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.
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.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
Our Project is innovative because we took a space (street) in disuse and we turn it into the most famous pedestrian promenade in Latin America, through its color on the floor and its spaces that invite to share among the diverse people that every day they spend for the place.
This Project was also transformed into an open laboratory for various entities that had smart industries initiatives to try in the promenade and that could be used for free by the citizens that circulate in the street.
All of these efforts have allowed the Bandera “experiment” to carry on and build more and more momentum. They have all been free of charge to the taxpayer.
What is the current status of your innovation?
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.
We also hope that this effort helps us to rethink city intervention, making institutions less complacent and citizens more demanding towards the urban potential.
Collaborations & Partnerships
Bandera promenade was an idea of the municipality of Santiago, but due to the lack of economic resources asked Victoria Studio Productions to get financing for the design and execution of the artwork on the floor the benches and other urban elements for the renovated space. This is how Studio Victoria got resources through a bank and a beer brand, to execute the project. Permits to change the use of the street were granted by the Ministry of Transport.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main beneficiaries of the remodeling of Bandera promenade were the people who daily walk through the center of Santiago, as 27,000 people passed through the street daily, now after the project was finished, about 88,000 people pass daily, in addition security was increased in the street. As for the commerce, sales rose considerably due to the number of people circulating around the place and the turistic enviroment that was gained. The collaborating companies were benefited by visibility.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The impact of remodeling Bandera promenade, led to an increase of the number of people who traveled daily from 27,000 to 88,000, all this through changing the use of vehicular street to pedestrian and where the public space that used to be for parking cars, became a quality public space, where not only generated greater pedestrian traffic, but, more time of stay by people in the place, improving the established business and the generation of new spaces to share.
The innovation of the Bandera promenade was such, that sales in neighboring businesses increased by 20%, where 96% of respondents of a poll approved the remodeling of the street.
Due to the touristic nature of the change, in just 2 months of the beginning, the promenade reached 2,602 Instagram posts (public accounts only).
In August 2018, due to the success and pressure from citizens, the Ministry of Transport authorized Bandera street to remain pedestrian forever.
Challenges and Failures
Because the business model to maintain the promenade was innovative, challenges arose at the beginning, mainly in the field of street maintenance, since human capital had to be incorporated to protect the uniqueness of the walk due to the great number of people who started to circulate. It is important to point out that although the idea of generating this trip was a challenge, as a municipality we never thought it would be so successful among the citizens, which led people to begin to demand that the street maintain the standard of the beginning , so the municipality and its technical and commercial allies had to redouble their efforts to meet the needs of the people.
The striking of Bandera made many people and organizations want to use the street to carry out events, propaganda, press releases, cultural activities, among others, which led to many of these not requesting the corresponding permit, which forced the municipality to generate special procedures for the promenade.
Conditions for Success
Santiago is a commune that receives about 2.5 million people daily and Bandera is a street in the heart of downtown Santiago, an area where the walk is the main tranport mode, besides being close to the pedestrian network of the center. These conditions contributed the change in the use of vehicular to pedestrian street and strongly influenced the increase of people.
The other condition that contributed to the success was that before Bandera, the characteristics of the pedestrian network of the downtown area was only for pedestrian traffic (just circulation), So Bandera changed the way on how to captivate people, through public space infrastructure and colorful art. Bandera invites people to "stay" and enjoy the public space, whether to talk or to have a cup of coffee. The qualities has led many people now, to value and demand more quality public spaces in Santiago.
The innovation of the Bandera promenade has led Santiago to analyze the current situation of the commune and propose improvements for the mobility of sustainable transport. That is why, professionals from the municipality began to prepare a report that prioritizes sustainable modes in the city center, applying divert traffic and traffic calming methodology, generating an extension of the pedestrian network, areas to implement quality urban spaces that contain friendly spaces for people. This study also seeks to discourage arrival at the center by car, increasing restrictions on them.
The creation of the business model and operation of Flag is being followed by many municipalities and cities both in Chile and abroad to be replicated, so that comitivas from different parts of the world have come to know the benefits of Bandera.
Internally, the project and its methodology have also been validated by various areas of the municipality, which is contributing to other areas outside mobility.
The lessons that the Bandera promenade brought were quite a lot, since its implementation, it had to be aligned to the public and private sphere for a common purpose. As the idea progressed and once its execution was completed, we got to see that if we deliver quality, harmony and sense of belonging to a public space, the people have the best reception. Since in the center of Santiago is a little gray, the people appreciated the contribution of artistic color to the walk.
It should be noted that the project made us improve many internal processes that we will promote in future interventions and that will streamline administrative and operational processes. Additionally, it improved the way of complementing with the relations with the private sector, in terms of working together for the benefit of the city.
Finally we learned that through innovation and creativity we can deliver public spaces with an added value that the public greatly appreciate and that through this type of interventions, everyone benefits, commerce, pedestrians, security, public space, culture and the sense of belonging that this trip has come to have.
With only one year of operation, Bandera promenade is the most popular promenade in Chile. It has won several awards for its benefits and innovation.
- 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
29 October 2017