Bogota Shows How to Reinvent Cities

A protected bicycle path is a symbol that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important as one in a $30,000 car.

That is the money shot from Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogota. Robert Oullette of Reading Toronto notes:

The former mayor of Bogota, Colombia explains how the once crime-ridden city is now a model for effective transit and urban design. How'd they do it? City planners recognized that the great battle over public space in cities is between two main forces: the needs of people and the needs of cars. In Bogota people are winning that fight."

Watch the video and read the rest in ::Reading Toronto


An image of Bogota's protected bicycle lanes.

Robert Oullette on Europe versus Toronto (and most American cities)

My recent trip to Sweden, Denmark, France, and England revealed how much European cities are doing to promote efficient transit policies. In Gothenberg and in Copenhagen, for example, road designers seem to pay as much attention to building cycle roadways as they do building roads for cars. They are integrated and to some degree symbiotic. These are northern cities remember, they get snow just like Toronto does, yet people there cycle all year round. Still, we expect first-world, high-tech countries to embrace urban design best practices. However, when a problem plagued city like Bogota - I visited and worked there in the mid-eighties - can reinvent itself in less than fifteen years we have to ask why Toronto continues to lag so far behind.