Enrique Penalosa, Bogota’s new Hero

I won’t be long again stay in NL. Sooner I will back to Indonesia after my master defense. In fact, what makes me miss the most here in Enschede or NL is biking, everywhere. even far away to Hengelo or Glanerburg. Cities in most Europe are almost the same. The pedestrian and biking lanes are everywhere. As we know, NL or Amsterdam is famous of the city of bike. One day I ask my fellow friend, Pier, or now the guys in the HMI-Master lab, e.g Thijs about this bike tale.

” Why everyone here bikes? is not that they don’t have cars..?” and the answer is simple.
Thijs said to me It is healthy!

Once my long pal in my course-study time Pier said “When you have a party, until midnight, there will be no buses. So you can get your bike, and runaway home quickly”. And then I asked again “What if it’s winter? Isn’t it too cold? Its snowing outside and it is minus 7C..?” Pier answered it quickly and smiled to me Irma, don’t be such a baby. It’s just COLD! (bah enak bener ngomongnya, dingin tauk!) and then it became an awkward silent …………… and then we laugh together. 😀

Then I search about Holland’s people tale about biking culture here in the Netherlands. I’ve searched something about this and found:

The city is working to separate bike paths as much as possible from streets used by cars and trucks, which in some cases means designating certain streets as bike boulevards where two wheelers gain priority over automobiles.

It is being said by Hidde van der Bijl, a policy officer for cycling in the Hague’s city government, outlined the strategy for improving bicycle speed and safety. In the article, it is also said about huge commitment.

“A commitment to biking is not uniquely imprinted in the Dutch DNA. It is the result of a conscious push to promote biking.”

Another example said that; kids is being introduced to bike at very early age, primary school and  95 % of the older kids bike to school at least some of the time. I know that everybody here bikes. All the guys in the lab bike to campus, 20-30 minutes. Most professores in campus or de docents also bike. My supervisor also bikes. Bike is the king in the road. And so do pedestrians.

When I search about the article dutch-riding bike I found other article. About Bogota. Enrique Penelosa made it beautiful ony in his short term as a Mayor in that city, around 3 years from 1998-2000. I believe it is like Foke to Jakarta. Penelosa was born in US,  graduated from Duke University, North Carolina, and continued his master and doctoral degree in France. He said, he already saw cities, mega cities in the whole world, every mega cities try to give the pedestrians and bikers the highest priority. I must admit, the city planning in most towns in NL is brilliant. Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Maastricht. Everywhere is clean. And beautiful. And most people walk, or do bike. Trams and buses everywhere. Don’t forget to mention safe one. The bus’s chauffeur is echt top. No faking driving license please.

According to Wikipedia, Penelosa is also successfully have 5 megaprojects including:

  1. the bank of lands,
  2. the District’s system of Parks (including the Bogota’s Bike Paths Network),
  3. the District’s system of libraries,
  4. the Transmilenio mass transit system, and
  5. road construction and maintenance.

Here it is the video interviewing Mr. Penalosa. BRILLIANT Mr. Penelosa..! BRILLIANT..! Now I know Surabaya, Jakarta or any other cities in Indonesia could be like this. It is possible, truly possible.

Now, you can take a look at my photos in Amsterdam around last year.

A man waving to Ady when I took this photo. This is around Madame Tussaud and Royal Palace.
Pedestrian in somewhere near the Hard Rock Cafe. We looove to walk for sure.
Another view from the photo above, still near Hard Rock Cafe.
alias Rommel at Waterlooplein.
Kalau saya ke ams, waterlooplein adalah tempat wajib.
After walking around 25-30 minutes, we arrived in this "I amsterdam". Just behind the Rijksmuseum, where they keep that famous Van Gogh paintings.

Further reading, you can read about Bogota’s biggest change in an online article titled: Happy Cities for the Global South: Interview with Enrique Peñalosa, 2 Jul 2010, YES Magazine — here; or just simply search the man’s name behind this project  at Google. Amazingly, Penelosa made Bogota slowly into modern cities. Just like Amsterdam, or Paris, or every other pedestrian mega cities in this world. I do hope Indonesia will follow next. Someday we will, we will. Like he said in his interview at minutes 11:00

“We under estimate the power of Dream. And the most difficult part is to dream.. It is time to take the risk, to do something new..”

You must dare to dream, it’s truly a must. Karena mimpilah yang membawa saya sekolah gratis kesini. Saya dulu cuman bermimpi studi master keluar negeri, terwujud. Sekarang mimpi saya bisa menyelesaikan defense dengan baik, lalu cari sekolah lagi, doktoral. Mimpi lain tentunya: kota-kota di Indonesia bersih, maju, elite. Seperti Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, etc. Semoga akan ada pemimpin visioner di Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Malang dll seperti yg dipunya Bogota. Kita benar-benar butuh: jalan-jalan yang bersih dan baik, tanah lapang, taman-taman yg luas, pohon, public transport yg bagusLIBRARY yg canggih dan nyaman, INTERNET dengan bandwith gahar seperti disini dan yg terpenting udara segar. Jika berangkat kantor atau sekolah lingkungan nyaman, kerjanya happy dan efisien. Saya sangat yakin, bahagia adalah salah satu kunci kesuksesan seseorang.

Oh Ya Tuhanku Ya Rabbi kabulkanlah permintaan hambamu ini.. oh AMIN!!!



  1. Pikiran Penalosa memang hebat! Di Indonesia emang perlu orang kayak gini buat ngebenerin ruwetnya ibukota. Di indo ya sandingannya Joko Widodo.

    1. and the question is, who is Joko Widodo? is that your uncle? or tetanggamu tah bang? wekekeke.. just kidding. Yah kita berdoa bersama-sama ya abang, semoga INA ini segera nyonto.. (amin)

      jadi mikir bang, gimana kalau proposal disertasi nyari s3 berkaitan sm hal ini, Information System, causalities, knowledge transfer & sharing dihubung-hubungin sm tata kota, public space, public transport system, etc..? mungkinkaaahhh… jawabnya adalahh.. jeng jeng jeeeeng ………. MUNGKIN SAJA..! 😀

  2. errr.. umm……

    gowes di jakarta kalo engga pas car-free-day itu gampang-gampang susah. gimana engga, enak2nya gowes tiba-tiba.. BRUUUULLL… asap bis yang super item dan bau itu nyembur ke muka…

    tips gowes di jakarta :
    jangan lupa pake masker segede gaban ala mas joni dulu.. hehehe…

    eniwei, stay healthy irmoo..

    1. Nah itu dia ci. disini, mobil harus cek emisi karbon nya.. nggak boleh smp berasap hitam kyk gitu.. dendanya gede banget..

      di INA polisi kita bs jamin gitu dendanya gede bs masuk uang negara, nggak masuk kantong sdr? fyi, disini bikin SIM aka. driving license mulai dari rijlessen (les drive) +/- 250 € Lalu exam ada dua, theorie-examen sama praktijkexamens +/- 1250 €. In total 1500 an € hanya untuk SIM ci.. ps: klo gak lulus gak pake nyogok =p

      stay healthy voor jouw ook mevrouw! kusjess

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s