01/17/2012 02:54 pm ET

Leading With Vision: A Conversation With Transit Innovator Enrique Penalosa

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality," says scholar Warren Bennis. This year, Model D broadens its horizons to explore how visionary urban leadership across the country and around the world can have a positive impact on cities. With all conversations steered back to Detroit, of course.

In the first of a series of interviews with mayors and other leaders who have made transformative change, we talk to Enrique Penalosa, mayor of Bogota, Colombia from 1998 to 2001.

The Penalosa administration spearheaded a number of bold initiatives, including the development of the TransMilenio, a citywide bus rapid transit system (BRT), as well as a wide-ranging network of bikeways. After a decade, TransMilenio is widely regarded a success, moving over 1.6 million riders a day, eclipsing most rail systems around the world. It carries more than twice the riders as Chicago’s El or the D.C. Metro. And Penalosa’s bikeways provide thousands of new cyclists a healthy and safe way to navigate Bogota.

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