When I visited The Hague, I found out that the most attractive thing to do was to show up on a vintage silver bicycle or just walk around on foot with an umbrella.
Secret service, the Queen’s Guards and Denis Berkamp were the only people with SUV’s and no one found them cool. Even the Prime Minister Mark Rutte rides his bike to work. I loved the little city
Yesterday I was literally elated to learn that our Central Business District (CBD) was going to be car free.
First because having rubbed shoulders with the green party lately, I’m all pro-nature – ha ha ha. But mostly because I think that’s the most progressive, modern and enlightened decision since Agaciro; Kigali is finally entering in the league of cool cities!
So I felt that was great and I have nothing to say about that. What I have to say though is the way the decision was taken.
Our own Sunny Ntayombya suggests it in his Op-Ed, the President likes the idea, tweets that he agrees with him and will speak to the mayor. From that moment, it was just a matter of hours before the decision was made.
Now do I agree with the decision? Oh yes, I love it. But is it how decisions are supposed to be taken? Yes, if you we plan on being ruled by decree – or by twitter.
We talk of strengthening institutions, but at the same time we have the passion, to do the right thing and fast. Well, had the City Council been ‘encouraged’ to develop a car phase-out plan, establish a public parking, grow more grass, install public benches and fast-food Kiosques, the decision would have been delayed, but this would have strengthened the institution of the City of Kigali.
All in all, I am planning on walking in the middle of the tarmac for once, enjoy pollution free zone and eat a sandwich, while I randomly encounter the CEO of Equity or Access Bank; men whose glimpse I always caught from their SUV’s tented windows in the traffic jam.
Look out for me, I’ll be tweeting…