The lecture will address the issue of having more appropriate speeds in cities while increasing efficiency and livability.



AUDIO: CarlosFelipe Pardo - Reducing speeds for better mobility and quality of life


Issues which the lecture addresses
Current transport policies give too much attention to speed as an indicator of performance, when the correct approach should be that of lowering speeds and increasing efficiency by means of sustainable transport. When comparing the history of speed and transport, many issues arise that demonstrate that the key to improving livability, mobility and efficiency lie in other issues such as better reliability, transport systems but not increasing speeds. The social, economic and environmental issues surrounding the topic are also explored.

Short analysis of the above issues
Speed is a “moving target” and its definition and number has changed across the years, especially during the twentieth century. Transport policy has neglected this evolution and has created a paradigm where speed is central as an indicator that should demonstrate performance, and thus became a goal of transportation policies around the world. The impacts of such an approach have been particularly negative in terms of extreme distances traveled by high-income residents and consequent urban sprawl and problems of road safety. A new approach related to lowering speeds and making appropriate measures to achieve this can generate considerable benefits.

Propositions for addressing the issue
The main measures to achieve more appropriate speeds are:
– Creating adequate infrastructure that is coherent with expected speeds
– Developing infrastructure according to target speeds
– Enforcing speed limits that are coherent with a more sustainable transport policy
– Promoting the use of modes that are sustainable and appropriate speeds of motorized traffic
– Redeveloping the methodologies that measure performance in transportation and redirecting them towards livability and other proxy measures of efficiency

Carlosfelipe Pardo is a Colombian psychologist with a MSc in Contemporary Urbanism from the London School of Economics. He focuses on urban development, mobility, lighting and climate change projects in cities of the developing world. He has participated in technical consultancies in more than 30 cities in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and has coordinated and delivered more than 70 training courses on urban development, climate change, bus rapid systems, non-motorized transport, travel demand management and sustainable transport. CarlosFelipe has experience coordinating projects at a regional level and is also the author of various documents. He is currently the Executive Director of


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