In developing-world cities, the majority of people don't have cars, so I will say, when you construct a good sidewalk, you are constructing democracy. A sidewalk is a symbol of equality. [However] we are designing cities for cars, cars, cars, cars, cars. Not for people. Cars are a very recent invention. The 20th century was a horrible detour in the evolution of the human habitat. We were building much more for cars' mobility than children's happiness.
Ah, but his passion for pedestrians, specifically his banning of sidewalk parking, cost him his last election. When asked if Penalosa sees himself as a city planner or politician, his response is honest and humorous, "I was almost impeached for getting the cars off the sidewalk. At heart what I really am is a Colombian politician, but a bad one because I lose elections."