What’s unique about the initiative?
To reduce the impacts of climate change, CESTA’s “No Bicycle, No Planet” campaign promotes bicycle transport in Guazapa, with bicycle ordinances, cycle routes, 6 women with bicycle workshops and road safety education for 1,000 young people. At the national level, fifty bicycle workshops have been established, of which twenty are run by women, 5000 students have received road safety education, a bicycle promotion law was passed, twelve municipalities now have bicycle ordinances, and are building bicycle lanes.
Most outstanding results
The programme ‘No bicycle, no planet’ in Guazapa, a municipality with few public transportation options located 24 kilometres north of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, sets an example for the use of bikes as a sign of freedom, sustainability and empowerment for the rest of the country.
Friends of the Earth El Salvador (CESTA) programme’s three fundamental components are: work with the municipality, work with educational centres, and implementation of activities to engage women.
As well as revolutionising transport by promoting the use of bicycles, the project has empowered women, delivering increased autonomy and sustainability. In bicycle repair workshops, women have been taught new skills that they are now using in their own repair stores, thus providing income for their family and teaching their children to do the same. In this way, women are gaining financial independence and breaking the stereotype that bicycle-related jobs can only be done by men.
In a space called ‘network of workshops’, which brings together more than fifty active women, they work to promote bicycle use with mass cycling events and to demand safer spaces for bikes and cyclist-friendly road signs. Young people in educational centres are also demanding the same, and the municipality and community is responding positively to their demands.
To date, the municipality has approved an ordinance to promote the use of bicycles and has allocated resources to make the roads safer for cyclists. At the national level, the central government has enabled bicycle lanes and begun to limit the speed of automobiles on some roads to 30km/h. Twelve other municipalities have emulated Guazapa but the hope is that many more also will follow suit.
Quote from the evaluation committee
“Sin Bicicleta no Hay Planeta is a comprehensive initiative that thought of the many aspects that would make it sustainable with various «spillover effects». The various steps and levels of action during its implementation were thorough. Its strong advocacy included certain collectives and was successful, managing to influence legislation and policies at local level. The results are bold, having had an effect in the way public authorities and the population understand means of transportation. The sensibilisation and educational campaigns made the bicycle an instrument to tackle women’s socioeconomic empowerment and youth education, as well as the mitigation of violence. The most inspirational aspect of Sin Bicicleta no Hay Planeta is that it shows how ecological transition can bring about social change.”
– Tiago Da Cruz
To know more, read this in-depth article. Also, you can scroll down to download the application form filled by this initiative to take part in the Transformative Cities award.