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PEDALING CHANGE IN MEXICO CITY

Our mission at KONE is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. 20 years ago, if you would’ve asked David Santacruz Negrete to describe Mexico City in one word, he would’ve said ‘green’. But now, he says it’s ‘gray’.

“One day, a few months after I started driving, my car was hit by another. I never returned to driving ever since. The greatest advances of urbanization in my city have been designed for cars, not for people. I love my city, but I hate the cars and its drivers!

During the first half of the twentieth century, cars were a way to show modernity and progress. Entire generations grew up with the idea that there is no other way to move in this city but by cars. Today we have a huge pollution problem and people are still clinging to use a car per person every day. That's unsustainable.

After my car accident, I moved to a neighborhood in the downtown area and switched to bicycling. Today there are more bicycle paths and we can make it safer, but 8 years ago, it was a very risky decision. I encourage people to bicycle as a cry of rebellion to retake control of the street, above the cars. I think Mexicans can be supportive, tolerant and respectful, but these virtues are lost when people get behind a steering wheel.

But there is a good side to this growth. When I was a teenager, I moved from my parents' house, in the north, to the south of the city and it was a 2-hour trip. Today it takes less than an hour thanks to the freeway. With all its shortcomings, I must say I love this city and its people – when they aren’t driving cars.”

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