December 25 2012

A New Transit Authority for Greater Buenos Aires

Satellite image of Greater Buenos Aires

During the 1990’s, and this past decade, the urban sprawl of Greater Buenos Aires has responded diligently to the (worst) example of North American cities, making the expansion and low density of Los Angeles, just a mere competitor in the race for urban sprawl.

Considering the rapid expansion experienced by the city the question is this: How can more than 14 million people be transported, in a safe and comfortable fashion? Fatal accidents are not uncommon; there are massive traffic jams and obvious economic consequences.

The jurisdictional nightmare of having a 14 million people city divided among 25 different districts, makes the creation of a Metropolitan Transit Agency an imperative need. That was achieved in October 2012; finally, authorities from the different districts that tend to be politically divergent met to discuss a roadmap toward the creation of a metropolitan transit authority which can solve the transportation problems of the city from a technocratic, not political view. Not a jurisdictional union, but at least a unification of policies towards improving the quality of the city’s transportation services.

'Vialidad Buenos Aires' Graphical planning of all possible access routes to Downtown Buenos Aires, done and projected.

There have been background developments towards this achievement, such as the creation of an integrated tariff for a single ticket scheme directed toward all public transportation systems and the integration of the national transportation authority within the Ministry of Interior. This means transit is now a priority for the government.

But, as is usual in Latin America, politics are still getting in the way, and considering the facts, there’s still not a full political compromise. To date there is nothing of the promised scheme actually being implemented. This makes you wonder if it is not better to leave transit, and other urban matters, to transportation engineers and urban planners? Is that the correct way? As it worked for Europe?

Should we leave our cities’ problems and solutions to technocrats? What about the population? Should they be consulted too?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Luis Lozano-Paredes

Luis Lozano-Paredes is currently a student seeking a Diploma of Architecture and Urban Planning at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Colombia in 1987, he grew between the cities of Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, and then moved to Argentina in 2006. There, he finished the Common Basic Cycle of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing studies in Landscape Design at the same Institution. Inspired by the Urban Transformation of Bogotá in the past decades, his interests evolved from Landscape Architecture to his current passion; Urban Planning, Policy Making, and Sustainable Development. He plans to continue his studies in Urban Planning and Sustainability in Canada, Chile, or the U.S.; but for the moment he currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center of Metropolitan Transport Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and is a Member of the Observatory of Urban Sustainability at Belgrano University. Luis’ main interests lay within the study of Smart Cities, Urban Sustainable Development, and Social Architecture in Latin America.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 at 12:34 am and is filed under Environmental Design, Infrastructure, Luis Lozano-Paredes, Social/Demographics, Transportation, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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