Last week (January 12-16), Despacio actively participated in a number of important transport-related conferences and events in Washington, D.C.
The first of these was the Transport Research Board 94th Annual Meeting, which drew over 10,000 participants to discuss a range of transport topics. On January 12th, Jonas Hagen of Columbia University presented a poster on a paper that he submitted to TRB 2015 with Despacio’s Carlosfelipe Pardo and Johanna Burbano Valente. The paper, titled «Motorcycle Adoption and Use in Latin American Cities: A Qualitative Study» uses interviews and focus groups to uncover themes related to motorcycle use in six cities: Barranquilla, Bogotá (Colombia), São Paulo, Recife (Brazil), Caracas (Venezuela), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Based on research carried out for the CAF – Development Bank of Latin America in 2011 and 2012, the paper shows common themes across the six cities, including the time advantage that motorcycles offered over public transportation and congested auto traffic, the reasonable cost of motorcycles versus other transport modes, the culture of motorcycle use, and the vulnerability of motorcyclists to traffic injury and death.
Despacio took advantage of the concentration of transport experts in D.C. to launch its Bogotá 2014 Bicycle Account, a preliminary English-language study of trends, perceptions and needs for cycling in Bogotá. Later in the week, we presented the Bogotá 2014 Bicycle Account at the Transforming Transportation conference, organized by the World Bank and EMBARQ. Meanwhile, the Sustainable Low-Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) Partnership had its annual meeting. Despacio, as the representative of SLoCaT’s Latin America and Caribbean division, participated in the meeting and provided input on regional activities and needs.
Despacio also sat on the commitee for the 10th Annual Sustainable Transport Award, which was presented on the evening of Tuesday the 13th. Three Brazilian cities (Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro) received the award in the first ever three-way tie.