Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why buses represent democracy in action

Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, was  responsible for introducing a number of in terms of transportation and public space innovations. In this short video he  talks here about buses versus cars (really people v. cars) and the experience of Bogotá in giving clear preference to buses with their now world-famous Transmilenio  (BRT) mass transit system. As mayor  he also introduced a number of innovations including land-use, parks and public space projects as well as Bogotá's Bike Paths Network. If you listen to his talk you will see the very large number of issues and themes which relates to the situation in Penang today. Let's see what we can learn from Bogotá.

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Enrique Peñalosa  is today President of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), and internationally active bogota CFD smallas a consultant and speaker. (As a personal note I might add that he and I were jointly awarded the prestigious Stockholm Environment Prize for our collaboration in planning and executing Bogotá's first Care Free Day, a carefully planned project which on 24 February 2000 kept something like 850,000 cars off  the city streets for most of the day, to the great joy of the population (if less so for many would-be drivers of course).  In the years since, the city continues to celebrate its annual good-spirited Car Free Day, every year on the first Thursday of February. Meaningful results require vision,  strategy and strong leadership.

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