Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement

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Metro Cable

Urban-Think Tank. Metro Cable

ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG: My name is Alfredo Brillembourg. I'm a partner, together with Hubert Klumpner, of the firm Urban-Think Tank.

Barrio, which has come to be synonymous to be known for, let's say poor class squatted housing, is actually not that. What appears on the outside, these hillside communities around Caracas, are actually a vibrant and entrepreneurial spirit.

GLENN LOWRY: But the barrios were largely disconnected from the city’s main infrastructure. Some residents had to hike the equivalent of 39 floors to get home. The proposed solution? A cable car system.

ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG: The cable car actually forms a U-shaped path with five stations. The two end stations down at the formal city and three up at the top on the ridges form a system of infrastructure that really connects the formal with the informal.

GLENN LOWRY: The journey home is now as short as a ten-minute cable-car ride, which connects to subway lines and the rapid bus transit system.

ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG: What we learned was that you don't use one type of transportation system. You have to think of all the scales. So you go from subway to cable car to bus lines to free bikes, to electric cars. And it's the combination of the system that is going to make a sustainable city.

GLENN LOWRY: The cable car is only the first step in Urban-Think Tank’s neighborhood redevelopment plan.

ALFREDO BRILLEMBOURG: The key is all of the social activities that will happen around these hubs What you see now in the bases of the stations are up to six, seven floors of possible programmed spaces that are just waiting for the communities to build dance centers, the music centers, the sports centers, the community radio. That's what we want to see our project to be about, creating the framework for things to happen.