Once the protests subsided, some Venezuelans ventured out post-sunset. Cautiously, of course. In the industrial neighbourhood of Los Cortijos, architect Josymar Rodriguez discovered an intersection where some youth liked to park their cars on Friday nights and listen to music.
But even then, their presence on the street was limited.
“We found this dynamic very powerful, but at the same time, we thought that it could be immensely improved,” Rodriguez said. “The typical caraqueño remains anchored to his or her vehicle. We wanted to somehow move that activity to the street, right at that intersection.”
As part of CCSCity450, Rodriguez and a team of architects designed a one-day intervention in July that transformed the street for a day.
They worked with authorities to block off the street for pedestrians. They organized a free tour of El Nacional newspaper’s building – an iconic construction, right at the intersection – and then made the sidewalk a fun place to hang out. They set up chairs, lit up the area, and brought in a local band and street acrobats to perform for the community. Here's a video of the intervention:
By doing so, Rodriguez hoped they could shift the dynamic, even just for one night.
“We tend not to occupy public spaces, and this generates a vicious cycle,” Rodriguez says, “We get scared, we stay in, and the streets become increasingly empty and more dangerous,” she adds. “This is why we must break the cycle by occupying the streets.”