James Kityo’s Shade Stands protect people waiting for the bus from the hot sun in Kampala, Uganda, while also providing a place to display useful information about health. His team has installed 45 Shade Stands, and has learnt that it’s more effective to work directly with communities at the local level than through top down government decision making. This bottom-up urbanism works since local leadership knows what’s best for their community, and is faster in responding to their community’s needs. James has received immensely positive feedback and his big picture plan is to build Shade Stands in other parts of Uganda, East Africa and the world!
In Buenos Aires, Manuel Rapoport noticed a shortage of outdoor public spaces. His pop-up ‘Plaza Movil’ is a portable street park that temporarily closes streets to traffic during weekends and holidays, transforming them into beautiful places to gather and play. The modular design can easily be moved from one location to another, helping to convert Buenos Aires’ congested streets into outdoor parks for people of all ages.
Manuel updates us from the debut of Plaza Movil at Technopolis, a technology fair in Buenos Aires. He has taken his vision all the way: the first Plaza Movil includes places to sit, play, an exhibition of local history within a shipping-container, even a climbing wall! Manuel and his team are planning to take Plaza Mobil to the streets of Buenos Aires’ La Boca neighbourhood next.
The three winners of the Philips Livable Cities Award demonstrate that the most innovative solutions for people lacking of amenities in cities are often the simplest. These ingenious interventions show again how creative urbanism at a local scale is central to a livable city.