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Raúl Prebisch Conference Room

Session 11: Urban Mobility and Sustainable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Session |
Thu, 18/10/2018 - 16:30 to 18:00

As part of the first Conference of the Cities held in 2017 in Santiago, ECLAC in collaboration with the Government of France organized the first public-private dialogue with the goal of establishing a dialogue between public and private sector actors on sustainable urban development and on implementing the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs in the cities of Latin America and the Caribbean. The second public-private dialogue took place as part of the second Conference of the Cities and sought to advance the regional discussion on urban sustainability, focusing on one of its key challenges: safe, affordable and sustainable urban mobility.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the transport sector is responsible for 32.4% of greenhouse gas emissions within the energy sector, compared with a global average of 18.5%. This accounts for 13% of total GHG emissions of the region and is the most important source of emissions in the energy sector. At the same time, the high level of inequality that characterizes the distribution of income and wealth in Latin America and the Caribbean, contributes to segregated cities, which generate disparities in the quality of mobility and in travel times.

To address these challenges and considering the important role of private sector actors in the provision of urban mobility services in the region’s cities, public-private perspectives were presented throughout the II Conference of the Cities. The Second Public Private Dialogue sessions offered a dedicated space to discuss opportunities for public-private partnerships focused on sustainable urban mobility in further depth. These sessions invited diverse actors to identify and analyze solutions to improve urban mobility in the region, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by innovative public-private partnerships in two specific sectors where private actors play an important role.

First, the dialogue addressed emerging solutions in smart mobility and how they can contribute to solving the challenges of Latin American and Caribbean cities. The private sector has been at the forefront in offering mobility solutions based on the integration of digital technologies, such as big data, optimizing algorithms, artificial intelligence, intelligent sensors, georeferencing, mobile devices and cloud computing. This has produced a series of applications that optimize and offer mobility alternatives to people, such as the digitalization of maps, information systems for directions and journey times, applications for sharing transportation (carpooling or georeferenced systems of cycle hiring). There is also strong growth in electro-mobility and more recently, in experiments with self-driving vehicles. 

However, these systems still mainly benefit the most privileged groups who have access to the necessary resources (credit cards, digital devices, etc.) and who live in well-connected areas. The challenge and at the same time opportunity is to incorporate technologies and innovative solutions into public policies for urban transport and to improve access and quality for the most vulnerable groups who depend on traditional public transport in their day-to-day mobility.

Recalling the impact of the transportation sector on GHG emissions in the region and its likely increase in the coming years, the second session will discuss how to find innovative mechanisms to progress towards more sustainable urban mobility, powered by clean and sustainable energy sources. Owing to the region’s inequalities, the electrification of private mobility, though necessary, is insufficient as a medium-term solution. The region needs to change the quality of its public transportation and ensure that its energy sources are sustainable. The combination of investments in industries related to low-carbon mass mobility and renewable energies to change the energy matrix can become drivers of sustainable production and contribute to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. Advancing in this direction requires active policies that link mobility policy with green energy transition and support projects targeting renewable energies and energy efficiency.



16:30-18:00 - Session 11: Urban Mobility and Sustainable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean

Moderation and introductory presentation: Jeannette Sánchez, Director of the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Division, ECLAC

  • Charlotte HalpernResearcher with the Urban School of Sciences Po, Paris, France
  • Jessica Martínez, Secretary of Sectorial Planning of the Ministry of Public Works, Costa Rica
  • Denis Girault, General Manager of Alstom for the Southern Cone
  • Nelson Fernández, Director of International Relations and Cooperation of the City Hall of Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Flavia Berger, Head of Community Relations of the Office of Clients and Sustainability, Metro de Santiago, Chile

18:00-18:30       Closing session