If I were
mayor of my city, the first
thing I would do is pedestrianize the main shopping streets and
also the old part of town.
Studies in Germany show that
pedestrianization increases business in 80% of shops and in 60%
of restaurants, although it has a bad effect on hotels. In
Copenhagen, pedestrianization had a very positive effect on
society. People left their cars at home, became more friendly
with their fellow citizens and revitalized the centre of the
Another effect of
pedestrianization is making the streets safer for children and
old people and so I would provide more street furniture and
children’s areas. In the pedestrianized zones, it also causes a
greater variety of shops to appear as well as markets and
performances by street artists. Pedestrianization reduces air
and noise pollution too.
To reduce air pollution even
more, I would provide free parking for electric vehicles next to
the city centre.
The next thing I would do is
build a network of bike lanes all over the city, just like Mayor
Enrique Peñaloca in Bogota. Doing this quadrupled the amount of
people using bikes in Colombia’s capital. I would also integrate
bus stops with safe places to park bicycles. Intermodal
passenger transport is absolutely vital to smooth flow and
safety within a city and I think it is something mayors and
mayoresses everywhere need to study.
After that, I would introduce
a community bicycle programme, similar to Paris and Barcelona.
This means that people can use public bikes for free and then
leave them in a special stand. Paris now has public bike stands
every 300 metres and more than 20,000 public bicycles.
When I finished that, I would
pass a law saying that all buildings must install solar panels,
solar water heaters and wind turbines in order to reduce the
city’s carbon footprint.
The last thing I would do is
create green corridors which allow animals to move freely
between the city and the country without being killed by cars.
I realise my programme would
probably be very unpopular with a lot of people and I think I
would lose the next election. However, if I finished my
programme to help make my city more environmentally-friendly, I
would be happy.