Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Colombia Global Capacity Building Workshops

2 October 2023

From September 24th to 28th, the Dutch Cycling Embassy joined the recent trade mission organized by RVO and the Embassy in Bogota to Colombia led by Vice-Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Michiel Sweers. Together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and three of our experts – Loendersloot Groep, HOD Works and Goudappel – we had excellent Global Capacity Building sessions in Bogotá and Cartagena.  

The week kicked off with the signing of a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bogotá and the Ministry of Transport of Colombia to promote active and sustainable mobility.  

The Ministry of Transport in Colombia has been actively promoting cycling initiatives to enhance sustainable urban mobility. Through strategic planning and investment, they have been working on the development of extensive cycling infrastructure across major cities. These encompass the creation of dedicated cycle lanes, secure parking facilities, and the integration of cycling with public transportation systems. Moreover, the Ministry actively supports awareness campaigns to encourage cycling as a viable and eco-friendly mode of transportation, fostering a culture of cycling within the Colombian society. By prioritizing cycling, the Ministry of Transport is not only reducing environmental impact but also providing citizens with a healthier and more efficient means of transportation. 


The Global Capacity Building sessions provided the needed support to encourage continued implementation and commitment from the cities visited – Bogotá and Cartagena.  


In Bogotá, a city that proudly holds the title of South America’s cycling capital, we had the opportunity to cycle through the City and experience some of its projects firsthand. Interestingly, even though Ciclovia is highly popular – an event that has been held every Sunday morning for the past 50 years by shutting down 75 miles of streets and highways and handing them over to cyclist, runners and walkers – and with significant strides having been made in allocating space for cyclist with the central reservations, there remains hesitation to hop on a bike daily. The Ministry of Transport and the City are working on bridging this hesitation and are looking to the Netherlands for guidance.  

Cartagena faces additional challenges with flooding every high tide in parts of the City, but like Bogotá, is committed to improving its active mobility. With an additional day in Cartagena, a deeper dive session allowed to zoom in on some specific cases that were presented and discussed. It also provided one of the most magical settings to screen Together We Cycle. The documentary stimulating additional discussion and inspiration.  

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