Foreign Correspondent: Bogotá’s Lack of “Vibrancy”


Before Enrique Peñalosa took over as Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, this thriving downtown plaza was a decrepit, crime-ridden, traffic-congested slum. Peñalosa cleared out the old shacks, banned private motor vehicles, launched the Transmilenio bus service, created the plaza, and returned this public space to his city’s people. Granted, the neighborhood pictured above clearly lacks the First World "vibrancy" that we boast of here in New York City, but it seems pleasant enough, no?

  • Boogiedown

    But Aaron, where is the traffic? No traffic means no one is coming here!
    –Mayor Bloomie

  • crzwdjk

    One thing that would be a good demonstration of “vibrancy” is to take a typical photo of lots of cars, and then erase the cars, leaving only their occupants. Put that side by side with the original, and you have a very graphic demonstration of how inefficient a use of space cars really are.

  • Lane Wyden

    word. counting the people in the buses, there’s probably 600 people in that photo. at a generous 1.5 people per car occupancy rate here in NYC, that equals 400 cars. even if 1/3 of the people in that photo drove, the cars would spill out of the frame of view leaving no space for anything else.

  • crzwdjk – Here in Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) did just that with a poster:

  • That s essentially the same as for a roof-mounted PV system. ,

  • Víctor Aguilar

    What is the name of that plaza?

  • I see no cars, yet I see a lot of people. So people must get around by foot or those big red bus things, right? Each situation requires a specific remedy. Bogotá seems to have gotten it right. This may not work in every city.

  • Josephdesappears

    well thats the center of the city and its a place for pedrestian people, thats the reason you people dont see any cars around but the red big buses which is a massive transportation system in the city.

  • Leofuentes09

    because I’m from Bogota and I live here and I think it is a very nice and calm stay organisada street

  • yaacov elimelech



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