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Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, a new study of urbanism by journalist Charles Montgomery, begins with Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá and one of the current stars of urban planning. Peñalosa became globally famous for helping to establish a world-class bike network (Ciclorutas de Bogotá) and bus system (TransMilenio) in what many would consider the last place on earth to need such amenities—a city that still has a reputation for kidnappings and assassinations, corruption at all levels, and crushing poverty is expected to focus on law enforcement and stronger governance rather than something as effete as bus and bike lanes.

The bike system, however, was a huge success...

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