We created a campaign called "A Path to the Future" in order to promote the use of bicycles as a primary means of transportation and to provide a partial response to the current need to care for the environment.
Using bicycles as an alternative means of transport will, in the long term, significantly reduce pollution caused by automobiles. In order for this to happen, safer bicycle paths have to be built, as this is the main reason there are not more cyclists.
Promoting bicycle transportation in the city of Oaxaca is, for us, one of the most viable ways to reduce the pollution that causes greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide expelled by cars, and at the same time increase awareness among people of the need to reduce their carbon footprint.
To learn more about the problem facing our state, we conducted extensive research into the situation which can be seen in the attached document.
DISADVANTAGES OF AUTOMOBILES
The Ministry of Finance in Oaxaca states that there are 441,981 vehicles in circulation in the state, all of which cause pollution.
A Study of Emissions and Vehicular Activity in the city of Oaxaca City indicated that 64% of vehicles circulating in Oaxaca are compacts and subcompacts, 15% are SUVs and vans, 19% are pickups and the rest (2%) are trucks and buses.
Overuse of cars is one of the biggest current problems in the world and is closely related to climate change. The following are some disadvantages of this mode of transport:
•Quick Death: Mexico is among the top ten countries in the world in terms of deaths by traffic accident.
•Slow Death: Cars also contribute to cancer, heart and respiratory disease by producing pollution and preventing people from exercising
•Traffic: In 2009, the average daily time a Mexican spent in a car in the metropolitan area of the Valley of Mexico was 1 hour and 21 minutes
•Depletion of the ozone layer
WHY THE BICYCLE?
For many years, the bike has been an effective means of transportation in urban environments such as Paris, Amsterdam, Seville, Copenhagen, Barcelona, London or New York.
Oaxaca could be a model city for bicycle use: it is a relatively flat urban area where commuters make round trips of less than 10 kilometers, meaning that a cyclist can travel across the city in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 90% of Mexican households have a bicycle for exercise or transportation. Few however use them, due to a weak national bicycle culture.
With more than a century of history, the bike has many advantages:
• It is quick and dynamic
• It keeps us fit
• It keeps us mentally sharp
• It is eco-friendly
• It is highly recommended for distances of 4–5 km.
• The yearly cost of maintaining a bicycle in the city is about $900.00 pesos.
• 80% of air pollution is produced by cars.
• Riding burns up to 35 calories.
• A bike ride is a pleasant way to travel, not only for the views it affords, but also because it is much easier to find parking for a bike than a car.
• With the energy required to manufacture a single car, 70 to 100 bicycles could be built.
Using bicycles as a primary means of transport is a future that we want for our city, a city with a clear sky and people committed to keeping it that way. We have developed this project to set Oaxaca apart as a place that uses bicycles as an alternative means of transport in order to preserve biodiversity. In addition, we went out to the streets to interview people regarding bicycle use in our city. The answers, along with some graphics, are attached in our investigation of the campaign.
We decided to implement an advertising campaign given that we consider it’s the most complete way of reaching our public goal to create awareness in the our state’s youth population, people aged 16-20, given that they are more suited to use this means of transport and they are the future of our society.
Our advertising campaign wanted to show that the future may not be what we think since ‒although scientists are always surprising us with new inventions ‒ we still haven’t realized the damage that we are doing to the most important resource we have, the Earth. Therefore, we thought of opting for something that is not a new technology, something else to satisfy our transportation needs in a more ecological and economical way. We wanted to present a healthy and economic lifestyle that is able to generate a more sustainable and less contaminated future. We created a logo which represents a transition from a polluted world to a simpler world where you can breathe fresh air.
Our advertising campaign is divided into the following 4 parts:
Social Networks: This new media has an increasing influence on young people, especially our target audience. Based on an opinion poll on bullying, internet access and telephone use in Oaxaca by the state government via the Centre of Statistical Information and Documentation for Development (CIEDD): 61% of young people between 18 and 29 years old consider that the internet is very important to their daily activities, compared to 13% of adults over the age of 50.
We made use of Facebook and Twitter to spread our message (since, according to the survey cited in the preceding paragraph, these are the most used social networks), as well distinct publications to promote the advantages of cycling in our city.
Billboards: Through this means, we could give our campaign high visibility not only in our target audience, but to all people of Oaxaca on the streets of our city.
University Talks: As part of our target audience is at college (according to the National Survey of Youth 2010 in Mexico, 18.75% of young people are students in higher education) we considered it prudent to give talks to raise awareness among young people there.
Models in Public Spaces: Due to the preference of young people for public areas such as malls and squares, movie theaters and cafes, we decided to place a number of people dressed up as iconic television characters in public spaces, each next to a bicycle and carrying a poster promoting the campaign.
Through our proposals we wanted young people to take into account that small change can make a difference and can lead to important changes in the world, changes that come from performing actions with the things that we have at hand, things that seem very simple. Simplicity can be even more useful than extravagant gestures in creating a new world. Caring for the environment is not an option but a requirement and the best way to predict our future is to create it.