Bogotá´s Mayor Claudia López and other Mayors of Colombia participated in an academic forum at the Leadership School of the Green Party. In this event, López shared Bogotá´s experience implementing public policy innovations during the pandemic.
In this sense, the Mayor argued that the COVID-19 pandemic was transforming the world and modern societies as we know them, and that the only way to adapt to that shift was by constructing the new normality based on sustainable transportation and conscious consumerism.
At the same time, López pointed out that Bogota´s strongest tool to readjust to the current health crisis and to protect lives was the adoption of Citizenship Culture.
‘’In a big and densely populated city like Bogotá, citizens are getting used to wearing facemasks and to integrating social distancing within their daily lives. This situation has been disruptive, but without their cultural consciousness things would have been even more difficult’’ Claudia López
Also, Mayor López stated that one of the biggest challenges coming ahead for the city was the process of reactivation and economic recovery, in which Bogotá had to function with different work shifts in order to reduce transportation demand and avoid contagions.
A new social contract
According to Bogotá´s Mayor, the pandemic was an opportunity for the city to accelerate the adoption of the long term goal of building a new social contract. In this context, Bogotá was the first city of the country to adopt a basic income for vulnerable households. Additionally, the local government constituted tuition-free education at the District´s University and enabled opportunities to face youth unemployment through the creation of ‘Reto a la U’ (Spanish for ‘Road to Uni’) programme. These policy innovations are developed under a system of care that articulates services for the vulnerable, women and the youth.
In this context, Mayor López said:
‘’In just 3 months we were able to work together with the National Government to promote banking among 581,000 poor households. This was the most effective way to guarantee that they could receive a basic income ‘’
At the closing event of the Leadership School of the Green Party, López gave a last message in which she invited citizens to continue acting with resilience to overcome the crisis generated by the pandemic.