Improving bike-friendly transportation within our cities may well be best served by a two-pronged approach; at policy level and at grassroots level. A prime example of a quick and relatively cheap initiative is Cicloovía, where a large portion of a city centre is closed to traffic between 8am and 2pm on Sundays.

In its place, cyclists, rollers bladders, runners and skate boarders of all ages take to the streets. And in the open space that’s created, a wide assortment of smaller events are held, such as aerobics and yoga classes, art exhibitions, children’s activities and live music. It’s also chance for enterprising businesses to spring up – juices and healthy snacks can be found on every corner, and street side mechanics materialise to patch up fearful punctures. Ciclovía is not just about promoting clean transport; it’s about encouraging heathy living and closer communities.

But what really sets this event apart from many other car-free days around the world, is that it’s just a one-off: Ciclovía is held each and every Sunday, as well as on festival days throughout the year. This regularity helps create a lasting impression on all those living in the city, without massive capital investment.

The event originated in Bogota, Colombia, in a grassroots form as far back as 1976. In the ensuing thirty six years it has mushroomed in size, to the extent that it is now covers 120km of routes in Colombia’s capital, and is used by 30 per cent of its population – that’s as many as 2 million people. What’s more, Ciclovía’s blueprint has gone on to be replicated across cities in South, Central and North America, and is regularly held in Quito (Ecuador), Caracas (Venezuela), Lima (Peru) and Guadalajara (Mexico), to name a few.

Its undoubted success does, however, beg the question: if metropolises as chaotic and sprawling as those in Latin America can do it, why don’t we see Ciclovía across European capitals?