Latin American cities share lessons learned about sustainable mobility plans

More than 70 authorities from 23 cities are participating in the SUMP Learning Programme for Latin America.

Cologne, Germany, September 2, 2020 - Due to rapid urban growth in recent decades, many Latin American cities have found it necessary to develop strategic plans with a long-term vision. In this way, people's mobility needs can be met while levels of accessibility, equity and quality of life can be improved.

This is why the EUROCLIMA+ programme, through the Urban Mobility sector, works with cities in the region to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

"EUROCLIMA+ has helped to better plan sustainable urban mobility in the metropolis and this brings with it a series of lessons as well as ways in which the quality of life of citizens can be improved by optimising the means of transport and each of its elements", commented Hermes Esteban Hernández, Project Leader for IMEPLAN's Management and Participation projects in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Since 2013, these innovative initiatives are the main instrument for strategic planning in Europe; however, the SUMP methodology is relatively new in Latin America and many governments still do not have sufficient tools for its implementation.

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To provide the technical capacities for local authorities to develop and implement these plans, EUROCLIMA+ launched the SUMP Learning Programme for Latin America in November 2019. So far two of the four courses have been held, the last one being held virtually from April 14 to May 29.

More than 70 local authorities from 23 cities are actively participating in the programme, including the beneficiaries of EUROCLIMA+ SUMP projects: Antofagasta (Chile), Ambato (Ecuador), Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara (Mexico), La Habana (Cuba), Arequipa (Peru), Córdoba (Argentina) and Baixada Santista (Brazil). These projects are implemented by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

The Learning Programme is based on the essence of the SUMP concept and provides participating cities with tools, examples and best practices. In addition, it contextualises its content to the characteristics of the regions; for example, Antofagasta had the opportunity to share its particular conditions at the closing seminar:

“The north of Chile, which lives off mining, impacts cities with high rates of motorisation and pollution, to which is added the phenomenon of job commuting that degrades its cities. This programme allows us to reverse this condition through urban mobility, with a plan that has never existed before,” said Hugo Pizarro, who is in charge of the development of the SUMP for Antofagasta from the Chilean city's Regional Government.

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The second course focused on the second phase of the SUMP Cycle, Strategy Development. This was integrated into three modules, a discussion forum, and a SUMP library with resources and documents, as well as a section for virtual Seminars with the video recordings.

The course was designed and moderated by Rupprecht Consult, based in Germany. During the period, the second course participants obtained the tools to build mobility scenarios, develop a strategic vision with stakeholders, establish objectives and indicators, and other aspects.

“The course content is a basic methodological input for the development of most of the working stages of the SUMP updating process for the city where I work,” explained Jorge Alberto Silva, IMEPLAN’s Coordinator of Systems and Mobility Planning.

The participants in this second course gave highly positive feedback to the SUMP Learning Programme for Latin America. They highlighted the relevance of the content to their daily work and how the tools offered have been applied in their respective cities.

“The contents of the course enrich me in my daily work. I have been able to access working groups in other municipalities and ministries, and other actors in both public and private sectors. I have learned the importance of joint participation and teamwork in consolidating vision and strategic objectives,” said Hugo Pizarro, of GORE Antofagasta.

“The Learning Programme has become a platform of constant and recurrent use when addressing doubts or searching for solutions to certain problems related to the process of preparing a mobility plan,” added Diego Alejandro Márquez, Project Leader for IMEPLAN's Mobility Planning.

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For the next courses, current topics will be included, such as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the development of SUMPs and how the projects contribute to a green recovery in the region. This will include international examples and best practices. Also highlighted is the use of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Platform in Latin America in arranging MobiliseYourCity partnerships in order to maintain experience exchanges even after the programme has ended.

A new apprenticeship programme will be launched in 2021 to train trainers across the region and bring the knowledge of SUMPs to more Latin American cities.


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union and co-financed by the Federal Government of Germany through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as by the governments of France and Spain. Its objective is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, and investment. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the UN Environment.

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