Getting around in the city

Las Franjas Blancas para peatones are a series of brief (some are 30 seconds) videos depiciting scenes from Lima, Perú in support of creating a more pedestrian friendly city.  The videos are captioned in Spanish and can be stopped to describe the scene and make predictions.  Students can also use the past tenses to describe what happened or the future tense to imagine Peatónman arriving to save the day.  Students should make connections and comparisons to their own experiences.  What advantages or disadvantages do pedestrians have over other forms of transportation?  Why are “walkable” cities often considered a quality of life issue?

Bogotá, Colombia is on the forefront of redesigning the city to conform to the idea of Movilidad Humana.   The above web site includes a portal infantil with games and stories that Spanish students can navigate.

In addition to making public transportation more efficient (see their sistema transmilenio) and public spaces more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, Bogotá also aims to reduce the number of cars on the road through their Día Sin Carro program.  More advanced Spanish students can read the comments on the above link to a newspaper article to get a sense of the positive and negative reactions to these efforts.  What are the pros and cons of reducing the use of cars?

The metro de Santiago, Chile has incredible art installations.  You can find short videos on their homepage under the heading videos metrocultura.  Also found in Santiago’s metro is a work entitled Verbo América  by world-renowned chilean artist Roberto Matta.  In addition, Joe Vasconcellos and James Frazier composed an original song entitled Verbo Amércia, una constelación inspired by Matta’s work that considers the fusion of African and American identity in the Americas.

How does public art impact quality of life?  Why did they choose the metro for this installation?  This could be compared to public art in other cities, such as New York’s program to put poetry in subways and Philadelphia’s famous murals.  What sort of public art would you create?

About sustainabilityandspanish

Spanish teacher and accidental environmentalist.
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