Bogotá and Paris
Natalia Orjuela Mahecha
PHOTOGRAPHY: Fôret de Fontainebleau(author's picture)
Do you think that the lifestyle of the
inhabitants of your town or city reflects
behavior that is in line with the concept
of sustainable development? In your
opinion, what should be improved?
Definition of sustainable development
“A way of human development consisting on meeting the
needs of the present without compromising the ability
of future generations to meet their own needs”.
The three pillars of sustainable development
Ensuring the social
prosperity of people
Maintaining the quality of the
natural resources and, where
possible, reversing its degradation
A tale of two cities
• Where I spent the last six years
• Where I started my professional career
• Where I became a French citizen
• Where I was born
• Where I grew up and studied
• Where my cultural roots are
This presentation illustrates how the lifestyle of these two cities contributes to
the concept sustainable development and proposes improvement actions
Founded on 1538
Population: 7.7 million
GDP per capita: US$ 10,700
PHOTOGRAPHY: La Candelaria (author’s picture)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Transmilenio in Bogotá (http://thecityfix.com/)
After a period of economic
booming, unleashed growth
and limited urban planning
have resulted in a transport
system not meeting the
mobility needs of the city.
Bogotá has embraced the concept of sustainable tourism1.
Constant growth in the number of visitors…
Number of foreign tourists in Bogotá
… handled through sustainable tourism initiatives
Example: “X Encuentro
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Example: El Dorado
green buildings for
1 The “sustainable tourism” aims to minimize the impact on the environment and the local culture and to create wealth and employments for local population
SOURCE: Observatorio Turístico de Bogotá; http://www.sanpablohotel.com/; http://www.redturismosostenible.org/; http://www.redturismosostenible.org/
The Bogotá river
polluted, since it
waste water from
PHOTOGRAPHY: River Bogotá waste removal
Bogotá is not
used to waste
PHOTOGRAPHY: Waste pickers
Despite huge improvements during the last 10 years,
Bogotá can still improve in terms of security.
Number of murders per 100,000 people
Bogota’s ten-year report on citizen’s culture
Bogota’s major Gustavo Petro Urrengo
“*…+ creo que ahí hay una campaña de
cultura ciudadana que debemos
acometer… no usar el celular en la calle”
“*…+ I think we should undertake a citizen
culture campaign… do not using mobile
phones in the street”
SOURCE: http://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/bogota/ARTICULO-WEB-NEW_NOTA_INTERIOR-12822358.html/; http://www.corpovisionarios.org;
The city offers
improve social wellbeing, such as
PHOTOGRAPHY: Bogota’s Sunday “ciclovía”
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tour Eiffel (author’s picture)
Founded on 1538
Population: 11.9 million
GDP per capita: €51,118
SOURCE: INSEE http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/tableau.asp?reg_id=20&ref_id=ecotc08101
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Seine (author’s picture)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Agricultural Market in Courbevoie (author's picture)
Downtown Paris housing rental price is twice as expensive as suburbs’
rental price. As a result, those with less resources are forced to live far
from Paris, facing externalities such as travel time and insecurity.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Paris family buildings (author’s picture)
aware of the
2010 and 2011.
SOURCE: “Rapport 2011 gestion des déchets à Paris” (http://paris.fr”)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Packed plastic waste (http://ecolologiesurleweb.free.fr/); Garbage truck (http://lefigaro.fr/)
Citizens have embraced eco-friendly transports like
Velib, Autolib and subway. Despite that, the car is still the
dominant means of transport, a source of traffic and pollution.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Traffic jam (Fernando Mayor); Autolib & Velib (author’s picture)
“Green lungs” like Bois de Boulogne offer
space for sports and entertainment.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Bois de Boulogne (author’s picture)
Smoking represents €10 million tax income for the French state.
However, cigarettes are not only dangerous for health but also for the
shape of the city. Each year, 30 billions cigarette butts are thrown on
the street, taking 12 years to decompose.
SOURCE: http://www.inpes.sante.fr/CFESBases/catalogue/pdf/629.pdf; http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/pollution-30-milliards-de-megots-dans-nos-rues-31-10-20122281095.php
PHOTOGRAPHY: Smoking woman (http://www.mirror.co.uk/); Cigarette butts http://www.davidlebovitz.com/)
Some ideas to keep on improving
Foster sustainable and equitable commerce by sharing and
exchanging products, instead of throwing and buying.
Increase public transportation in line with population
increases and convince people to use it.
Allow for telecommuting for people living far from their job.
Create a refill system for shampoo plastic
bottles, detergents, etc.
Install led lamps for public lighting.
Educate further on good citizenship: Respect others, throw
your waste in the garbage, help handicapped
people, maintain your temper in public spaces, etc.
Encourage sustainable reward programs granting people
with “points” every time there is positive act contributing to
sustainable development (e.g., recycling, buying green
Regardless of the economic development degree of a city, there are
always things to improve. Paris is much more “developed” than
Bogotá, but still shows significant sustainability gaps. In fact each one has
a different way to tackle sustainability.
Bogotá is still on the way to become sustainable. New ideas are under
development, but require a change of culture and also a lot of
Paris has the resources to fight sustainability issues. However, this is not
sufficient: Political intent and citizenship action is required to improve.
Lifestyle of the inhabitants of a city depends on public
services, infrastructure and government urban management.
Sometimes, there are good initiatives in the pipeline. Still, poor execution
often hinders from success. For instance, “Día sin Carro” and “Pico y
Placa” in Bogotá intended respectively to improve air quality and traffic.
“Día sin Carro” has proven to ineffective due to the number of
buses, which consume low quality diesel. “Pico y Placa” has showed an
increase in the number of cars, since public transport is not yet
PHOTOGRAPHY: Goats in Tuileries Gardens munching and naturally mowing grass (http://www.balladine.net/)