Monday 17 October 2016 09.00 BST
You have long pioneered the importance of cycling and public transport in Bogotá. Do you feel vindicated by what you’re seeing in cities around the world today?
When we introduced bicycle paths in Bogotá nearly 20 years ago, when I was mayor here the first time, it was seen as a crazy idea. Back then, there were no bikeways in London, Paris, Madrid or New York. Now, of course, so many people are interested in this movement – particularly young people.
Cities that move by bicycle and public transport are more democratic, more egalitarian. In a “developing country”, a protected bikeway is not just a way of keeping the cyclist safe; it is a symbol that shows that a citizen riding a $50 bicycle is equally important to one driving a $50,000 car.
Yet most cities are still horribly clogged with traffic …
Mobility is a very peculiar challenge for a city – different from health or education – because it’s one problem that tends to get worse as societies get richer. But above all, we must understand that an advanced city is not one where poor residents use cars, but one where rich residents use public transport.
If all citizens are equal, then somebody who is walking or on a bike has a right to the same amount of road space as somebody in a Rolls-Royce or luxury car. And a bus with 150 passengers has a right to 150 times more road space than a car with one passenger. Which means we should give exclusive lanes to buses and create Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems; it’s the only solution.