Feb 13 2008
Applying eccentric urban policies in other cities
In my article “‘Super Mayors’ in Bogota,” I wrote about the eccentric, yet effective, urban policies employed by former Bogota mayor Antanas Mockus to create a culture of citizenship in order to reduce crime and increase respect among citizens. One of his most note-worthy policies was handing out 350,000 red-and-white cards to city residents. Whenever someone saw a fellow citizen doing something wrong like throwing trash on the streets or disrespecting traffic signs, he or she would flash the red side of the card to the wrong-doer. And whenever someone did something good, a person would flash the white side of the card. This was meant to reinforce good behaviors and punish bad ones, citizen to citizen, peer to peer. Mockus claims that this program created a culture of respect in Bogota, something that was badly needed in a city that was in the verge of chaos.
An example of the cards used in Bogota.
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