Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Bogotá!

Birthday concert in the Plaza del Chorro
It's Bogotá's 472nd birthday. This birthday finds the city much better off than a decade ago, when it felt under siege by guerrillas, or twenty years ago, when cocaine cartel bombs were exploding all over.

But the city still suffers huge problems - terrible traffic jams, air quality that's improving, but still lousy, a poverty rate between 40 and 50 percent and way too much violence. On the other hand, it is improving. The city is growing economically; when these huge Transmilenio projects finally finish, traffic and people will actually move. And, hopefully, they'll phase out those old buses and actually enforce pollution laws on other vehicles and factories.

This birthday is being celebrated with concerts in lots of plazas. But the ocassion has been complicated by the inauguration of new Pres. Juan Manuel Santos, which means the national holiday is canceled.

Where will Bogotá be in another year? Another ten years?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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