He was born in Spanish Parliament (Navarre) in 1938. It is licensed in Right and Sociology, and he has been a teacher of Social work in the Public University of Navarre. Promoter of the environmental movement in Spain and of the antinuclear struggle, has centred his work on last years in the renewable energies. Consultant of the UNO and adviser of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has published 500 articles and 40 books, the majority of them on town planning. In 2005 it received the National Award of Environment.
He organizes: Observatory of the Bicycle of San Sebastian.
Topic: The culture of the bicycle in the city.
Place and hour: Lounge of Plenary meetings of the Town hall, at 19:30 h.
-About what will he speak in the conference of this evening?
- of the culture of the bike. I have always been an urban cyclist. Since I went away to study Strasbourg I warned that the Dutches were taking there his bike and I was surprised. Then I began a Dutch fiancée and it gave me his bike, since then in all the places where I have lived through circle in bike. What seemed unthinkable, by the force of the car, begins being today a reality. It is a cultural problem, of ethics, of pleasing. The moment has come. Donosti is the first city of Spain in use of the bike. Here I come to learn more and to observe than to teach.
-These are some things that you have written on the cyclist: it is «an angel with pedals», «a lay holy spirit», «an archangel San Gabriel who announces to us the miracle of the sustainable mobility»... Argue this to me or we will think that he is an instigator?
- I have always been an instigator. The population looks for emotions, wants to be happy and, in this sense, the metaphors employment is essential. Now they accuse us that we bother to the pedestrians, I am a pedestrian with wheels and sometimes I use the car, but today I have come here in collective transport and my trace of CO2 will have been of 3 a gm / km instead of 120 if it had come in car. And it is not enough only to give to the people his rational, but also emotional arguments. A few years ago to walk in bike on the city was synonymous of being corrected of long-haired or marginal, but today I have seen in San Sebastian the people dressed in all kinds and condition, fat persons, old men, young people, executives, good and evil. This begins being a life style, that the northerly ones never lost it. A lot of of the people who goes today in bike it might go in car but it goes for an ethical beginning of not contaminating, saving energy, or simply because it is more pleasant and healthy.
-Are our cities prepared for the bike? You defend that the town planning is for one century subordinated to the car, but the things are already changing: no?
- there begins being a change for 4 ó 5 years. First because there are guidelines of the governments, and because the people begin seeing in the town halls, like Josu Benaito here, which are those who more know of sustainable mobility. If there are compact cities, the people on foot, politics of expansion of sidewalks there will be safety and good ambience. The following step will be to appease, to fall calm, the traffic.
- In the city for constructing it is easy to plan and to plan the rails bike, but: and in the built city?: how do we manage the scarce public space?: From whom do we take it, from the pedestrians or from the drivers?
- it is clear that in ethical and environmental terms it is necessary to take it from him to the motorcar. In 40 years there will be so many cars as now, but put in the garage, without scarcely I use. They will be used when it is definitely necessary.
- Have I read that you hope that the oil price should come to 200 dollars for barrel because it will be the propitious moment to corner the car in the cities...?
- I was pleased of that I was rising but now it has gone down to 100 dollars. The oil should be used for the petrochemical industry, to do plastic, pieces, not to burn it because we are destroying the planet. The crises are always creative and it is also it it will be. He will force us to look for alternatives. With the oil to 140 dollars for barrel, since it has been this summer, the wind power is already competitive. In the cities it will be necessary to go to collective transports of high capacity moved with renewable energies. To his step along Aragon, the BIRD there are days that 30 % of the energy that it consumes is wind. It is necessary to replace the motor-car industry with the wind one. That's why I am pleased of that it raises the oil and the people could not go for tobacco in car. We have got accustomed to things that are not logical: the contamination, the noise and to that there devotes himself to the traffic 60 % of the positions of the Municipal Guard. 10 % of the GDP of a country cannot rest in the motor-car industry, we are going to devote ourselves to the renewable energies, to the technology. We have oil reservations for 120 days, something happens in the Strait of Ormuz or in Iran and in three months here there is famine and cold. It cannot be, it is necessary to change model.
- How do we solve the conflicts pedestrians - cyclists? You plead why who walk in bike do not overcome 10 km/h: is not it like that?
- for his position, there must be a reeducation of the cyclists and the highest respect to the pedestrians. Where there are pedestrians there is safety, urban life, there is complexity. Then, absolute priority to the pedestrian. There are ethics to be learned: to go slowly, to move away from the pedestrian, and to go down the bike when there are agglomerations.
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