Sunday, April 28, 2013

Transport and Health in Bogotá

The urban environment influences public health. Bogotá is a good example of how the changes in urban environment positively impact physical activities of inhabitants in the city. Here are policies and environmental changes which promote physical activities in Bogotá. First, there is the Ciclovia program. Ciclovia is a program where cars are prohibited using some blocks of streets from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays, and those streets are only allowed for recreational activities including walking and bicycling. Second is the Cicloruta transportation system. The Ciclorutas project installed a 300km length of bicycle path. Also, bicycle paths connect to TransMilenio stations in order to facilitate access to bus stations. It turned out to reduce dependency of automobiles by substituting it with other alternative modes including bicycling, walking and public transit. Third, there is the Transmilenio System. It is designed to reduce the use of automobile which causes traffic congestion and emissions. It provided exclusive right-of-way to buses in the road network in order to increase the mobility of buses. The Transmilenio system also triggers an increase in physical activities in a sense that passengers walk more to access the bus station. Fourth, there is the city park. Bogotá increased green areas, and designed several activities in parks. There were other strategies, as well. The following educational programs increased physical activities of inhabitants in Bogotá: recovery of public space, car-free day, and limited use of automobiles (Pico y Placa). Interestingly, these programs are not designed for public health; rather, it was intended for reducing automobile use. As a result, these programs concomitantly made Bogotá a good environment for active and healthy lifestyles.


Parra, D., Gomez, L., Pratt, M., Sarmiento, O., Mosquera, J., Triche, E.: Policy and Built Environment Changes in   Bogotá and their Importance in Health Promotion. Indoor and Built Environ. 16, 344-348 (2007)

Physical activity, health and transport in Bogotá: the cost of the bus rapid transit system,

1 comment:

  1. Are the Ciclovia blocks/streets that are car-free always the same? Or, like Sunday Parkways here in Portland, do they rotate through different areas, depending on the day? Ciclovia sounds much more institutionalized than Sunday Parkways, which I think speaks to the level of investment and education around physical activity. Changes to built environment seem so much more effective when coupled with educational programs! You've laid out some interesting learning opportunities for the US, similar to the examples from Germany and the Netherlands discussed by Drs. Pucher & Dijkstra in this week's reading.


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