Cities for People Conference, Walk21
Location:Copenhagen, Denmark
Dates:9-11 Jun 2004
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Keywords:pedestrians, car-free cities, developing nations, Bogotá
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Planning

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