Mexico City's Green Plan: EcoMobility in motion

Mexico City's Green Plan: EcoMobility in motion

This report by ICLEI describes the ‘green transportation plan’ of Mexico City, previously known as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The transport system has relied on cars and environmentally inefficient and unsafe microbuses, creating extreme levels of congestion which led to an average daily commute of 2.5 hours and dangerous levels of environmental pollution – posing threats to the health and welfare of its residents. In 2007, the city adopted its first, 15 year, ‘Green Plan’, which set out to address climate change through reducing GhG emissions and promoting ‘ecomobility’ – non-motorised means of transportation. The plan has focussed on the expansion of the subway system and the upgrading of the bus network to a ‘Bus Rapid Transit System’ (BRT).

The plan has led to the development of:
•    A new, 12th subway line
•    Three additional bus corridors
•    Bus-only lanes to provide faster journeys
•    A compulsory transport system for schools students to travel by either public transportation, bicycle or on foot 
•    Pedestrianisation of neighbourhoods and historical centres
•    A non-motorised lanes programme to increase the number and length of bike lanes
•    An affordable, short-term bike-rent scheme 
•    The closure of certain major roads to cars, to make way for pedestrians and cyclists

Results show that the plan has had significant impacts after three years, including: the reduction of 342, 000 average daily cars on the roads; a shift of 15% previous driving commuters to eco-mobile modes of transportation; 21 schools enrolled on the compulsory transport system; 4000 registered eco-bike users; the reduction of 960 tonnes of pollutants; and the development of a new culture of respect for pedestrians and cyclists. However, due to the highly ambitious nature of the plan, some of the scheduled activities are not advancing on time. ICLIEI concludes that taking a mid-term approach to strategizing was beneficial to policymaking, resource planning and implementation. Participation is a crucial element of success in terms of planning and motivating stakeholders to take on behavioural changes. This case study provides an example and a template for replication in other cities.

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