New York City / Tuesday Feb 12,2013
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Paul Romer & Enrique Peñalosa

On February 12 former Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa sat down with Paul Romer at NYU Stern for a Conversation on Urbanization. Peñalosa urged cities to use public spaces and public transport to address urban inequality, ensuring that all residents can make use of public space and transit regardless of their socioeconomic status. He also echoed Donald Shoup‘s concerns about the high social costs of free on street parking in New York City, suggesting that this incredibly valuable space could be put to far more socially productive uses.

Both Peñalosa and Romer both emphasized the need for rapidly growing cities in the developing world to acquire sufficient public land in advance of urban expansion. Doing so now, while peripheral land prices are relatively low and dense settlement has not yet occurred, will allow cities to delineate the public spaces—such as parks, arterial roads, bike paths, and pedestrian ways—that are critical to guiding successful and inclusive urban expansion.

You can view the conversation in its entirety below.


Enrique Peñalosa
Enrique Peñalosa

Enrique Peñalosa is an urbanist and the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia (1998-2001). His current work focuses on equitable public space, land use, affordable housing, transportation, and urban environmental quality. As mayor of Bogotá, Peñalosa established the bus-based transit system TansMilenio, rejuvinated public spaces and built more than 1,000 parks, increased school enrollments, planeted more than 100,000 trees, and built hundreds of kilometers of sidewalks and bike paths. Mayor Peñalosa holds a bachelor degree in Economics and History from Duke University and Masters and Doctorate degrees in Management and Public Administration from the Institut International D’Administration Publique and the University of Paris II in Paris.

Paul Romer
Paul Romer
University Professor (on leave) / NYU

Paul Romer, an economist and policy entrepreneur, is a University Professor taking leave from NYU to serve as Chief Economist of the World Bank starting September 26, 2016. Romer was the former Director of the Marron Institute and the founding director of the Urbanization Project at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. The Urbanization Project conducts applied research on the many ways in which policymakers in the developing world can use the rapid growth of cities to create economic opportunity and undertake systemic social reform.

Before coming to NYU, Paul taught at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. While there Paul took an entrepreneurial detour to start Aplia, an education technology company dedicated to increasing student effort and classroom engagement. To date, students have submitted over 1 billion answers to homework problems on the Aplia website.

Prior to Stanford, Paul taught in the economics departments at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a non-resident scholar at both the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. and the Macdonald Laurier Institute in Ottawa, Ontario. In 2002, he received the Recktenwald Prize for his work on the role of ideas in sustaining economic growth.

Paul earned a bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Chicago. He earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago after doing graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Queens University.