Excerpt from Project to Public Spaces article.
Enrique Penalosa 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 and 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 and the elimination of all cars from streets during rush hours from 2015 onwards.
Peñalosa also led efforts to improve Bogotá’s marginal neighborhoods through citizen participation which involved planting more than 100,000 trees, creating a new and highly successful bus-based transit system, and turning a deteriorated downtown avenue into a dynamic pedestrian public space. He helped transform the city’s attitude from one of hopelessness to one of pride, developing a model for urban improvement based on the equal access of all people to transportation, education, and public spaces.