- Ocupa Tu Calle
Lima, as many other cities in Latin America suffers from deep urban inequality in terms of basic services, such as access to water, drainage, electricity, among others. In addition to this, corruption and poor planification in local governments has slowed down development urban areas specially in the outlying areas of the city, increasing insecurity, poverty, lack of adequate public spaces and poor waste management. This affects quality of life in latin american cities, where the place you are born determines the quality of services that you have access to.
In order to solve this situation and without their authorities help, people organized their communities in order to fix many of the issues by themselves. Even though many neighborhoods have already solved many of their basic needs, adequate quality spaces are still an important need in many districts. According to the Lima Cómo Vamos last survey, only 15.7% of Lima citizens with lowest income are satisfied with public spaces in their neighborhoods versus the 42% of people with higher income. Additionally, conflicts regarding public spaces have been rising in the last few years with interest in privatizing public spaces or the intention of prioritizing mobility for private vehicles through infrastructure that affects the free movement of people. Citizens have been organizing their communities to face this, which has also brought the debate to the public sphere where people are talking more about sustainable cities and public spaces.
In this context and to keep promoting more public spaces, we think this citizen effervescence and do it yourself spirit has to be exploited by giving them the right information, tools and support. This is the reason behind the Ocupa Tu Calle's toolbox, that systematizes the project's methodology in theoretical units, which include information about key concepts, how to plan an urban intervention step by step and how to train other people. On the other hand, the practical units provide citizens with the step by step on how to design and build several types of interventions (parklets, cycle lanes, open streets, mini plazas). We want to empower citizens to have an active role on promoting and protecting their public spaces, and becoming an agent of change in their communities.
Ocupa Tu Calle was born with the the goal of reducing inequality on access to quality public spaces through the recovery of unused and abandoned public spaces by promoting small scale and low cost urban interventions. After 3 years of experience, we have promoted 23 small scale urban interventions in 11 districts of Lima (Peru), contributing to the new urban agenda and the eleventh goal of sustainable development, 'access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces'. The official measurements from our intervention's impact until October 2017 tell us that approximately more than 370 000 people have benefited from them. We estimate that by the end of January 2018 we will have approximately 423 000 people benefited. Additionally, 7 municipalities have been involved with us and 4 of them have included public spaces as part of their public policies. We have also worked with more than 50 strategic partners and promoting collaborative work between local governments, academic institutions, private sector and civil society, which also contributes to the new urban agenda and the seventeenth goal for sustainable development focused on multi-stakeholders partnerships.