Manuela Carmena has been the Mayor of Madrid since 2015 and we love her – she’s a right-on, power to the people type and has been behind dozens of iniciatives designed to make the people of Madrid feel more ownership and involvement towards their town. For example, streets named after Franco’s Generals have been re-named (and about time too!) we now have organic rubbish bins (this makes me happy) and Gran Via will soon be pedestrianized, (this one is controversial, but is great for visitors anyway!)
Now Madrid Council has collaborated with the Boa Mistura collective in creating “Versos al Paso”, a new project to bring life to the streets and “soften the Madrilian asphalt”. Boa Mistura started in Madrid and it creates urban artwork with communities around the world. Their mission is to “create respectful and context-coherent artwork in the urban space” and to “dignify the community by enhancing the space they live in.” Do check out their work…
All around town quotations have been stencilled on the road at traffic lights. You can find them all on the website´s interactive map. Citizens had a month to make suggestions, and of these 1,100 were selected. They remind pedestrians of Madrid’s literary tradition. To quote Manuela, “Walking is the ideal state for literary creation and inspiration, philosophical construction and the appreciation of beauty. Walking is good not only for physical health, but also mental.”
I couldn’t agree more!