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Enrique Penalosa and the civilised city

Urban/urbane

Monday, September 15, 2008
by Ahmad Rafay Alam

Enrique Penalosa, the former mayor of the Colombian capital of Bogota, will be visiting Pakistan under the auspices of the Clinton Climate Initiative this week. He will be addressing gatherings of senior government officials, policymakers and civil society in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Mr Penalosa is most famous for rejecting, as mayor of Bogota, a proposal by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to construct a multibillion-dollar rapid mass-transit system and instead introducing a series of people-friendly urban-planning interventions. This was a marked shift from what is accepted as “development.” Mr Penalosa is of the view that this change in priorities is necessary for cities to remain competitive in today’s world.
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