The MOBILIZE Summit is the Institute for Transportation and Development’s (ITDP) annual sustainable transportation summit. The summit showcases the winner of the Sustainable Transport Award (STA), which recognizes the leadership, vision, and achievement(s) of cities in sustainable transport and development. Since 2016, MOBILIZE has hosted summits in Yichang, China; Santiago, Chile; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Fortaleza, Brazil. The strategies showcased by these cities promote people-oriented cities, reduce transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions, and improve safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians. In 2020, in light of Covid-19, the annual summit pivoted to an online format for MOBILIZE Virtual, showcasing the STA winning city of Pune, India.

Fortaleza, Brazil, 2019


20 countries, 46 cities, 226 participants came together to learn from the mobility and access lessons offered by Fortaleza and discuss the theme around reclaiming streets for access and mobility.

View pictures from MOBILIZE here.

View press clippings from MOBILIZE here.

Public Event

When streets are designed to human-scale, mobility becomes a powerful agent to unite communities and allow greater participation in economic and social opportunities while also tackling the climate crisis. Mobility is not inherently inclusive. The prioritization of street space is a question of values, involving and impacting both physical and civic infrastructure. This panel will examine the dynamics of street space and how cities are reclaiming streets for people.

The Cost of Re-Humanizing Streets

A majority of the world’s urban population are without equitable and sustainable mobility choices. When cities reclaim streets for people, there are shifts in power and funding, impacting streets users and modes differently. This panel will examine the dynamics of the street space, and how cities are addressing it as they reclaim their streets for people.

Private Mobility, Public Interest

Cities are witnessing the limits of their ability to address growing travel demands. Private operators are prompting cities to reevaluate public transit service and coverage. This session will explore how cities can support innovation in the public interest without over-regulating private operators.

What Makes Buses Work

More than two billion people travel by bus every day, making it the most common form of transport in the world after walking and cycling. From BRT to bus priority to electrification, cities around the world have been making innovative improvements to their bus fleets with encouraging results. Latin Brazilian cities have been at the forefront of these innovations, beginning with the first BRT in Curitiba, and continuing with Fortaleza’s successful bus improvements. This session will examine how cities have been able to increase bus ridership and restore public trust and value to transit.

Urban Development That Connects People to Opportunities

While many cities around the world are growing more rapidly than ever before, there is also a major trend of slow growth and suburbanization in other areas. Rapidly growing cities tend to be multimodal, with low but rising rates of car ownership, while slow growth areas are largely car-oriented. This session will analyze spatial mismatch and access, and how urban areas can leap past car-oriented development to create more equitable, multimodal cities that provide access and opportunity for all.

Targeted Interventions to Improve Road Safety

Urban growth without adequate planning and infrastructure for all users creates deadly environments. As a result, road safety is a global public health crisis with WHO estimates of 1.35 million people killed on roads in 2018, half of whom were pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. This session will address the scope of the problem, and galvanizing political will to make urban streets safe for all communities.

Keynote: Gil Penalosa

Gil Penalosa is passionate about creating cities for all people; vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of age and social, economic, or ethnic background. Gil is the founder and chair of the internationally recognized Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities. He is also first Ambassador of World Urban Parks.

Before immigrating to Canada, Gil was Commissioner in Bogota. He holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he recently was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. In 2015 Gil received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Urban Planning at the prominent University in Sweden, SLU. This year Gil was listed in Planetizen’s Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists and recently received in Australia the World Urban Parks Annual Distinguished Individual Award.

How to Create Harmonious Cities

Neglected neighborhoods and deteriorating infrastructure cause safety concerns. This often leads to “solutions” of gated communities, closed spaces, surveillance and car-oriented design. Without vibrant, people-oriented activities, streets become even more unsafe spaces that restrict access and movement, especially for women and communities of color. This panel will discuss safe, quality transport and welcoming spaces using design and inclusive planning to enable full participation in city life.

From Pop-Up to Permanent City Fix

Forward-thinking cities increasingly see street space as more than the movement of vehicles, but also a space for active living, social interaction, play, and commerce. Yet changing the built environment often comes with major political hurdles and local resistance. Many cities have found success using “pop-ups”, or quick pilot projects, to build support and shift policy, with the goal of institutionalizing and scaling these interventions. This session will demonstrate the potential of pop-ups, and give tips on how to make them permanent.

Charging Ahead to An Electric Future

Cities need to plan for an electric mobility transition from hard infrastructure with evolving technologies to grid designs to accommodate both mass transit and smaller modes. This session will discuss what is needed for this transition, from setting new standards to electrify current and future transit, to establishing low emission zones and fossil-fuel free streets.

