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Enrique Peñalosa

Thu, Apr 13, 2023    12pm

Lunchtime Lecture: How Cities Can Build Legitimacy with Enrique Peñalosa, former two-time Mayor of the city of Bogotá

Enrique Peñalosa is an internationally respected urban thinker, who, as Mayor in two non-consecutive terms, profoundly transformed Bogota, his city. As advisor and lecturer, he has also influenced policies in many cities throughout the world.

Organized by the M.S. in Real Estate Development Program at Columbia GSAPP. This event is open to Columbia University affiliates with a valid University ID.

Enrique Peñalosa’s advisory work concentrates on urban equity, competitiveness, sustainability, and the leadership required to turn visions into realities.

Peñalosa has lectured internationally in numerous forums and universities has advised governments in Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America and the United States.

He was President of the Board of New York´s ITDP (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy) of New York for over a decade; member of the CITISCOPE Board of Directors; member of the London School of Economics´ Cities Program Advisory Board; and is a Fellow of the Institute for Urban Research of the University of Pennsylvania. He was member of the Commission for the Reinvention of Transport of the Metropolitan Transit -Authority created by the New York Governor Cuomo.

He recently published the book Ciudad, Igualdad, Felicidad (City, Equality, Happiness) which will also be published in English by the University of Pennsylvania and in Portuguese by the IPP (Instituto Pereira Passos) in Rio.

As Mayor of Bogota, Peñalosa profoundly transformed his 8 million inhabitants´ city, changing it in his first term from one with neither bearings, nor self-esteem or hope into an international model for improvements in quality of life, mobility, equity, and sustainability. For that the city was awarded important international recognitions such as the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale and the Stockholm Challenge among others.

During his 1998-2001 and 2016-2019 periods as mayor –the Colombian Constitution does not allow for immediate reelection, Peñalosa did hundreds of large and small public works as well as creative social projects. He radically improved quality of life, equity and sustainability and turned the city into a more efficient and competitive one.

He created TransMilenio, the world’s best bus-based transit system which moves more than 2,5 million passengers daily and has served as a model for hundreds of similar systems worldwide. In his second term he also contracted Bogota´s first Metro line and several new TransMilenio trunkways, which will raise Bogota´s mass transit ridership above 4,6 million daily.

In 1998 he built a network of physically protected bicycle paths which now is more than 600 kilometers long; and he did it before such infrastructure existed in cities such as Paris, New York or Madrid. That system and other Peñalosa policies have made Bogota the American city with the highest share of bicycle use. Large transportation public works Peñalosa contracted in his last term as mayor which are under construction will add up hundreds of kilometers more to the bicycle network.