The first four blocks of Mercaderes, the main shopping street in downtown Arequipa, Peru, were transformed into a pedestrian-only path. The first two blocks were completed in December 2008; the final two were finished four months later. In addition, sidewalks were widened on several downtown streets.
Arequipa officials, including Mayor Simón Balbuena, were inspired to work on the project after visiting similar initiatives in other cities on a trip hosted by EMBARQ. The tour gave Arequipa’s leaders a better understanding of the need to create public spaces for people, instead of just cars.
EMBARQ and CTSS-Andino continue to help Arequipa promote sustainable transport. Other planned initiatives include modernizing transit services, developing a 23-kilometer bus rapid transit corridor, and building additional bicycling paths to improve mobility in the city's historic downtown, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.