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Enrique Peñalosa

Enrique Peñalosa

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Enrique Peñalosa Londoño (born September 30, 1955) is a Colombian
Colombian people
Colombian people are from a multiethnic Spanish speaking nation in South America called Colombia. Colombians are predominantly Roman Catholic and are a mixture of Europeans, Africans, and Amerindians.-Demography:...

 politician and New Urbanist. He was mayor of Bogotá
Bogotá
Bogotá, Distrito Capital , from 1991 to 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital, and largest city, of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district...

, from 1998 until 2001, and was runner-up in 2007. He is running in 2011 for mayor as the Green Party candidate. He has also worked as a journalist and consultant on urban and transportation policy. In 2009, Peñalosa was elected President of the Board of Directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy is a US-based non-governmental non-profit organization providing technical assistance to cities and local advocacy groups on sustainable transportation development throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas...

.

Early life


In his childhood Peñalosa studied at Gimnasio Campestre
Gimnasio Campestre
The Gimnasio Campestre is an all-male, traditional and conservative Pre-K to 11th grade private school located in Bogotá, Colombia.-Origin:It was founded in 1946 by Alfonso Casas Morales, and its educational legacy has prepared several generations of "gimnasianos", as its alumni are known, offering...

 . After graduating he then moved to Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina
Durham is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the county seat of Durham County and also extends into Wake County. It is the fifth-largest city in the state, and the 85th-largest in the United States by population, with 228,330 residents as of the 2010 United States census...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 where he studied Economics and History at Duke University
Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...

. For his doctorate he moved to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 where he completed an MBA; while studying there he also worked part-time as a washer in a restaurant and as bellboy in a hotel.

Politics


Peñalosa began his political life by attending the liberal
Colombian Liberal Party
The Colombian Liberal Party is a center-left party in Colombia that adheres to social democracy and social liberalism.The Party was founded in 1848 and, together with the Colombian Conservative Party, subsequently became one of the two main political forces in the country for over a century.After...

 presidential
President of Colombia
The President of Colombia is the head of state and head of government of the Republic of Colombia. The office of president was established upon the ratification of the Constitution of 1819, by the Congress of Angostura, convened in December 1819, when Colombia was part of "la Gran Colombia"...

 candidate Luis Carlos Galan
Luis Carlos Galán
Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento was a Colombian journalist and liberal politician who ran for the presidency of Colombia on two occasions, the first time representing the Liberal Party in 1982 which he lost to Belisario Betancur...

's Youth groups of followers in Bogotá while working for the state-owned water supply company, Empresa de Acueducto de Bogotá. He later supported Julio César Sánchez, a Cundinamarca
Cundinamarca Department
- Origin of the name :The name of Cundinamarca comes from Kundur marqa, an indigenous expression, probably derived from Quechua. Meaning "Condor's Nest", it was used in pre-Columbian times by the natives of the Magdalena Valley to refer to the nearby highlands....

 local political chief, who in return, helped him get elected as that department's Deputy.

He later was chosen by president Virgilio Barco, friend of his father, as an economic advisor in 1986. In 1990 he ran for the congressman
Chamber of Representatives of Colombia
The Chamber of Representatives is the lower house of the Congress of Colombia.The Chamber has 166 elected members for four-year terms.-How the Chamber is elected:...

 without the support of any politician and got elected with 22,000 votes, but only remained in that position for a year because the Colombian Congress was closed due to corruption and a referendum for a new Colombian Constitution
Colombian Constitution of 1991
The Political Constitution of Colombia, better known as the Constitution of 1991, is the current governing document of the Republic of Colombia. Promulgated on July 4 of 1991 , it replaced the Constitution of 1886...

 was proposed. However in those 12 months, he presented many projects and managed to pass with others a reforming law to change congress.

In 1991 he then decided to run for mayor of Bogotá with the same tactics he used to gain his seat for Congress, without the support of any politicians and by just doing person-to-person contact while touring the city walking, biking or riding on public transportation. He ran against Jaime Castro Castro
Jaime Castro Castro
Jaime Castro Castro is a Colombian lawyer and politician, who served as Mayor of Bogotá from 1992 to 1994. A Liberal, he has also served as Delegate to the Constituent Assembly of 1991, Senator of Colombia, Minister of Government under President Belisario Betancur, Colombian Minister of Justice...

 who ultimately won the election. In 1994 he ran for a second time, this time against Antanas Mockus
Antanas Mockus
Aurelijus Rutenis Antanas Mockus Šivickas is a Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician.The son of Lithuanian immigrants, he left his post as the president of the National University of Colombia in Bogotá in 1993, and later that year ran a successful campaign for mayor...

