Ambato, Equador to pedestrianize its city centre

In early March 2020, at the 5th Transport and Climate Change Week in Berlin, Ambato’s Mayor Javier Altamirano, was inspired to sign The International Charter for Walking to underpin the importance of walking for the sustainability of his town.  

Building on this commitment, Ambato City Hall turned the challenge of COVID-19 into an opportunity for implementing the first pedestrian zones and cycle lanes in the centre and to prioritize people and public space.

We applaud the City of Ambato for this forward-looking initiative and are happy to see how The International Charter for Walking is being used as an instrument to create lasting support for walking.

Another recent signatory of The International Charter for Walking is the Mayor for the town of Begues in Catalonia, Spain. Mayor Maria Mercé Esteve Pi signed on behalf of her citizens to confirm their commitment to walkability as a key component of their quality of life. Interestingly Begues is also part of the cittaslow network.

The cittaslow movement believes: good living means having the opportunity of enjoying solutions and services that allow citizens to live in their town in an easy and pleasant way.

The pace at which we live has been challenged by COVID-19 and perhaps this is the start of rethinking how we create our cities and our lives and how we value time.

“So here’s the paradox of speed. Slow cities give you more time. How that works goes to how we conceive and colonise planet Earth.” 

From a Sydney Morning Herald article by Elizabeth Farrelly about Slow Cities:  Conquering our speed addiction for health and sustainability which we have shared with you in our August newsletter. She relates the ideas in the Slow Cities book to David Attenborough’s new film:  A Life On Our Planet.  

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