Urban mobility in the new normal: the challenges and opportunities in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic

Speakers: Justin Hyatt, Stefanie Holzwarth & Alan Vera

7th of October 2020

5:00 p.m. (Netherlands/CEST time)

About the webinar

The COVID-19 has radically reshaped life on earth, primarily in cities. Nothing is normal anymore and many temporary changes have been made. While a lot of people have been truly suffering because of the virus or the draconian measures taken to control the virus, there has also been a silver lining - namely the fact that streets have become tamer - almost overnight - and the air a lot cleaner. Residents in Mumbai could see stars from within their city for the first time ever, while Kathmandu residents could catch glimpses of Mount Everest. Many lives will also be saved, as a result of cleaner air and fewer traffic crashes.


A number of cities are saying: “Let’s not go back to business as usual!” Huge changes have been initiated or are in store for residents in Paris, Brussels, London, Tirana, Berlin, Mexico City and many more cities. Progressive leaders are using the opportunity to consider options of ‘building back better’ and making cities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, reversing the dominance of car culture.


It is time for an international effort to advocate for a systemic shift of urban mobility in our cities. This may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our urban spheres so quickly to take back the streets from the automobile.

The webinar is jointly organized by IHS Alumni International and UN-Habitat.

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About the speakers 

Justin Hyatt, Carfree Cities Alliance:

Global actions during and after the COVID-19 pandemic


Justin Hyatt has been a part of the IHS Alumni International Board 2017-2020, as Network and Community Builder. He received his MSc in Urban Management and Development from IHS, specializing in Urban Strategies and Planning. He currently works as an advisor and coordinator for the Carfree Cities Alliance (CCA) as well as being a freelance consultant on mobility.

An avid cyclist, he was involved in Critical Mass Budapest and founded Critical Mass Sousse (Tunisia).

Stefanie Holzwarth, UN HABITAT Nairobi:

Sustainable Urban Mobility Projects with Urban Pathways


Stefanie Holzwarth is working in the Urban Mobility Team at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). She is trained in urban planning and has been working on sustainable urban mobility projects for more than 5 years, providing technical advice, knowledge and advocacy to governments around the world. She is a passionate cyclist and regularly participates in Open Streets Activities or Critical Mass Events to create awareness of pedestrians’ and cyclists’ rights to shared urban roads.

Alan Vera, CAF Development Bank of Latin America:

Strategies for a COVID-19 resilient urban mobility


Alan is a transport international consultant based in Latin America. Presently he is hired by CAF, Development Bank of Latin America to improve the planning of Bus Rapid Transit system of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He is also a promoter of urban cable transit in several countries in the region: Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, etc, based in the successful projects he developed. Alan is an alumnus of IHS, from the Masters programme in 2008/2009.