Skip to main content

Suprise! Latin American cities are great at city-centre public realm


Who knew? Many Latin American city cores have wonderful pedestrian zones that rival those of European cities in quality.

A new post by Barbara Knecht at Planetizen Interchange highlights the region's downtown pedestrian zones and its many Ciclovia (car-free Sunday's with certain roads closed to motor vehicles and opened to feet and non-motorised wheels).
In a recent trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile I traveled through Montevideo and Colonia, Uruguay; Rosario, Mendoza, San Juan and Cordoba, Argentina; ViƱa del Mar and Valparaiso, Chile. All ten cities had significant thriving downtown pedestrian zones. The smallest was perhaps 5 blocks in San Juan, the largest 30 blocks in Santiago.
Actually, I did know. The photos with this post are mine, taken in Puebla, Mexico.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Podcasts on urban mobility and urban issues: a LONG list

Below is my increasingly long list of podcasts on urban mobility and/or urban issues. 

If you are not yet a regular podcast listener, you need to download a podcast-listening app to your phone, tablet or desktop and subscribe (it's free) to the podcasts that interest you.

UPDATE 1: This list has many podcasts but obviously I hope you will try mine! They are Reinventing Transport and Reinventing Parking.

UPDATE 2: I have added FOURTY ONE more since this was first published. Thanks to everyone who has sent tips.

Transport-based City Types and their Trajectories

I want to help you get perspective on your city and its transport system with the help of simple city types based on their dominant transport modes, such as Walking Cities, Transit Cities, Bus Cities, Motorcycle Cities and Car Cities.

This way of thinking about cities is a heuristic (an imperfect mental model or technique that is nevertheless good enough to be helpful). And it obviously is imperfect. For example, real cities often have various modes of transport, and modern cities are really all some kind of hybrid city type.

But it is still useful, especially if we add the idea of a Traffic Saturated City, which is a very different beast from a Car City. It is important for change-makers in Traffic Saturated Cities to be aware they are not in automobile dependent cities yet.

Options for digesting this: 
Read the brief article below and study the diagrams. They complement the podcast. For more depth, LISTEN to the 37 minute audio with the player above. A full transcript of the podcast is…

Singapore Urban Transport: The Warts-and-All Story

Singapore's National Day is this week (9 August). So I decided to share Singapore's urban transport story - or my slightly unusual take on itIt isa unique city in various ways but its urban transport policies are well worth your attention even if you don't live in Singapore.

This is a warts-and-all version of the story, and it is my own view, not any kind of official one.

It's also a little wonkish in parts. [Hi all you policy wonks!]

But I hope to keep your interest with some surprising twists, such as:
Why was the bus-only public transport system in an awful state by the early 1970s?If the buses were awful in early 1974, how was Singapore able to impose drastic increases to the cost of motoring in 1975?You will have guessed that the buses must have been drastically improved in 1974/75. But how was that achieved?Singapore urban transport enjoyed success through the 1980s and 1990s but its core social bargain (cars for the rich; decent but basic public transport for …