, who defeated him by a large margin.

Mayor of Bogotá


In 1997 he ran a third time, now facing Carlos Moreno de Caro
Carlos Moreno de Caro
Carlos Moreno de Caro is a Colombian politician. He is the founder of the Let the Moreno play movement party, and has served as both Member to the Chamber of Representatives and Senate of Colombia, as Ambassador of Colombia to South Africa, and as Councilman of Bogotá.Moreno is known for his...

 winning by a close margin of votes. Peñalosa received from Mayor Mockus a city in good fiscal condition and with a District Council that was mostly independent.

Peñalosa included many of his political friends in his cabinet including long time friend Carlos Alberto Sandoval who had worked with him in Barco's presidency and who he appointed as Secretary of Economy, and Gilma Jiménez in the Family Welfare Institute. Erique's brother Gil Peñalosa became Commissioner of Parks.

During his mayorship he developed five megaproject
Megaproject
A megaproject is an extremely large-scale investment project. Megaprojects are typically defined as costing more than US$1 billion and attracting a lot of public attention because of substantial impacts on communities, environment, and budgets. Megaprojects can also be defined as "initiatives that...

s; the bank of lands, the District's system of Parks (including the Bogota's Bike Paths Network
Bogota's Bike Paths Network
Bogotá is the Colombian city with the most extensive and comprehensive network of bike paths. Bogotá’s bike paths network or ciclorrutas in Spanish, designed and built during the administration of Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, is also one of the most extensive in the world.The design of the network was...

), the District's system of libraries, the Transmilenio
TransMilenio
TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit system that serves Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. The system opened to the public in December 2000, covering Av. Caracas and Calle 80...

 mass transit system, and road construction and maintenance. The impact of Peñalosa and Antanas Mockus
Antanas Mockus
Aurelijus Rutenis Antanas Mockus Šivickas is a Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician.The son of Lithuanian immigrants, he left his post as the president of the National University of Colombia in Bogotá in 1993, and later that year ran a successful campaign for mayor...

 on the development of Bogotá is described in a documentary film released in October 2009 with the title Bogotá Change. It is promoted as being "the story of two charismatic mayors, Antanas Mockus and Enrique Peñalosa who, with unorthodox methods, in less than 10 years turned one of the world's most dangerous, violent and corrupt capitals into a peaceful model city populated by caring citizens. With Mockus and Peñalosa and key members of their staff as first hand witnesses, the film uncovers the ideas, philosophies and strategies that underlie the changes in Bogotá and which are now being exported to cities worldwide."

Controversy during his first term


Peñalosa was the third in a series of three mayors who vastly changed the face of the city. Mayor Jaime Castro
Jaime Castro Castro
Jaime Castro Castro is a Colombian lawyer and politician, who served as Mayor of Bogotá from 1992 to 1994. A Liberal, he has also served as Delegate to the Constituent Assembly of 1991, Senator of Colombia, Minister of Government under President Belisario Betancur, Colombian Minister of Justice...

 finished his term with low popularity, but was able to reform the city's financial structures. This led to a period of budgetary surpluses, which continued during Antanas Mockus
Antanas Mockus
Aurelijus Rutenis Antanas Mockus Šivickas is a Colombian mathematician, philosopher, and politician.The son of Lithuanian immigrants, he left his post as the president of the National University of Colombia in Bogotá in 1993, and later that year ran a successful campaign for mayor...

 term. Mockus began an important change in Bogota's civic culture
Civic culture
A civic culture or civic political culture is a political culture characterised by "acceptance of the authority of the state" and "a belief in participation in civic duties". The term was first used in Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba's book, The Civic Culture...

 with his Cultura Ciudadana (Citizen Culture) campaign, which encouraged civic behavior and strived to create a sense of belonging for the inhabitants of the city.

Peñalosa's five biggest changes during his period were: the relocation of informal vendors
Hawker (trade)
A hawker is a vendor of merchandise that can be easily transported; the term is roughly synonymous with peddler or costermonger. In most places where the term is used, a hawker sells items or food that are native to the area...

 who occupied the public zones and streets, the improvement of all the city parks and the construction of several new ones, the entire renovation of some of the most important avenues of the city such as the Avenue 15 and the Autopista Norte, the removal of cars from sidewalks by raising them and installing bollards, and starting construction on the TransMilenio
TransMilenio
TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit system that serves Bogotá, the capital of Colombia. The system opened to the public in December 2000, covering Av. Caracas and Calle 80...

 (Mass Transit System), but during his term less than the half of the project was built, the second phase was responsibility of Luis Eduardo Garzon, his successor, and the third phase is in doubt because of the new mayor's plans of doing a Metro system.

