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Last week, Despacio led an interactive workshop for the Colombian Ministry of Transport regarding their Sectoral Action Plan (PAS) to mitigate climate change in the transport sector. Despacio coordinated all event logistics, including invitations to relevant government actors, a technical guide regarding the activities, a report discussing...

Despacio spent the last two weeks in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21). We helped coordinate the Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport Partnership (SLoCaT) booth in the Green Zone and the joint FIA Foundation-ITDP-TRF booth in the Blue Zone. We provided visitors with general information about...

Next week there will be a number of sustainable mobility and bike-related events in Bogotá. First we have the eighth annual Bike Week (21st-25th) and the fourth annual International Bicycle Forum (Friday the 25th). On Tuesday the 22nd, Bogotá will hold its third Car-Free Day of 2015. And finally, the...

The rise of motorcycles in Bogotá, as in the rest of the country, has been remarkably fast over the past decade, but measures to deal with this phenomenon have not kept apace. Although international experiences provide some insight and solutions, there is a lack of detailed knowledge on...

For Día Sin Carro (Car-Free Day) this past Wednesday in Bogotá, we decided to take pictures to see the difference between a day with cars and one without. Lucas, one of our volunteers, traveled around the city and took photos to show the difference. It should be obvious which is which:   ...

This is the third and final part of the blog series "Drought and Urban Development. Click for Part I (on the U.S. Southwest) and Part II (North China Plain). Here we turn to Colombia, looking at the devastating drought that hit its Caribbean region last year.
Last week's post looked at the ongoing drought in the Southwestern United States. Residential sprawl there has led to tremendous water waste and the depletion of the Colorado River basin through damming and irrigation. Now we turn to more extreme feats of civil engineering in northern China. Part II: Northern China [caption id="attachment_2694" align="alignnone" width="300"]El río Hai en Tianjín. La cuenca del río también alberga Pekín. Las dos ciudades tienen una población combinada de 30 millones. The Hai River in Tianjin. The river basin also houses Beijing. The two cities have a combined population of over 30 million.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2626" align="alignnone" width="300"]Drought caused water shutoffs in Los Angeles (2009) Drought caused water shutoffs in Los Angeles (2009)[/caption] 2014 was the warmest year in recorded history and in some places, the driest. There are three major types of droughts—meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural—each with its own complex set of causes. Climate change plays a significant role in drought, through increased temperatures and disruptions to the hydrological cycle, but solely blaming climate change obscures the more tangible problem of water abuse and can become, according to activist Maude Barlow, “a catch-all for some governments to do nothing.” Unsustainable urban development and the productive processes that support it are contributing to and exacerbating the current droughts in the Southwestern United States, China’s Northern Plains, and Colombia’s Caribbean coast. "Drought and Urban Development" is a three-part series that analyzes these three regions as case studies, focusing on one causal factor in each: residential sprawl, agriculture, and coal mining, respectively. In each, short-term profit-driven practices have caused the depletion and contamination of surface and groundwater. Unfortunately, the proposed solutions in each case are similarly myopic. Part I: The U.S. Southwest

Despacio participated at the COP20 in Lima, supporting a number of activities for two projects: SLoCaT and GIZ TRANSfer. The outcomes of these projects' work can be found on the websites for the various events. Despacio's role generally consisted of following up meetings and discussions during the COP20 negotiations, preparing for Transport Day, and attending activities...

During this event, we described the ways in which NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, an instrument to finance climate change mitigation) can be useful in advancing the implementation of sustainable urban development policies. The event was carried out in a networking format alongside 20 similar events. Participation...