|Dr. Carlos Cadena Gaitan
Green Politics in Latin American Cities: Sustainable Transport Agendas
Luc Soete, Maria Figuerao en Juan Pablo Bocarejo
This dissertation studies the relationship between political and institutional factors in Latin American cities, and the sustainability level of their urban transport systems. This research contributes with a unique in-depth analysis of the transport sustainability context for Curitiba (Brazil), Guadalajara (Mexico), and Medellín (Colombia). The urban population in our world is growing rapidly. The rate of urban demographic growth in some developing world regions also takes place in an often chaotic and disorderly way. The exponential growth of urban populations is being accompanied by unprecedented destruction of urban ecosystems and an indiscriminate use of finite natural resources, resulting in manifest environmental catastrophes in urban areas. One specific area to tackle when studying urban sustainability concerns transport systems. These, not only are inherently tied to the urban levels of environmental pollution and congestion, but also deal with the vital structure that allows citizens to mobilize, and thus, fulfil their social and economic needs. Car dependency is one of the key phenomena to consider. It implies that cities where cars are the predominant transport mode, deny their citizens freedom of choice about the way they live and move around the city. Unfortunately, this car-dependency generates serious social, environmental and economic damages. This dissertation tackles this problem, and attempts to measure attempts at promoting more sustainable transport systems in Latin American cities.