Low Cost and High Impact Interventions- Feedback with the City of Fortaleza

Faced with economic recession, reshaping cities to prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and public transport is possible through prompt and bold interventions in urban mobility and road safety. This session will present the case of Fortaleza, and how the actions implemented in recent years has made the city more inclusive, safe and accessible for all.

Beyond the Nudge: Data that Moves Humans

Data is reshaping the way we move around cities. Harnessing competing business interests for collective public good remains unresolved. This session will explore how data enables or segregates mobility choices, and how to guide mobility services on public streets that operate on private platforms.

Mobility Pricing: Smashing Car Culture with Sticks

City metropolitan regions are larger than ever. Yet they are not big enough to accommodate consumer demands for road space and the negative effects caused by personal vehicle use. Pricing vehicle use has the potential to address negative environmental impacts and better address the interplay between economics, politics and the desire for fairness and freedom in the city.

Mobilizing for the Climate Emergency

Cities are unprepared to stop climate change. Transport emissions make up a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and is increasing at the fastest rate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 report states that 20 percent of emission reductions needed to limit temperature rise must come from trips avoided or trips shifted. This panel will discuss accelerating and scaling sustainable transport solutions to avoid dire consequences if we don’t act now.

Rapid AND Reliable Buses

This interactive workshop will discuss the main sources of unreliability on transit services, particularly in BRT operations. Trainers will then guide participants through discussions on methods and incentives to increase reliability of transit services. Through this workshop, participants will gain a better understanding about the challenges involved in providing a reliable BRT system and knowledge about good practices to improve the reliability.

What Makes TOD Work: Focus on the Fundamentals of Walkability, Mix, and Density

Ambitious sustainable transport goals cannot be achieved unless enabled and supported by sustainable urban development. This translates into access to destinations – places to which a person can walk, cycle, or take transit. Effective transit needs density of people and a mix of destinations, but how do we increase this access to destinations? In this interactive workshop, participants will explore three main components of TOD: walkability, density, and mix; and learn how to use tools related to these attributes to evaluate conditions and make recommendations for improvement. Working in a group activity, participants will apply these concepts to a proposed station area in Praia do Futuro, the neighborhood the hotel is in. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have a clear idea and approaches to using TOD tools for better integrated land use and transport.

The Future of Research and Capacity Building

In the movement to scale up sustainable transportation and urban development, we still face a critical lack of knowledge of what needs to be done and a lack of capacity to implement appropriate measures, especially in low and middle income countries. With support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, ITDP reviewed the state of knowledge on High Volume Transport to identify research, as well as understand capacity gaps in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Using this as a foundation, this session aims to bring the transport community together to agree on priority research gaps and capacity constraints, to identify ways to bridge the gap between research and action, and to accelerate implementation through knowledge sharing and application. In this interactive workshop, speakers from Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI), VREF and MobiliCAMPUS will present on the current state of research and capacity building. Workshop participants will then break up into small groups to discuss ways to improve knowledge production, knowledge dissemination, and capacity building in the sector.

Walkshop: Streets for Kids

The city looks very different when viewed from the height of a child and from the perspective of caregivers. As able-bodied adults, it’s easy to forget how many challenges and obstacles our streets hold for children and their caregivers. In this walkshop, participants will have an opportunity to role-play as children and caregivers while using props like a special “periscope mask” that will allow them to explore, access, and walk city streets from the perspective of babies, toddlers, and those who care for them, as a way to explore young child-oriented design strategies on the streets of Fortaleza.

Cycle Fortaleza

Fortaleza’s award winning cycling infrastructure includes four bike share systems, over 200 kilometers of bike lanes, and bike parking facilities at major bus terminals. Participants will experience Fortaleza by bike, and see where and how the city implemented a series of innovative cycling design and street interventions.

Integrated Public Transport in Fortaleza

Fortaleza’s public transit system could not support the city’s growing population, increasing congestion and reduced access to the city center. Through dedicated bus lanes, integrated cycling infrastructure, and new monitoring system, bus efficiency and quality greatly improved. This site visit will highlight how Fortaleza brought people back to transit through low-cost, high-impact bus interventions and complete streets.

Walk Fortaleza

Traffic calming measures and tactical urbanism were key to reclaiming streets for people in Fortaleza. Through robust pedestrian safety measures, campaigns to build public awareness and targeted interventions, Fortaleza succeeded in reducing road fatalities and injuries by 40%. Participants will visit key sites that transformed Fortaleza from a car-oriented to pedestrian friendly realms.