2009 – Enrique Peñalosa

Award Winner 2009

Rapidly growing cities and towns house half of the world’s population. They represent 75
percent of all energy consumption and generate 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. This means that the battle to create more sustainable cities and urban environments – environmentally and socially – is one of the most decisive factors facing the UN Climate Change Conference Copenhagen in December.

For this reason the Göteborg Award, one million Swedish crowns, is shared equally by three people who have found new solutions to these enormous challenges:

  • Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Tanzania
  • Enrique Peñalosa, Bogotá, Colombia and
  • Sören Hermansen, Samsö, Denmark

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,” says Stefan Edman, Chairman of the Award Jury since its conception in 2000.

This is the tenth Göteborg Award and the total amount of the prize is one million Swedish crowns. The Award was founded by the City of Göteborg and several interested companies in 1999. Its purpose is to “stimulate further positive developments and recognize strategic work for national and international sustainable development”.

It is funded by the City together with the Second Swedish National Pension Fund, Carl Bennet AB, Elanders AB, Eldan Recycling, Folksam, Götaverken Miljö, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Peab, Schenker AB, SKF and The Swedish Co-operative Union (KF).

The Award winners will receive their prize at a prize ceremony on the 26th of November in Göteborg.


Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá 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 longest 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 are aimed at promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Peñalosa is a charismatic and driving person, who now travels all over the world holding lectures on his visions and strategies on how to create good and liveable cities.


In 2009 the Göteborg Award celebrates its ten year jubilee. Our jubilee prize, one million Swedish crowns, is shared equally between Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Tanzania, Enrique Peñalosa, Bogotá, Colombia and Sören Hermansen, Samsö, 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.


Peñalosa: www.pps.org/info/placemakingtools/placemakers/epenalosa