SEDATU Explores New Mobility Models After COVID-19By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 05/11/2020 - 13:32
Local, state and federal authorities have acknowledged the negative impact of the current car-centered mobility model on public health and territory resilience amid the pandemic. Since the early stages of the pandemic, SEDATU organized a series of webinars and so-called online conversations regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the territory. Last week, the webinar: "Mobility on the territory amid health contingency" took place with representatives of 20 states and nine countries in the Latin American region, as well as specialists on the subject.
"SEDATU has promoted the update and harmonization of official norms and legal frameworks at the local level regarding mobility. These efforts are not enough; it is urgent to double the efforts in the public sector so that populated areas are resilient, while offering mobility solutions to deal and overcome this kind of epidemic episodes more efficiently," said Carina Arvizu, Deputy Minister of Urban and Living Place Development at SEDATU.
The meeting was also attended by Senators Patricia Mercado and Xóchitl Gálvez, representatives from the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), WHO advisers, OCDE analysts and CONACYT members. One of the greatest lessons of the pandemic is the "positive effect" of rethinking mobility alternatives, including the use of IT technologies and more pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, attendants concluded.
"SEDATU is embracing a new role in mobility, which is based on urban development. We want to have cities that require less movement of people and less transfers. We are betting on local solutions with a metropolitan vision and an effective coordination at the three government levels," said Metropolitan and Mobility Coordinator of SEDATU, Daniel Fajardo.
Mexico has established in different legal frameworks the "territory planning program," which has to be elaborated at the three government levels. Federal, state and local governments set goals and indicators about how the territory will evolve during their respective administration. During the meeting, participants agreed on the importance of updating these programs to strengthening street design and green infrastructure, while adapting them to public transportation needs. "There is a need to make public transportation more efficient, modern and sufficient to attend the mobility needs of approximately 80 percent of the population" said SEDATU in a statement.
The first step to strengthen mobility systems to react to COVID-19 and future pandemics is related to harmonizing legal frameworks, promoting new legal instruments and redefining infrastructure needs. "This could be a transformative element for cities to promote health benefits for individual's health and community economy", said Mariana Orozco, SEDATU's Director of Metropolitan Relations. Players involved in the subject must acknowledge health vulnerabilities to assume a new leadership toward safer, more efficient and more sustainable mobility models, said SEDATU on a statement.