Some of his policies were unpopular with certain sectors of the city. Among these were his intent to buy the Country Club of Bogota to build a public park. He also faced problems when he built bollards along some avenues in highly congested sectors to prevent cars from parking on the sidewalk in front of the buildings and shops. Peñalosa also lost popularity, but improved the city's mobility, by introducing the Pico y Placa
Pico y placa
Pico y placa is traffic congestion mitigation policy that was initially set in place in the year 2000 in Bogotá, Colombia by then mayor Enrique Peñalosa to help regulate traffic during rush hours. The system restricts vehicles with license plate numbers ending in certain digits from travelling...

, a restriction on the rush hour
Rush hour
A rush hour or peak hour is a part of the day during which traffic congestion on roads and crowding on public transport is at its highest. Normally, this happens twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening, the times during when the most people commute...

 circulation of private vehicles. (Pico y placa roughly translates to "rush hour and license plate"; during rush hour
Rush hour
A rush hour or peak hour is a part of the day during which traffic congestion on roads and crowding on public transport is at its highest. Normally, this happens twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening, the times during when the most people commute...

 licence plates ending with a given number couldn't circulate on a specific days of the week, four ending numbers each day, thus about 40% of the vehicles). The construction of the city "Cicloruta" (Translation for "Bike rute or Bike way") which are little roads that run along some of the city's main avenues, was another great development of the city as an invitation for people to avoid using his/her private vehicle, and to provide a cheap and healthy transportation route for those who didn't have access to one; but the terrains for the construction of some sections, specially those in front of domestic houses, were in the majority of the cases taken from people without their consent and with no remuneration. The properties legal document wasn't edited either, which means in legal terms that those people still have that part of terrain, and pay taxes on it.

Candidate for a second term as Mayor


Although he was a possible candidate for the 2010 Colombian presidential election and lead the Por el Pais que Queremos Foundation (PPQ), Spanish for "For the Country we Want", he decided to go for a second term in the city hall. He was defeated by Alternative Democratic Pole
Alternative Democratic Pole
The Alternative Democratic Pole is a political alliance in Colombia, formed by the Independent Democratic Pole and the Democratic Alternative in December 2005...

 candidate Samuel Moreno
Samuel Moreno Rojas
Samuel Gustavo Moreno Rojas is a Colombian lawyer and politician, son of former congressman Samuel Moreno Díaz and former presidential candidate María Eugenia Rojas Correa, grandson of former Colombian political-military authoritarian leader and ex-president Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. His brother Iván...

 by 15 percentage points.

In 2011, Peñalosa decided to run his candidacy again for the Bogotá city hall, but this time, he is the official candidate for the colombian Green Party

Books

  • Capitalismo: La mejor opción (book)
  • Democracia y Capitalismo: retos para el próximo siglo

Articles


He has written articles for El Tiempo, Nueva Frontera, Economía Colombiana, Carta Financiera and Revista Diners.

Conferences

  • Holcim Forum 2007 of the Holcim Foundation
    Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction
    The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction is a non-profit organization. Its goal is to raise awareness to the role that architecture, engineering, urban planning and construction have in achieving a sustainable built future...

    ,

Awards

  • Simón Bolívar Journalism Award 1986 for his economy related journalism section in El Espectador
    El Espectador
    El Espectador is a newspaper with national circulation within Colombia, founded by Fidel Cano Gutiérrez on 22 March 1887 in Medellín and published since 1915 in Bogotá...

     newspaper.
  • Simón Bolívar Journalism Award 1990 for his Documentary; Capitalismo, la mejor opción.

Quotes


"Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people."

"If you base progress on per capita income, then the developing world will not catch up with rich countries for the next three or four hundred years"

"We need to walk, just as birds need to fly. We need to be around other people. We need beauty. We need contact with nature. And most of all, we need not to be excluded. We need to feel some sort of equality."

"All this (Bogotá's) pedestrian infrastructure shows respect for human dignity. We’re telling people, “You are important"

"Every Sunday we close 120 kilometers of roads to motor vehicles for seven hours. A million and a half people of all ages and incomes come out to ride bicycles, jog, and simply gather with others in community."

"A bikeway is a symbol that shows that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important as a citizen on a $30,000 car."

“If we’re going to talk about transport, I would say that the great city is not the one that has highways, but one where a child on a tricycle or bicycle can go safely everywhere.”
“We cannot continue to deceive ourselves thinking that to paint a little line on a road is a bike way. A bicycle way that is not safe for an 8-year old is not a bicycle way. “

External links