Enrique Peñalosa Brings Inspiration to Boston
Streetfilms' Robin Urban Smith hopped a bus to Boston to hear world renowned urban strategist and champion of the livable streets movement, Enrique Peñalosa speak at the Boston Public Library. According to our friends at the LivableStreets Alliance, who organized his four day visit, more than 1,000 Bostonians attended the various events planned in his name.
Aptly nicknamed the "The Hub," or "The Walking City," Boston boasts the oldest subway system in North America and has the highest light rail ridership of any U.S. city.
Check out these other great Streetfilms for more on Enrique Peñalosa: Interview with Peñalosa, Bus Rapid Transit: Bogota, Physically Separated Bike Lanes, Enrique Penalosa talks with COMMUTErs, Ciclovia.
Jackie Douglas: Boston
has a rich history in transportation.
Speaker: I think we can
create an on road bike lane network around the city.
Jackie Douglas: So we’re
trying to make urban planning a more community oriented enterprise.
Ken Kruckemeyer: The
LivableStreets Alliance is a group of folks who have gotten together
trying to act as a way of collaborating between advocacy organisations
Jackie Douglas: Enrique
Penalosa is in Boston thanks to ITDP [00:30], Institute for Transportation
and Development Policy, and he’s here on a four day whirlwind tour
of Boston and we’re showing him Boston and he’s meeting with politicians
and professionals and students and speaking to the public. Right
now I am in the Boston Public Library where Enrique Penalosa will be
Enrique Penalosa: Pedestrian
space is a magical good, I mean whenever we buy something in the store,
soon it will cease giving happiness or pleasure, but [01:00] a public
pedestrian space will never cease giving joy. It’s a very special
good. Transport is not something that can be solved with money.
This is so very special. Most things that we… most problems
that we have can be tend to be able to be solved with money. This
can only be solved with changes in our way of life. So it’s
a very difficult problem to solve. Beyond that before we know
what kind of city we want we have to know how do we want to live because
we really a city that’s only a means to a way of life. [01:30]
Bicycle way is a powerful symbol to show that a citizen on a $30 bicycle
is equally important as one in a $30,000 car. It raises the social
status of the cyclist, it makes them feel important. Where you
have the most traffic jam, that’s where you need the bus way, because
you need assistance where the bus will be much faster than the car.
People will take the bus when the bus will take half as much time as
the car. A BRT, like the one we have in Bogota, is moving more
passengers per kilometre [02:00] than 95% of red systems in the world.
So as I work internationally I am very concerned that there is not a
high quality BRT in the United States because the US is a model for
the world. It would be wonderful to have a city like Boston to
have a great BRT.
Jackie Douglas: Boston
has a rich history in transportation and first of all we are on one
of the original American underground trolleys [02:30], the Green Line.
And we also have a rich history in anti highway movement in the ‘60s
Ken Kruckemeyer: When
Governor Francis Sergeant made the decision not to build a whole series
of expressways that were planned for the inner city of Boston.
Those expressways would have brought many, many thousands of more automobiles
into the city, needing places to park and changing the way the city
works, the things that we value about today, ranging from both its physical
beauty to its economic vitality [03:00], or things that were actually
created not by allowing more cars in, but by saying we can’t have
more cars in the city and putting a limit on the number of cars that
would come into the city.
Enrique Penalosa: We
human beings, we have this wonderful thing, different from everyone
else on the planet. We do not have to accept the world such as
we receive it. We can dream and we can create it and you are such
a fantastic democratic powerful creative society that I know very soon
Boston will be an example better than The [03:30] Netherlands for bicycling
and many other things. Thank you very much.
Ken Kruckemeyer: The
visit of Enrique Penalosa to Boston allows us to concentrate on two
levels of things. One has to do with doing the physical improvements
to our basic transportation network in ways that are better and better,
getting the details right, doing things that really need to be done
and finding ways to do them quickly. But it also talks about…
[04:00] it speaks to us about how we can do things in a temporal fashion,
things that are celebrations, things that will help us think about Boston
in a very different way than we currently do.
Speaker: What I love the
most about Penalosa is that he understands that this is really not about
concrete, it’s about happiness. It’s about people connecting
to each other, about people holding hands, people talking.
Enrique Penalosa: Organised
people have a great power. Organised people have great power.