Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why councils' should look after footpaths and the public realm

Enrique Penalosa is a former mayor of Bogota in Columbia

The few points captured here make compelling arguments for local government attention to the public realm

  • Its not about a transport system, its not about engineering, its about people and politics.
  • Its about what kind of city do we want? How do we want to live?
  • What makes a good city? A city that is good for the vulnerable old, young and disadvantaged. Convergence of environmental and social sustainability.
  • Transport is a means to an end whereas pedestrianisation can be an end in itself.
  • In the public realm, we meet as equals it is democractic. The public realm is about social justice
  • People will never remember a road, but they will never forget a good pedestrian space.
  • Transport is one problem that gets worse with affluence
  • Traffic congestion is not bad because it means you are ripe for public transport.
  • Density shopping living work
  • Make pedestrian spaces the top issue: perhaps do density neighbourhood by neighbourhood.
  • (Any fuel is going to get more expensive.)

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