Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cheating Children of their Green Space

'We need green areas to breathe!'
'We want more recreation.' 'We want to breathe.'
 Recently, schoolchildren marched thru the gritty Santa Fe neighborhood calling for more green areas and recreational spaces - which are in short supply in the poor, industrial area. The neighborhood also has some of Bogotá's poorest air quality.

Yet, ironically - and infuriatingly - just a few blocks away there ARE large green spaces - which are -incomprehensibly - fenced off from the neighbors' use.

A fenced off green space along Calle 26,
across from the INPEC.
When the city built the TransMilenio line along Calle 26 to the airport in 2011, for no apparent reason they demolished houses and businesses long both sides of the avenue. Since then, the land has sat empty and unused, fenced off with barbed wire and with dogs and guards to keep out anybody who dares to walk their dog or play ball on the grass.

When tourists ask me why this is, I just shake my shoulders and confess that city bureacrats, who are obviously much more intelligent than I am, must have very good reasons to spend our tax money  to deny Bogotanos access to public green space.

Jaime Garzon, the martyred comedian, scowls down at the off-limits green area.
Don't dare walk your dog in this green area along 26th Street.
Don't you dare walk on the grass!
No approaching this mural.

A grassy area, once part of the Central Cemetery, could be turned into a large park, rather than fenced off.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

No comments: