Galán charts ambitious course for Bogotá during inaugural address

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Bogotá Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán, accompanied by his wife Carolina, and children Julieta and Juan Pablo. Photo: Alcaldía.

In a ceremony that marks the start of a transformative era for Bogotá, Carlos Fernando Galán assumed the role of Mayor on Monday, delivering an inaugural speech that not only resonated with his deep-seated commitment to the city, but one that also presents a comprehensive and ambitious vision for the Colombian capital.

Against the backdrop of an audience invited to the historic Plaza de Bolívar, Mayor Galán embarked on a compelling discourse, grounding his message in the profound belief that dreams, determination, and tireless effort can pave the way for a brighter future. Recalling the wisdom of his grandfather, he invoked the words of Abraham Lincoln to underscore the importance of faith and patience in the pursuit of societal ideals.

“Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln after one of his defeats; we must have faith and await the predominance of our ideals, living with our dreams held close to our hearts to wake up singing them,” Mayor Galán reflected, setting the tone for a four-year administration driven by optimism and promise.

The newly inaugurated Mayor’s address resonated with themes of perseverance, the power of learning from life’s obstacles, and the acknowledgment of collective responsibility in shaping the destiny of Bogotá. Expressing heartfelt gratitude to his family, particularly his wife Carolina Deik, Galán emphasized the collaborative effort required to shape individual dreams into shared realities. The mayoral sash was placed by his daughter Julieta, while Carolina held Juan Pablo in her arms.

Key focus areas of the inaugural address

Security: Mayor Galán wasted no time in addressing the pressing issue of security, asserting a hands-on approach to tackle criminal organizations operating in the city. “In this government, we assume from now on the responsibility of leading that policy and coordinating all actors to face the criminal organizations operating in our city,” he declared. His commitment to prioritizing intelligence, criminal investigation, technological advancements, and citizen cooperation underscores a holistic approach to creating a safer urban environment.

Mobility: Recognizing the longstanding debates surrounding Bogotá’s transportation challenges, Mayor Galán articulated his commitment to advancing mobility solutions. Beyond the much-anticipated metro project, he emphasized improvements to the existing TransMilenio system and the overall integrated transport network. Sustainable mobility and the alleviation of traffic-related issues emerged as focal points, aligning with his vision for a city that prioritizes efficient and inclusive transportation.

Metro and Road Infrastructure: Mayor Galán highlighted the potential of the long-awaited Metro project, noting its role in integrating diverse populations, fostering business development, and restoring confidence and pride in the city. Additionally, he underscored the importance of planned road infrastructure as a key component in reducing segregation and territorial imbalance. The vision for Bogotá involves a strategic approach to urban development, ensuring accessibility and unity for all citizens. “A Metro that will welcome tourists to explore Bogotá, its restaurants, murals, theaters, museums, and architecture, allow us to get out of private vehicles and gain air quality and time with our families,” highlighted Galán.

Economy: Facing economic challenges head-on, Mayor Galán unveiled plans for a spending austerity initiative, emphasizing the need to do more with less. His commitment to generating formal employment, promoting digitization, and enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises aligns with a broader strategy aimed at making Bogotá a more productive and economically resilient city. Bogotá “must advance in the fight against poverty, and does not accept that any inhabitant feels hungry,” he said.

Culture: Mayor Galán articulated a vision of Bogotá as a city unified by culture, with its residents caring for one another. Highlighting the role of culture as a unifying force, he expressed a commitment to maintaining Bogotá’s leadership role in cultural and entertainment activities. Emphasizing the power of cultural initiatives in fostering respect and understanding among diverse communities, Mayor Galán positioned culture as a cornerstone of his inclusive vision for Bogotá.

In his closing remarks, Mayor Galán extended an invitation to the citizens of Bogotá, urging them not to lose the ability to dream. He underscored the potential of small everyday changes and the necessity of working together to make dreams a reality. “The responsibility is enormous, but the possibilities are also there. It is in our hands. Let’s work for this dream,” Mayor Galán concluded.

With his audience charged with a renewed sense of optimism and shared commitment to realizing the ambitious vision he outlined during his inaugural address, under Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán’s leadership, Bogotá embraces more innovation and urban progress. The promises made during the inaugural address are also poised to shape the trajectory of Bogotá’s future, laying the foundation for a city that not only addresses its immediate challenges but also sets the stage for sustained growth, prosperity and social cohesion. “I cannot promise the impossible, but I will commit to always speak the truth, govern with transparency, and to surround myself with experts who want to change the life of Bogotá”.