Enrique Penalosa Inspires San Francisco

July 10, 2009 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, internationally acclaimed consultant to world leaders and, now, recipient of the prestigious Goteborg Award, inspired crowds of San Franciscans in a whirlwind three day trip last week. The San Francisco Great Streets Project organized meetings for Penalosa with Mayor Newsom, key decisionmakers in city agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, and many more people.

Penalosa is often known for his role in creating Transmilenio, Bogota’s Bus Rapid Transit System, and for expanding his city’s version of Sunday Streets to 120 kilometers of Bogota every Sunday for seven hours. But his message to San Francisco was not to adopt any particular project, but rather to rethink how we see our streets; they are more than a means, they are an extremely valuable end in and of themselves. Moreover, he reminded us that all decisions about street design and management are political, not technical.

His message could not have come at a more opportune time for San Francisco, with the passage of the city’s bike plan, successful expansion of Sunday Streets and now the City’s new trial approach to creating new public spaces through the Pavement to Parks initiative. This is the time to start thinking about — and acting upon — even more ambitious plans for our city’s streets. As Penalosa asked, how much would your life improve if there was a miles long pedestrian promenade where you could stroll, shop, sit or bike just a few blocks from your home?

Coverage of the events at: SF Chronicle, SF Streetsblog and Ecoworldy

Special thanks to ITDP for helping make Penalosa’s visit possible.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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Our Mission

The San Francisco Great Streets Project catalyzes the return of our city’s streets to their rightful place as the center of civic life in this wonderful city by working with government, business, and neighborhood leaders to test, analyze and institutionalize placemaking.


Kit Hodge
San Francisco Great Streets Project
995 Market Street, #1550
San Francisco, CA 94103
kit [at] sfgreatstreets DOT org
415-431-2453 x313

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