Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Right to Have Rights: Citizenship Culture and the Future of Cities, with Antanas Mockus: Monday April 6th, NYU

April 6, 2015 ▪ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
1 Washington Place @ Broadway, New York City

The New York University Democracy Lab, in association with NYU Gallatin, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, is sponsoring a talk by Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia.

 (Mockus and Enrique Penalosa are past mayors and competitors. While Penalosa initiated the Ciclovia, now copied around the world, he also gets credit for implementing the TransMilenio BRT service, but the plan for the service was actually created during Mockus' tenure as mayor.
This documentary, Bogotá: Improving Civic Behavior tells the story of Mockus and Penalosa.)

The program will be recorded, and put on the Democracy Lab's website within a few days of the program.


Description of the lecture:

Between 1994 and 2002, Bogotá, Colombia, was the site of a grand social experiment in activating urban residents’ capacity for cooperation and management. Through a fusion of art, pedagogy, and public policy, then-Mayor Antanas Mockus, a mathematician and philosopher who was formerly a professor and provost at the National University of Colombia, inspired Bogotá citizens to work together in devising and applying solutions to the city’s most pressing problems. Together, Bogotá’s population participated in the shared creative project of addressing not only a soaring homicide rate and entrenched corruption, but also tax evasion, infrastructural woes, and basic social intolerance. In one famous episode, Mayor Mockus encouraged citizens to counter a severe water shortage by turning off the water in the shower as they soaped up – a process Mockus himself modeled on national television.

By the time the shortage ended, residents had voluntarily reduced their water usage by 40 percent, not only ending the crisis, but saving themselves money in the process. This playful style of governance animated what Mockus has called “Citizenship Culture,” or the promotion of citizenship that harmonizes legal, moral, and social norms with a collective desire to preserve the well-being of fellow citizens. “Citizenship Culture” has now been introduced to cities around the world, and both NYU Gallatin and the Urban Democracy Lab are pleased to bring Antanas Mockus here for its New York City debut.

About Antanas Mockus

Teacher, politician, writer, researcher and innovator of the “Citizenship Culture” methodology, Antanas Mockus is currently the President of Corpovisionarios. Mockus has a Master’s in Philosophy from the National University of Colombia and two doctorates, one from Paris VIII University and another from the National University of Colombia. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University and visiting fellow at the Nuffield College (Oxford University). He served as provost of the National University of Colombia from 1991 to 1993.

Mockus was elected Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia twice, from 1995 to 1997 and from 2001 to 2003. Both times, he reduced the rate of homicides in the city by 40%, made major fiscal improvements, and established participatory budgeting processes in 20 locations. Prof. Mockus ran for the Colombian presidency in 2010, but was defeated in a runoff election against candidate Alvaro Uribe.

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