2009 – Enrique Peñalosa

In 2009 the Göteborg Award celebrated its ten-year jubilee. This year, the prize highlighted the need for more sustainable cities and urban environments and was shared equally between three people who within their own specific contexts had answered to the enormous challenges that come with the global urbanization. The award winners were: Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Tanzania, Enrique Peñalosa, Colombia and Søren Hermansen, Denmark.

Enrique Peñalosa from Colombia and Mayor of Bogotá between the years 1998-2001, successfully transformed Colombia’s capital – one of the planet’s most chaotic urban environments with its slums and smog – into a model of sustainable, democratic city planning. Enrique Peñalosa reformed mass transit, primarily through “TransMilenio”, a modern, efficient bus-based transit system. He also initiated the construction of the world’s most extended bicycle path system and further developed the popular “ciclovia”, which shuts off vehicles from long stretches of roads every Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Both projects aimed at promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Peñalosa's visions and strategies for more sustainable urban environments have traveled around the world as he has held lectures in a great number of countries on how to create good and liveable cities.

Jury's motivation

Our jubilee prize, one million Swedish crowns, is shared equally between Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Tanzania, Enrique Peñalosa, Bogotá, Colombia and Søren Hermansen, Samsø, Denmark.

Each one comes from a separate continent and they are, locally and globally, knowledgeable, engaged and impatient doers. They are ambassadors for one of the most decisive factors for humanity – the battle for sustainable development in the cities and towns around the globe. These urban environments are already home to half the people in the world, they represent 75 percent of all energy consumption and generate 80 percent of all greenhouse gases. The problems are extremely complex and require urgent but long-term stable solutions.

"The Göteborg Award – 'The Nobel Prize in Environment' – celebrates its ten year jubilee in 2009. We are thrilled to award our jubilee prize to these brilliant visionaries, strategists and system transformers,” said Stefan Edman, at the time Chairman of the Award Jury since its conception in 2000.