Daily many in San Jose spend hours in their cars in traffic gridlock and with no immediate solutions in sight.
Daily many in San Jose spend hours in their cars in traffic gridlock and with no immediate solutions in sight.

A “mental block” and the “negative attitude” of the public are factors preventing the country from finding solutions to the traffic congestion problem, especially affecting the Central Valley.

That is the conclusion of Dr. Monica Araya, specialist in climate change and director of the “Costa Rica Limpia“, on the Nuestra Voz radio program.

Araya’s project was among the “100 projects for climate” that aims to speed up the emergence of citizen-led initiatives to combat global warming, as part of efforts to support the goals of the Paris Agreement last December.

The “Costa Rica Limpia” was one of 591 international projects presented, at the COP 21 in Paris, the only one from Costa Rica.  Click here to Discover the 100 winning projects that obtained more votes from citizens.

Monica Araya suggests that the future of alternative energy is in places like her home, Costa Rica. Photo by Ryan Lash/TED.
At the TED Summit 2016 last month, Monica Araya suggests that the future of alternative energy is in places like her home, Costa Rica. Photo by Ryan Lash/TED.

The expert explained that the involvement of society is vital to coordinate efforts to resolve the traffic congestion problem, because not only government actions can achieve solutions.

“We will continue to tell the country to use public transportation,” Araya said, adding that “negative thinking” prevents them from seeing and accepting the possibility of change.

Dr. Monica Araya was born and raised Costa Rica, now living in San José and Oslo, Norway. Her initiative, “Cuidadanos y Movilidad” (People and Mobility) aims to inspire the involvement of the different social sectors and to meet the goals of the Summit on Climate Change (COP21) to reduce global warming.

Most recently Araya participated in the TED Summit 2016 on June 29 to talk about Costa Rica and why her countryes needs to shift to a fossil free energy matrix.

“Costa Rica Limpia” and the “Centro para la Sostenibilidad Urbana” will in the coming months be holding a public consultation on the electric train, to demonstrate its viability in Costa Rica.

Araya added that they have already had ‘advanced’ talks with bus operators through their representative group, who have shown interest in implementing clean energy transport.


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