The secrets of the world's happiest cities
Two bodyguards trotted behind Enrique Peñalosa, their pistols jostling in holsters. There was nothing remarkable about that, given his profession – and his locale. Peñalosa was a politician on yet another campaign, and this was Bogotá, a city with a reputation for kidnapping and assassination. What was unusual was this: Peñalosa didn't climb into the armoured SUV. Instead, he hopped on a mountain bike. His bodyguards and I pedalled madly behind, like a throng of teenagers in the wake of a rock star. A few years earlier, this ride would have been a radical and – in the opinion of many Bogotáns – suicidal act. I first saw the Mayor of Happiness work his rhetorical magic back in the spring of 2006. Peñalosa insisted that, like most cities, Bogotá had been left deeply wounded by the 20th century's dual urban legacy: first, the city had been gradually reoriented around cars. In the third year of his term, Peñalosa challenged Bogotáns to participate in an experiment.
• Indicateurs de qualité de lieu de vie
• Thought provoking