Dr. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka is Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and since2000 the Executive Director of the UN-HABITAT, the world organisation’s settlement program with a mandate to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities and towns. Under her watch the importance of UN-HABITAT’s active role has grown tremendously.
Based on the Millennium Declaration’s goal 2020 to lift 100 million sluminhabitants
out of poverty, Dr. Tibaijuka – pugnacious, aggressive and with a prominent African and third world perspective – is leading a successful global undertaking that includes water supplies and empowering women to improve their surroundings.
As one of the initiators of Cities in Climate Change Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka is also advancing the practical climate work being carried out in major cities.
Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá 1998-2001, successfully transformed Colombia’s capital
– one of the planet’s most chaotic urban environments with its slums and smog – into a model of sustainable, democratic city planning. Enrique Peñalosa reformed mass transit, primarily through “TransMilenio”, a modern, efficient bus-based transit system. He also initiated the construction of the world’s longest bicycle path system and further developed the popular
“ciclovia”, which shuts off vehicles from long stretches of roads every Sunday between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Both projects are aimed at promoting pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Peñalosa is a charismatic and driving person, who now travels all over the world holding lectures on his visions and strategies on how to create good and liveable cities.
Sören Hermansen is the primus motor and focal point of the so-called Samsö Project, in which Samsö, with its some 4,000 inhabitants, won the competition between Danish islands on which one would first become self-sufficient through renewable energy within ten years.
Under civic-minded Hermansen’s enthusiastic leadership – founded on a grass roots perspective – the work has resulted so far in eleven land-based, and ten ocean-based, wind generators as well as a number of district heating power plants driven by burning hay or wood chips. Replacing fossil fuelled cars and tractors with biogas, raps oil and electric car technology is already in the pipeline.
Sören Hermansen was named one of Time Magazine’s 2008 “Heroes of the Environment”, and is now in the process of spreading his ideas around the world.