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Bicycle Infrastructure Guide for Colombian Cities

By 22 febrero, 2016 No Comments

portada guiaDuring the second half of 2015, Despacio was busy putting together the «Bicycle Infrastructure Guide for Colombian Cities» for the Colombian Ministry of Transport. This is the country’s first attempt to formally coordinate the design and implementation of bicycle infrastructure in its cities. Despacio is excited and grateful to be a central part of this effort.  Despacio created the guide as a living tool, in conjunction with the Spanish consulting firm Gea21.

What does the guide offer?

The «Bicycle Infrastructure Guide for Colombian Cities» provides recommendations about bike infrastructure design and urban planning policies that allow equitable, safe and efficient travel by bike. Recognizing that each city has different urban, topographic, climate and cultural conditions, the guide does not provide definitive, «one size fits all» solutions. Instead, it offers guidelines and recommendations that can be adapted to each city. Topics include design, promotion, integration with public transit and planning tools.

Una ciclorruta bidireccional

A bidirectional bikeway (a sketch from the guide)

What was the process?

Figura 1 Proceso de adaptacion de contenidos informacion de visitas y consultas con expertos

The first step in creating the guide was to review bike infrastructure from other countries, including Denmark, Brazil, Spain, the United States, South Africa and South Korea. We wanted to look at the different possible ways to present this sort of information, and analyze the strengths of each. Next, the Despacio team visited different Colombian cities and municipalities to learn about and evaluate their bike infrastructure practices. We attempted to visit a diverse set of cities, in terms of their urban, topographic and socioeconomic conditions. We conducted a similar evaluation process in European cities through interviews, visits and secondary research.

After the initial research phase, Despacio began to write the first draft of the guide, covering topics including design, policy, signage and promotion. Varios stakeholders revised the draft, including Ministry of Transport officials, decision-makers in different municipalities, and international and local experts.


We looked at a number of guides from other cities and countries to write this one 

What did we learn?

We learned a lot while writing the guide, including the particularities of existing bike infrastructures in different Colombian cities, the relative importance of different cycling policies to stakeholders involved, and the overall need for a bike infrastructure guide in Colombia.

Trabajo de campo en Palmira

Fieldwork in Palmira, Colombia

If you want to read more about the guide, check out these articles from El Tiempo and VICE!


How can I get a copy?

The official launch of the Guide was April 28, 2016 at the Ministry of Transport. It is available online in PDF- click hereTo reduce paper and increase circulation, it is only available in digital form. Please share with interested friends and contacts.