The Peñalosa Principle of Transportation Democracy: Lessons from Bogotá on the Morality of Urban Mobility

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (4):1085-1096 (2017)
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The mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa strives to deliver transit services that promote social equity through bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks, and a world-famous Bus Rapid Transit system, “TransMilenio.” Through examining the principles that guide his planning, we can flesh out a starting point for socially just transit systems. While such measures can alleviate several harms that transit systems cause, they rest on an incomplete foundation due to their top-down nature. To amend this situation, the author argues for a restorative justice approach to transportation democracy, using examples from Peñalosa’s mayoral tenure. In turn, lessons from Bogotá’s transportation history reveal how to develop transit systems that strongly favor justice.



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