Evolution of Transport Policies in Latin-America, Stages and Steps Forward

  •  Carlos Alberto Moncada A.    
  •  Peter Jones    
  •  Diego A. Escobar    


This paper presents the evolution of Latin-American transport policies in cities framed in terms of a conceptual model of three Stages recently developed to analyse policy initiatives in Western Europe cities, but probably suitable for developing countries. Stage one is identified as the accommodation of the steady growth of cars through urban road construction. Stage Two is connected to the improvement of public transport services and the shift to more efficient transport systems. Then Stage Three is based on concepts of liveable cities focused on well-being and social inclusion. Latin-American examples and specific cases of policy instruments’ implementation are used to test the validity of this three-stage model in a South American context. Comparative data for different cities are presented, shows results and consequences in terms of congestion reduction, transport systems improvements and some early sustainable transport initiatives. The work depicts the evolving policies of some Latin-American cities, first implementing major road improvements, next the implementation of car controls, and then, the switch to improved public transport systems. Finally the implications for cities in developing countries for the upcoming challenges in transport policies are considered. The paper discusses whether there is or not a transition process in Latin-American urban transport policies, and their success and efficiency on a worldwide comparative basis. As will be shown in this paper, transport policies in Latin-American cities can be characterised in one of these identified Stages of the evolution. Some of them are in Stage Two, while others are still under the influence of car-oriented planning in Stage One. Nevertheless, every policy instrument has impacts resulting from mutations in behaviour after years of application, and those impacts can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful transformations.

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