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Mexico City’s car-free Sundays are catalyst for change

Car-free Sundays in Mexico City sparked wider efforts to promote physical activity. (katiebordner/flickr/cc)

The car-free Sundays introduced in Mexico City seven years ago were supposed to encourage outdoor activities such as jogging and biking. Gisela Mendez reports in The City Fix that the road closures achieved those goals — and much more. 

The “Muévete en Bici” (Bike Move) program is now the fifth-largest car-free initiative in Latin America. Bogotá pioneered the concept with its Ciclovía, introduced in 1976.

Mexico City’s street closures spawned a bike-share service and dedicated cycling lanes, the article says. Activities along the auto-free routes include salsa lessons and theatrical and musical performances. Cycling mechanics, vendors and political activists vie for the attention of passersby.

According to the article, the city consolidated planning related to car-free Sundays and non-motorized transport into one office in 2008. The office quickly grew and evolved into the Culture, Design, and Bike Infrastructure Department of the Ministry of the Environment. More here about Mexico City’s steps to inspire healthy lifestyles.

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