Social Inclusion and Physical Activity in Ciclovía Recreativa Programs in Latin America

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 14;18(2):655. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18020655.


Ciclovía Recreativa is a program in which streets are closed off to automobiles so that people have a safe and inclusive space for recreation and for being physically active. The study aims were: (1) to compare participant's spatial trajectories in four Ciclovía Recreativa programs in Latin America (Bogotá, Mexico City, Santiago de Cali, and Santiago de Chile) according to socioeconomic characteristics and urban segregation of these cities; and (2) to assess the relationship between participants' physical activity (PA) levels and sociodemographic characteristics. We harmonized data of cross-sectional studies including 3282 adults collected between 2015 and 2019. We found the highest mobility for recreation in Bogotá, followed closely by Santiago de Cali. In these two cities, the maximum SES (socioeconomic status) percentile differences between the neighborhood of origin and the neighborhoods visited as part of the Ciclovía use were 33.58 (p-value < 0.001) and 30.38 (p-value < 0.001), respectively, indicating that in these two cities, participants were more likely to visit higher or lower SES neighborhoods than their average SES-of-neighborhood origin. By contrast, participants from Mexico City and Santiago de Chile were more likely to stay in geographic units similar to their average SES-of-origin, having lower overall mobility during leisure time: maximum SES percentile difference 1.55 (p-value < 0.001) and -0.91 (p-value 0.001), respectively. PA levels of participants did not differ by sex or SES. Our results suggest that Ciclovía can be a socially inclusive program in highly unequal and segregated urban environments, which provides a space for PA whilefacilitat physical proximity, exposure to new communities and environments, and interactions between different socioeconomic groups.

Keywords: ciclovía program; cross-sectional study; open streets; physical activity; social inclusion; urban segregation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chile
  • Cities
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Class
  • Social Inclusion*