Of your body
Of your mind
Of your spirit
More Sunday Ciclovía. Give spaces to people and watch what happens. This city more than encourages its citizens to be active, it provides the means to do it. Free gym equipment in parks, free bike rentals, the bike share is $20 per year- unlimited rides (wow), and simply getting the cars out of the way. People want to be active, let’s remove the barriers to doing so.
Sundays in the park.
This is the first park I went to on my first journey to Mexico City. It’s located right in the middle of the historic center near many of the tourist attractions so there are many foreigners in the park (A gentleman asked me if I was French….. in French. I am not).
But it is frequented by locals, too. Every Sunday a rollerblading group gets together to practice, learn new skills, and have fun.
I love this park.
Medellín, Colombia. Unidad Deportiva Belén. A free sports park. Two young boys I watched play one-on-one for awhile as I photographed other players in the park. This in between moment made possible only by having an appropriately scaled park with inviting elements and reason to stay and linger beyond the original purpose of going to the park.
Sunday Ciclovía- Mexico City
The Cineteca in Mexico City. Old films, foreign films, craft cocktails, fresh air. Unpretentious. Perfect date night.
A walk in Parque Berrío- Medellín, Colombia
Kids are a good indicator species of any worthwhile space, parks included. Free roaming kids and you know you’ve built a truly quality space. Safe, well lit, inviting, interesting. Go.
The bus only lane doubles as a bike lane even if illegally. It’s a much safer and comfortable ride when 2 ton metal boxes aren’t zipping past 2 feet away.
The coach let me drop in on practice for a bunch of shots. All the programs are sponsored by the government so anyone, any age, any income level can get involved in a sport. Equity leads to healthier lives leads to lower healthcare costs? There’s a joke in here somewhere about fiscal conservatism.
Antigua, Guatemala. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets call for a more subtle transit. The preferred choice makes it a lot easier to walk around town.
Retail & work units need not be huge spaces. A large number of smaller shops allow for a variety of uses and affordable rates. This helps create a vibrant street life with more activities happening and more people passing through.
The buses in Medellín may be confusing, but what they lack in clarity they more than make up in connectivity and quantity. They supplement- not compete with- the Metro and gondolas in the city. Many trips begin or end with a bus ride in addition to the Metro. All of the systems are connected with one transit card.
Shade is an important part in creating any place worth staying. Trees, bridges, buildings all contribute to making a space more comfortable and inviting. And when people linger it attracts yet more people. A good point for retailers to understand- locate near, or better yet build, people attracting spaces and you have a built in customer base.
I find so many random activities happen in the park when its inviting and well designed.
A group of kids wait the rain out at one of the sports parks in Medellín.
This corner bakery is one of many in the neighborhood. When you have sufficient density, you can have nice things- and lots of them- nearby, not a car ride away. It’s such a more pleasant and lively neighborhood when errands are made by foot.
Spaces are only as good as their edges. A worker attends to a facade in Antigua, Guatemala. Easily the most walkable place I’ve traveled to during the trip.
Cineteca- Mexico City
A woman takes a break during the weekly Ciclovía- Mexico City. The number of women biking is striking. This makes sense though, as better biking infrastructure increases the number women riders. If you want to build an inclusive city, build inviting spaces for ALL users.