I read about Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogotá, Columbia, in the last issue of the Walker's newsletter/calendar. He was featured in a piece about the Brave New Worlds exhibit. And he sounds super-cool. He approached the city's problems in lots of creative and innovative ways, including:
- Hiring mimes to help control traffic at busy intersections.
- Distributing penalty cards (like the kind used in football/soccer) to the populace, so citizens could call attention to traffic rule violators.
- Taking an eco-friendly shower on TV (turning off the water while soaping up), to encourage people to save water.
Academic Turns City into a Social Experiment, by María Cristina Caballero
"The distribution of knowledge is the key contemporary task," Mockus said. "Knowledge empowers people. If people know the rules, and are sensitized by art, humor, and creativity, they are much more likely to accept change."
What changes would we like to see on West Seventh, and how we can use art and humor to gently encourage those changes along?