Bandera Street Promenade

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This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)

Paseo Bandera is a street in the heart of Santiago that for 5 years was closed for work on the construction of the Santiago new subway line. Because of the closure, it was used for parking and passage of cars all day, being one of the worst streets in terms of quality in the center of the capital. In 2017, it was authorized for 10 months to be pedestrian. With artistic and technological innovation was possible to improve the quality of public space, accessibility, environment and mobility.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Bandera Street was closed for 5 years due to the work of the new metro line. During this time, this street in the heart of Santiago was in poor condition, being used by parked vehicles, loading and unloading for commerce and passing vehicles that used the section closed to return, notoriously damaging pedestrians and the established business.
In view of this situation, the Mayor of Santiago requested to change the use of the ground from vehicular to pedestrian street, with the purpose of benefiting sustainable mobility and delivering a quality public space to the people who visit the center.
By giving space to pedestrians, painting the road and installing furniture to encourage people to stay, it allowed people to prefer this street to travel and to share time. The stay generated by the people activated positively the businesses surrounding the street. In addition to walking and commerce, the quality of public space and safety improved, making the street a tourist attraction.
The project has brought great support from the citizenship, so much so that the permission given by the ministry of transport to change the use of the street from vehicular to pedestrian was only until August 2018, but due to citizen pressure, this temporary permission change to definitive. This intervention came to rethink the way in which public spaces are being used in the city, opening up to study how to improve public spaces.
The idea to use the street closure as a means of building a more welcoming city began. We also used the opportunity to further push for the idea that the city center should have a mobility centered around people (and not cars). And for the first time, the Municipality sought to create a big alliance in order to intervene the public space. By working with the private sector and talented designers and urbanist, we set out to use tactical urbanism to bring art into the public space, create opportunities for people to meet, make the city more walkable and friendly. Dozens of liters of paint followed, creating the largest floor mural in Latinamerica, as well as urban furniture in sync with the same design.
The method used for this project was tactical urbanism, which by its good reception, became definitive. Today, Paseo Bandera is one of the highlights of the downtown area for tourists and locals. The pedestrian flow has as least tripled. But the people don’t just traverse it. Many stay in the public space, hang out, and share with their fellow citizens. At the same time, Paseo Bandera is also a promise from the municipality that we will start to rethink the city under new logics, a city that is built first and foremost with the person in mind, with more colour and more happiness for our citizens.

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  • Identifying or Discovering Problems or Opportunities - learning where and how an innovative response is needed
  • Generating Ideas or Designing Solutions - finding and filtering ideas to respond to the problem or opportunity
  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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