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SALURBAL collaborates with WHO to highlight responses to COVID-19 in Bogotá, Colombia

walking pedestrians

Bogotá, Colombia, November 18, 2020

SALURBAL team members based at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia answered an open call from the World Health Organization, highlighting examples of how cities are responding to COVID-19. The team identified two interventions developed in Bogotá, Colombia with the goal of promoting physical activity and safeguarding health and wellbeing during the pandemic and resulting lockdowns.


A new WHO COVID-19 and urban health platform responds to emerging evidence that the negative health impacts of COVID-19 are disproportionately experienced by vulnerable populations and, in particular, vulnerable urban populations. The site highlights COVID-19 responses developed by cities around the world across a range of sectors. These case studies reflect the ways cities have leveraged their existing networks and partnerships to meet the needs of their residents during this unprecedented time. Identifying and evaluating the health impacts of city-level responses to COVID-19 can provide lessons for developing future policies to promote urban health across the transport, food, and housing sectors.


The two case studies developed by the SALURBAL team highlight initiatives developed to support urban mobility and promote safe physical activity during the pandemic:


  • First, La Ruta del Movimiento, which began in Bogotá, Colombia in response to lock-downs and other restrictions and was soon replicated in communities across the country. The program provides physically distanced dance and other exercise classes to city residents, taking advantage of public plazas and common areas in large apartment complexes so that residents can participate from the safety of their own homes. The full case study is available here.

woman talking to a microphone

Residents of a large housing complex take part in dance and exercise classes as part of La Ruta del Movimiento in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo credit: IDRD Bogotá.


  • Similarly, the extension of Bogotás ciclovías represented a rapid and practical response to safety concerns and other mobility challenges resulting from COVID-19 lock-down measures. The city’s network of existing and new, “pop-up” bike lanes is among the largest in the world, and interest in bicycling amongst city residents continues to grow. Click here to download this case study.


To learn more and see examples of how cities from around the world are responding to COVID-19 and learning lessons that will shape future urban health policies, visit the new WHO platform.