Self-organized groups promoting urban cycling in Quito have a trajectory of more than 10 year for demanding theirs rights but also proposing a new model of mobility. Their original motivations were centered on an environmental perspective however, it has move to a wider notion of how cities should be. The number of organizations working for alternative mobility has increased during the past years as well as their strategies to influence policies and planning. Some of the groups have become NGOs while others remain or were born as community-based initiatives. The emergence of the organizations demonstrates citizens’ awareness of their role and rights as political actors that can shape urban development. In fact, they participation in some decision-making processes, as well as their activities, have had an important impact in changing from a transport to a mobility paradigm, the implementation of projects for urban cycling, and the positioning of their demands and needs in the public agenda. Mobility is a political option that defines the way a city is shaped as well as people´s lifestyles. Therefore, mobility plays a major role in everyday life because it determines the ease of access for citizens and use of urban facilities. In a context of rapid urbanization where cities are characterized for its fragmentation and inequalities, the hegemonic mobility patter based on private transport affects people´s right to the city.). With the expansion of the cities peoples´ needs to commute increased while the transport-oriented policies that prioritize road infrastructure have encouraged the use of the private car Miralles-Guasch & Cebollada (2003). This is an unsustainable model that treats people’s right to the city. Therefore, mobility management requires innovative approaches and decision-making cannot no longer be government-centred. In Quito, civil society has assumed a significant role by demanding, influencing and proposing alternative mobility solutions. These organizations that have a reactive but at the same time proactive character, represent a new phenomenon that innovates on citizens’ participation mechanisms as well as a challenge to local government include them in the decision-making process. In this context, this research identify the demands, goals and strategies of self-organized groups for influencing the definition of alternative mobility policies and planning. The analysis is based on the complexity theories of cities, with emphasis on self-organization, and the right to the city theories by understanding mobility in a relational way and the potential and right of citizens to shape the city.

, , , , ,
Jachnow, A.R.
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Ecuador, E.S.P.C. (2014, September). Self-organization and urban cycling in Quito. Retrieved from