Category Archives: Identity

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

The New Face of Union Station

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Central stations are at the heart of urban history: they play host to the mass transportation systems that allow for the collective movement of millions into city centres. Conveniently, the rise of regional rail systems corresponded with a period of remarkable architecture, as Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical buildings sprung up as hubs for regional mobility. Continue reading

Commoning the Urban

CU2  Against a backdrop of austerity measures and top-down planning interventions, “El Campo de Cebada” – The Barley Field, is an allusion to its former use in the 19th century – in the heart of Madrid’s La Latina neighbourhood illustrates the possibilities of upscaled participative citizenship. Formerly home to a sporting facility in 2009, the 5,500 square metre site was slated to transform into to a private market. However, a hostile atmosphere, coupled with a lack of political foresight, conspired to make the site economically unviable. And so it sat, desolate and fenced in, a veritable scar on the neighbourhood. Continue reading

Walking for Jane – Complete Streets

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On the first weekend of May, Toronto played host to the Jane’s Walk Festival, a three day bipedal celebration of urban space, as understood by those who live it. With over 180 walks held, the city was dotted with mobile crowds that consistently attracted the curiosity of onlookers – and even led to some new participants. Continue reading