How to Reinvent Cities

This video is the single best description of how cities should be planned in the future. It’s an interview with Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, who transformed a once crime-ridden city into “a model of effective transit and urban design” (I’m quoting a blog post from Reading Toronto … a big tip of the hat to them). And RT isn’t just blowing smoke. For more, read the story Grist published about him in 2002.

Mr. Peñalosa makes some amazing statements in the 10-minute video. Among them:

  • “A protected bicycle path is a symbol that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important as one in a $30,000 car.”
  • “We cannot continue to deceive ourselves thinking that to paint a little line on a road is a bike way. a bicycle way which is not safe for an 8-year-old is not a bicycle way.”
  • There is a conflict between a city that is friendly to cars, and a city that is “friendly to people.”
  • “One of the problems is the suburban highway culture.”
  • “We underestimate the power of dreams.”
  • “It’s time to take a great risk and to do something new.”

If you live in a city, are interested in cities, travel to cities, walk or ride a bike, watching this video will be time extremely well spent. I wonder if this fellow would consider becoming mayor of my home town?

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One thought on “How to Reinvent Cities

  1. Pingback: Bikes are the Future « First Person Irregular

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