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Special StreetTalk: “Urban Happiness” With Enrique Peñalosa

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 21

January 5, 2009
6:30 pmto8:30 pm

What happens when you give street space back to people?
Thursday Feb. 5, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
@ Boston Public Library, main branch at Copley [ map... ]
free and open to the public

An accomplished public official, economist and administrator, Enrique Peñalosa completed his three-year term as Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia on December 31, 2000. While mayor, Peñalosa was responsible for numerous radical improvements to the city and its citizens. He promoted a city model giving priority to children and public spaces and restricting private car use, building hundreds of kilometers of sidewalks, bicycle paths, pedestrian streets, greenways, and parks. After organizing a Car-Free Day in 2000, he was awarded the Stockholm Challenge Award and rewarded by a referendum vote endorsing an annual car-free day. Peñalosa also led efforts to improve Bogotá’s marginal neighborhoods through citizen involvement; planted more than 100,000 trees; created a new, highly successful bus-based transit system; and turned a deteriorated downtown avenue into a dynamic pedestrian public space. He helped transform the city’s attitude from one of negative hopelessness to one of pride and hope, developing a model for urban improvement based on the equal rights of all people to transportation, education, and public spaces.

This event is part of a 4-day series of events sponsored by Livable Streets Alliance and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, in collaboration with WalkBoston, Institute for Human Centered Design, Bikes Not Bombs, Charles River Conservancy, MassBike.

This is a great article about Enrique Peñalosa:
Bogotá’s urban happiness movement: A radical campaign to return streets from cars to people (GlobeAndMail, June 2007)
From living hell to living well: A radical campaign to return streets from cars to people in Colombia’s largest city is now a model for the world. “A city can be friendly to people or it can be friendly to cars, but it can’t be both,” says former Bogotá (Colombia) Mayor Enrique Peñalosa. “Car Free Day is just one of the ways that Mr. Peñalosa helped to transform a city once infamous for narco-terrorism, pollution and chaos into a globally lauded model of livability and urban renewal. His ideas are being adopted in cities across the developing world. They are also being championed by planners and politicians in North America, where Mr. Peñalosa has reinvigorated the debate about public space once championed by Jane Jacobs.”

And a few great StreetFilms:
Click here for a film about car-free streets in Bogota
Click here for a film about bus rapid transit in Bogota
Click here for more information.


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