Colombia Transit-Oriented Development NAMA moves to implementation

The innovative Colombia Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) NAMA has begun implementation. The NAMA promotes better-planned, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods, to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce household transportation costs, expand access to jobs and services, and improve social inclusion.

Transport is Colombia’s fastest growing sector in terms of energy consumption and GHG emissions. Already a leader in implementing bus rapid transit (BRT), the nation is now taking a comprehensive approach to tackle traffic and emissions over the long term by coordinating land-use, transport systems and social housing policy.

Colombian stakeholders and the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) worked together to create an independent center for the promotion of transit–oriented development (CIUDAT), housed within the national development bank, Findeter. CIUDAT provides cities with locally specific technical and financial assistance for TOD implementation and will provide policy advice to advance and harmonize national policy goals in urban transportation, housing and environment, economic development, and social equity.

The structure promotes coordination between five government agencies: Transportation, Environment, Planning, Housing and the National Development Bank (Findeter). CIUDAT’s Board consists of vice ministers and directors representing each institution, with CCAP providing advisory input. An advisory committee of technical staff also meets regularly to guide NAMA implementation. These structures are also being used in the design of additional NAMAs.

CIUDAT will support catalytic projects that inform replication of the TOD model across Colombian cities. So far, four cities have stepped forward with promising catalytic opportunities: Cali, Medellín, Pasto and Manizales.

  • Cali is transforming an old rail corridor into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly zone connecting housing, public space and commerce.
  • Medellín plans a public-private partnership for TOD around a new metro station in a former industrial area.
  • Pasto is redesigning its downtown to comprise super-blocks that reduce traffic and improve walkability.
  • Manizales envisions a pedestrian-oriented redevelopment of its historical town center to promote accessibility and social inclusion around a recently inaugurated station.

Funding for the NAMA (including a grant from the NAMA Facility) began in August 2016. CCAP is the delivery organization for the technical component, as is German development bank, KfW, for the financial component. Findeter hosts CIUDAT and is implementing agency for both components

The TOD NAMA aims to reduce annual GHG emissions by 3.5 to 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050.