Former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia, Enrique Penalosa, is internationally renowned for his progressive transit and bike-oriented urban planning policies that have helped transform the Colombia capital from a congested car-centric nightmare to a much more livable city in less than decade. Earlier this week, Penalosa came to New York to speak in support of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal that holds the power to make NYC an even more livable city by forcing cars to pay $8 to enter Manhattan anywhere below 60th St from 6am-6pm. Thanks to our friends over at Streetsblog, who created this video, we can see that from Copenhagen to New York, Vancouver to Bogota, the livable cities movement is in full gear.

To see the video above in its entirety, click here.

To see the video of Penalosa’s recent NYC speech supporting congestion pricing and transport equity, click here.

2 Responses to Enrique Penalosa Shares His Wisdom

  1. Rog says:

    One of the major problems I have with the so-called “new urbanism” is the negative effects it has on historic, typically non-white neighborhoods. Usually, these neighborhoods or cities are made “walkable” and “pedestrian friendly” to the behest of middle- and lower-middle class families. In typical gentrification fashion, property values and taxes edge skyward, and the lily-white gentry moves in with their yoga studios and fancy cafes, where a mocha cost more than what the person behind the counter makes in an hour. This model is repeated over and over again. I’ve been to so-called “walkable” downtowns where I’m the only black person walking down the street- ironically enough — while the rest are relegated to street cleaning and garbage collection. How is that appealing and inclusive?

    There has to be a way to make cities more walkable, while retaining the cultural and economic diversity that is vital to any modern, Democratic nation because too often downtown/central districts are “made-over” and the lower-income families are forced to the outer suburban rings, and usually, there are the least able to afford the travel times and expenses to get back into the city limits where the jobs are. We’ve got to put an end to this, but I’m not sure how to begin.


  2. Ryan Sharp says:


    We’re all with you when it comes to the ill effects of gentrification and fighting to keep low-income and minority residents from being pushed out of their neighborhoods. However, you must be careful not to blame high quality pedestrian or transit oriented neighborhoods for this problem.

    In fact, it’s the total opposite that’s the real problem. Forcing people with low-incomes to live in car-oriented neighborhoods and cities is a series breach of transit equity. Frankly, it’s downright discriminatory to have our neighborhoods and cities designed in such a manner that forces low-income people to bear the significant costs of car ownership in order to have some semblance of accessibility to jobs, parks, etc.

    The key is to change the philosophy of transportation enhancement from “mobility” or “efficiency” to accessibility. Thus, it’s critical for social justice that low-income residents see improved ACCESSIBILITY to jobs, parks, and other resources, which in transport equity terms is by far best accomplished by making places walkable and transit-oriented.
    Furthermore, the reality is that people really love living in places that are pedestrian-oriented. Because Greater Miami has so few areas that are of high quality pedestrian orientation, it makes the few walkable neighborhoods we have that much more valuable because they are in such high demand.

    I agree with you that New Urbanism has its flaws, but making places more walkable or pedestrian-oriented is definitely not one of them.


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