When was the last time the city made you happy? What would you answer, if you were to sit in a video booth – made of fabric and wood – with infinite filming capacity?
From Sunday to Sunday, in Quito, Ecuador, the streets will be closed to car traffic and opened to cyclists with Ciclopaseo. This dynamic activity will to transform the capital. The city will be more human, more inclusive. Sunday, 2nd October 2016 was no exception, pedestrians and cyclists commuted during a busy morning through The Arch of the Circassian, Ejido Park, one of city’s largest public spaces and on the Ciclopaseo route.
The activity formed part of the launch of YoutHAB Conference, which will bring together hundreds of young people from across the globe to endorse the Youth Declaration in the frame of the New Urban Agenda to be ratified at the Habitat III Conference. Young conference volunteers welcomed Super Urbana (video booth), which surprised the capital with questions to transform the concept and dynamism of city public spaces. The Super Urbana video booths asked the question: When was the last time your city made you happy? People passing through El Ejido Park (where the launch event took place) approached the booth with curiosity, as if it were a time capsule; responds were mixed, some people were happy, others angry, others left in tears. Perhaps this is exactly what the city is, a mix of lived emotions we face on a daily basis.
As the day unfolded, issues relating to the dynamics of cities were debated and included themes relating to gender equality, LGBTI, the habitat Village, urban planning, sustainable construction, mobility, urban agriculture, adequate housing, disability and youth employment, universal accessibility, migration, recycling, and urban-rural linkages. Youth, adults and children from across the city contributed to the Super Urbana, showing that: despite the problems faced in the city, there are still elements that continue to make us happy in the city and the more active we are the more social cohesion we generate.
Super Urbana endeavours to bring to light the social challenges faced by Ecuadorian and foreign Youth alike during the YoutHAB conference. We are waiting to see what the next question will be from this video booth. Follow the YoutHAB Conference and learn about the Super Urbana!
Maria Belen Calderon
@artenbiciuio / instagram