Respect the sidewalk – LBSR

A collective claim aimed to revalue the place of pedestrians in the city. It was born in an industrial car orientated city, in an attempt to transform its pervasive dynamics. Cars parked on the sidewalk are the main targets. Our claim is printed in stickers to be pasted on the cars obstructing pedestrian’s flow. Today, LBSR has evolved to perform different type of activities.

ANA LUCÍA CARMONA HERNÁNDEZ, METEPEC, Mexico

Respect the sidewalk translated from La Banqueta se Respeta (LBSR) is a collective claim, born as a sticker to be pasted on the cars parked on the sidewalk. The faults of car drivers are photographed and shared through social media accounts.

It all started in 2012 as a students’ worry, when we asked ourselves how to impact on our city? How to solve a problem we face everyday? The response came in an easy, fast and low cost solution materialised at street level and openly directed to pedestrians’ threatens. Hence, social media has played an important role in the growth of LBSR. We see an empowerment process nurtured by rich debates coming from posting images and messages. Debate has also triggered the development of new ideas around the country. Today, bridges have been built, historical floors have been recreated, artistic passages developed and groups of walkers have been gathered to rediscover pedestrian’s place in the city.

Tito, the bridge (Tito, el Puente)

Today we describe Tito-the bridge as a tactical urbanism exercise; more specifically we define the practice as the personification of an urban intervention. Tito is a bridge built with recycled materials to cross the roots of Alamillo, the tree that once broke the sidewalk. Before setting up our friend, people had to get off the sidewalk and walk through the street.

Tito became popular and managed to call the attention of neighbours and the students of the nearby university. Thanks to its popularity a funding campaign was organised and Tito was rebuilt as a long lasting structure decorated with a beautiful urban art intervention.

The handsome tile (Banqueta coqueta)

Through our walking practice, sometimes we rediscover forgotten or unseen elements of the city. Before today’s simplified and cheap finishing of the sidewalks, a handsome tile used to give identity to our car-orientated city.

During the ephemeral expansion of the sidewalks located in the city centre of Monterrey, we build on revitalising collective memory. It happened as people walked freely through the area and suddenly discovered a group of young people carefully looking at something that seemed a white carpet and an informing panel about; a tile?

The handsome tile was an intervention organised together with a local government institution. With a stencil and flour we invited people to draw on the pavement the motif of the historic tile that used to decorate the majority of the sidewalks in the city centre. Even the intervention was simple, people easily recognised the design of the floor and nostalgically shared their memories.

Artistic passage

Some time ago, we identified that the street connecting an underground station and the entrance of the city’s most important public space: the Fundidora park; was completely deteriorated and underused.

The main problems are the lack of users and active frontages, the amount of garbage, poor illumination at night; which result in a deprived and dangerous place to walk. We realised that improving this connection is of great importance to promote public transportation commuting, instead of using the car.

Our main objective is to transform the area; physically we aim to expand sidewalks, improve illumination and provide urban furniture. In terms of perception, we expect a vibrant area. We are aware of the complexity of our expectation; therefore, we started with a low budget occupying activity: the artistic passage.

On a Sunday morning, we invited 3 local artists to exhibit some of their work in the sidewalk. The presence of artwork managed to attract people. Our plan is to continue calling the attention of people and hopefully institutions by re-appropriating the area through ephemeral and low budget interventions.

Voting closed!

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