Building Bike Culture: How Lessons From Latin America Can Be Applied in Chicago - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Building Bike Culture: How Lessons From Latin America Can Be Applied in Chicago

Latin America has a long track record of building bike culture through community-based events and programs. More than 45 years ago, Bogotá, Colombia was one of the first countries to pioneer Ciclovía, where main roads are closed to cars on Sundays and holidays. It proved an innovative use of public space and has transformed bike culture in Colombia and the wider region. Today, as many people commute to work in Bogotá via bicycle on a substantial protected bicycle network, the legacy and transformation of Ciclovía continuesSimilarly, Mexico City is becoming a cycling capital of the world by developing the largest bike-sharing system in Latin America (ECOBICI), which offers innovative integrations with public transit. Recent efforts like installing massive bike hubs and running open-street programs have also improved equity through bike culture, including efforts such as tapping poweof cyclinto improve perceptions of nighttime safety and increasing ridership by women.  

From fostering equity to improving public health, and from reducing environmental impacts to building community cohesion – the power of building bike culture is clear! Join us on World Bicycle Day to hear from Latin American and local leaders on the importance and methods of building bike culture. With a local Chicago expert as a panelist and one as a moderator, we’ll discuss some of the ways that Chicago can continue to use biking and bike culture as a tool for prosperity, safety, sustainability, and equity. 

Divvy and HDR are proud sponsors of Building Bike Culture: How Lessons From Latin America Can Be Applied in Chicago.


  • Lynda Lopez, Advocacy Manager, Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago, USA 


  • Iván de la Lanza, Sustainable Urban Mobility Specialist, Sur Institute, Mexico City, Mexico 
  • Rodrigo Sandoval Araujo, Chief of Communications for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Sports, Bogotá, Colombia 
  • Pha'Tal Perkins, Founder, Think Outside da Block, Chicago, USA

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