Sustainable urban mobility

Urban mobility is a new paradigm in the development of cities. The traditional concept of transport focuses on the movement of vehicles, therefore its approach aims at improving traffic flow. Whereas, mobility aims at moving people, regardless of which method of transport. Overall efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability is taken into account in this instance.

Interventions of Aire Limpio in urban mobility started with the establishment of the Municipal Transport Programme (PROMUT) as the guiding document and key instrument for mobility planning in the cities. PROMUT’s main aim is a paradigm shift from transport to mobility. To reach this goal, the cities started projects based on the analysis of the proposed measures set out by PROMUT.

Consolidation due to General Law on Transport

From the outset, the project has worked to improve urban mobility. However, it was not until the General Law on Transport of 2011 was passed, that the new paradigm and the elements for its implementation began to consolidate.

La Paz, with the support of the Spanish Cooperation (AECID), was the first municipality to create a mobility plan. Supported by Aire Limpio, other municipalities followed and by the end of 2017, 12 municipalities had implemented this planning tool.

Municipal Transport Programmes in Bolivia up to 2017

CityElaboration DateFunding
PROMUT Tarija2011Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Sucre2012Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Potosí2012Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Oruro2013Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Trinidad2014Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Tiquipaya2016Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Sacaba2017Project Aire Limpio
PROMUT Quillacollo2017Project Aire Limpio
PMUS Santa Cruz *2017JICA
PMUS Cochabamba*2017IDB

* Metropolitan studies

Once the municipalities had this urban mobility planning instrument ready and approved, Aire Limpio assisted the municipal Annual Operation Plan by co-financing the implementation of pilot activities. Specialised technical assistance was provided for the socialisation, final design and implementation of the measures prioritised within each Municipal Transport Programme (PROMUT).


Result: Change of focus towards urban mobility

Aire Limpio supported the implementation of a wide range of measures to put PROMUTs into practice. The list of achievements is impressive:

  • In all 12 municipalities, a focus shift towards urban mobility was achieved, where pedestrians, cyclists and the public transport have been prioritised. The project supported the creation of an institutional system for urban mobility in Bolivia through the creation of the Urban Mobility Secretariat in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba, Tarija and Santa Cruz. The other cities maintain their previous structure (technical, infrastructure or traffic and transport secretariats).
  • 75 technicians have qualified with certificates in Sustainable Urban Mobility.
  • 420 technicians were trained in urban design; Manual for the Designing of Urban Bolivian Streets by the Aire Limpio Project.
  • Technical assistance for the implementation of over 20 measures for improving urban mobility in different Bolivian municipalities became available.
  • Support and technical assistance to urban transport growth and service provision to the La Paz Bus-Pumakatari, Mi Teleférico and Wayna Bus systems was established.
  • Implementation of the National Certification System of the permitted levels of emissions for the import of motor vehicles into the country.
  • Establishment of five preliminary projects of municipal laws on urban sustainable mobility for the municipalities in Bolivia.
  • The project laid the foundations for drawing the attention to the public policies for improving urban mobility. Public investments in urban mobility projects projected and on implementation exceed 2 billion USD.
  • Consolidation of the network of thematic experts on urban mobility in the areas of research and development (universities), studies and plans (specialist consultants), suppliers of services and specialised software, and municipality technicians responsible for the implementation of different measures.
  • Finally, it is important to underline the changes in the citizens’ attitudes with regards to mobility. They show greater respect towards pedestrian walkways, traffic lights and road signs, as well as towards urban cyclists. Their awareness of the negative effects of the excessive use of private vehicles has been raised. There is a common understanding for the urgent need of transforming the traditional systems of public transport. Many civil groups and associations have been created to tackle these issues, particularly groups of urban cyclists and public space defenders, who form the social basis for consolidating the public policies on a long-term basis.