|Children play ball in the new Parque Bicentenario, with the Biblioteca Nacional in the background.|
The concept of a public space above Calle 26 connecting Independence Park and to the Museum of Modern Art was originated by famed Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona, who died in 2008. The new park is supposed to right a historic wrong: Parque de la Independencia, created in 2010 to host the World's Fair, has suffered repeated amputations as avenues slashed thru its western and southern sides. Ironically, the new Parque Bicentenario took yet another bite out of Independence Park because its elevation required the construction of access ramps and stairways on its northern side. Building those meant eliminating
|A romantic moment in the park.|
But that's all in the past. Parque Bicentenario is now finished, and the city has created a pleasant area for relaxing, reading, and perhaps small concerts or theatre events. It's an area of stairways and winding paths bordered by small gardens. When I visited on Monday afternoon, the Bicentenario was active with couples and families sitting, tossing balls around and taking photos, while security guards warned people not to stand on the benches. But the popularity may just be novelty. I'm not sure what will draw people here, except the promise of a quiet spot to walk or sit and read or kiss. But you can find those same things a few meters away in Parque de la Independencia, wher you can also lie on the grass and let your dog run around.
|The park's entrance on Carrera Septima.|
In a few months, will this new park be forgotten by most Bogotanos and taken over by potheads, beggars and skateboarders? Let's hope that city officials remember to fund activities here to keep this an active place.
*For anybody who doesn't follow New York urban developments, the High Line is popular new park their built on top of an old, raised trolley line.
|Calle 26 traffic passing underneath the park.|
|A family in the park.|
|A rare sight: Trash cans.|
|A light festival at night.|
|The original Parque de la Independencia, now much reduced.|
|Learn about the park's and neighborhood's histories.|
|Crowds at the Parque Bicentenario´s Inauguration.|
|At night, the park's lights create a show against the hills.|
|Ramps and stairways sliced into neighboring Parque de la Independencia.|
|Lots of rules, as always.|
|Why stairs, instead of ramps?|
|Nearby, the iconic Torre Colpatria.|