Expert Voices: Guillermo Dietrich, Secretary of Transportation, City of Buenos Aires
Last week we featured the Park(ing) Day events happening in C40 Cities around the world. Here, Buenos Aires’s Secretary of Transportation gives us a first-hand look at how his city celebrated (see photos) and reflects on the wider significance of the Day.
Park(ing) Day is celebrated around the globe in September, when the Southern Hemisphere receives the spring season. It is a truly social blossoming that reaches out to people and cities everywhere. It aims to heighten the value of public space, which should be created for and used by people instead of cars.
In the past, cities were to be imagined as a mix of endless skyscrapers, roaring highways and flying automobiles. Fortunately, today we see a way to a more promising future: large cities with green roofs, sustainable means of construction that encourage a cleaner environment, and more efficient transport systems -- all aiming to install a healthier and friendlier way of life.
The successful realization of this vision depends on humankind playing an important role and making a willful decision to rethink the way in which cities should be planned and lived, promoting massive means of transportation, increasing the density of urban areas, mixing land uses and reducing car circulation in order to make way for bicycles and pedestrians.
For the third year, C40's partner, ITDP, brought Park(ing) Day to Buenos Aires. Citizens could experience how streets can change their shape and how car parking places can become enjoyable areas.
In the City of Buenos Aires we are focused on enhancing its beauty by giving back the street to the people, improving overall public space, and promoting bicycle use, favoring mass transport and redesigning on-street car parking
To achieve these game-changing goals, the City of Buenos Aires takes advantage of some of the most impressive examples from around the globe. C40 is a key actor in bringing the best transport practices from other cities.
We are working today to lay the foundations of the city for the next century: modern, sustainable, friendly and, most importantly, human.