Enrique Peñalosa, Trinity ’78, was sworn in as mayor of Bogotá, Columbia earlier this month.

Peñalosa was reelected to Colombia’s second highest elected office on a platform of improving transportation gridlock and bringing increased safety to a city troubled by high crime rates. He outlined a 100-day plan for his initial time as mayor in October—offering proposals to combat high crime rates, improve the city’s public transportation system and help relieve traffic congestion.

Peñalosa gained international notoriety during his first term as mayor between 1998 and 2001 for his emphasis on improving transportation and mobility for Bogotá’s eight million residents. His efforts restricted traffic during rush hours, created the city’s “Transmilenio” transit system and expanded public space with 1,000 new parks and more than 250 kilometers of bicycle lanes.

“We want a Bogotá in which citizens prefer parks, sidewalks and other public spaces over shopping centers; city and society in which those who have cars prefer to use public transportation and bicycles for their daily mobility,” he said at his swearing-in ceremony Jan. 1 in Bogotá.

While an undergraduate at Duke, Peñalosa played on the men’s soccer team and graduated with a degree in history and economics. Peñalosa visited campus last year to lecture on his goal of creating a more democratic society by restructuring urban spaces.

“Many people on right and left love to give money to the poor, but that does not create equality and risks destroying self-esteem,” Peñalosa said at the January 2015 talk, which was sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Nicholas School of the Environment. “Regardless of income level, a good city can construct inclusion.”

Peñalosa ran two unsuccessful campaigns for mayor since leaving office in 2001 before his recent win. He will be in office until 2019.

Between his two terms, Peñalosa taught at New York University and advocated for improvements to urban policy. His 2013 TED talk titled “Why buses represent democracy in action” has more than 800,000 views.

At the event last year on campus attendee Gustavo Montana, a professor of radiation oncology in the School of Medicine, praised Peñalosa’s leadership.

“I grew up in Bogotá, and it’s extraordinary how he was able to do so much,” Montana said.