Category Archives: Aesthetics

Painted Stories: A tour through the street art of Bogotá

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“There’s more to Colombia than cocaine and coffee.”

Rey Garcia is a tour guide on a mission. In his eyes, street art is not only a legitimate art form worthy of a wider audience, but a valuable means of self-expression.

Street art is not illegal in Bogotá. The maximum penalty is akin to a parking ticket. And since relaxing restrictions in 2011, the city has seen its walls explode with color and creativity. Artists come from around the world to participate; an estimated 5,000 murals now cover the city, and new ones go up every week. Continue reading

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Weekly Review

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Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you the importance of putting pedestrians at the centre of urban design,  encouraging kids to be silly and bridging the gap to good design by using a city’s elevated infrastructure to create great public spaces.

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People For Smarter Cities

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You may know that IBM is committed to creating solutions that help cities all over the world get smarter, in order to make life in those cities better. That’s why IBM and Ogilvy joined forces to spark positive change with the “People for Smarter Cities” project, that unites city leaders and forward-thinking citizens. To spread the word, Ogilvy created outdoor advertising with a purpose: a bench, a shelter and a ramp that are not only designed to be beautiful, but to be useful to city dwellers as well. Watch the interaction unfold.

Richelle Sibolboro is Managing Editor of OpenCity Projects

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What’s in a sidewalk?

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Sidewalks figure centrally in our experience and conception of a city. Jane Jacobs began her influential Death and Life of Great American Cities with a look at sidewalks. My work this summer has taken me to all corners of the city of Toronto, and in so doing has shown me the many forms sidewalks can take.

When we think of urban sidewalks, something like this tends to spring to mind…

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