Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bogotá's Once and Future Downtown

An idealized image of a quiet, tree-lined downtown street. 
The Museo de Bogotá has a photo exhibition about the past and perhaps future of central Bogotá.

The center's futures-past include plans by architects Le Corbusier and Rogelio Salmon, some of which have been carried out very incompletely and imperfectly.
A proposal by urbanist Le Corbusier and others. 

What does downtown Bogotá need?

Renovation of the many deteriorating old buildings. This is happening bit by bit here and there.

Better transit and traffic calming: The completion of the two new TransMilenio lines, whenever that finally happens, will be progress. And so will a light rail line on Seventh Ave - if the city ever actually does it. But hand in hand with that, we need measures to calm and reduce the center's horrific traffic jams, its chaos and pollution. This means limiting vehicle access to the city center.

A public market, long gone, at Carrera 10 and Calle 10. 
More after-dark activities to bring the district new life: More movie theatres and affordable housing would help.

Support for the homeless and drug addicts: Nobody likes being approached by one persistent beggar after another, sometimes aggressive, or to have to walk around piles of garbage scattered across the street and sidewalk by scavengers. Support centers for the homeless, like Mayor Petro has proposed, would benefit both the homeless and other neighborhood residents.

A colonial-era map of central Bogotá, which was all of Bogotá then. 

A timeline of plans for downtown. 

Plaza San Victorino: No longer so calm and quiet. 

The gateway to a central Bogotá reservoir. This hasn't changed. 

Calle 6, which runs past the presidential palace, perhaps a half-century ago. Today, it's paved.

A view of the hills above the Los Laches neighborhood. This spot contained the public cemetery for suicides and criminals, an area said to be haunted. 

One of the many bridges which existed in downtown before most of the rivers were put underground. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

city said...

thanks for sharing.