One of the most appealing facets of Buenos Aires is the variety of cultural offerings that the city enjoys: concerts by international artists, museums, theatre, musicals, sport matches, jazz festivals, you name it. However, there is something curious about the built environment in which those activities take place.
In most of Latin America, spaces for big concerts and events were always within football (soccer) stadiums of major cities: Big open spaces with a massive capacity for people, generally located in urban areas with less density.
But recently, and due to the densification and sometimes over-construction of Buenos Aires, soccer stadiums are far from being the best choice for these events. Take for example the famous ‘Monumental’ stadium in Buenos Aires, located between the neighborhoods of Belgrano and Nuñez. It has often been the first choice for famous artists’ events, though every time there is one, the whole northern part of the city collapses due to traffic congestion.
Located on the side of two very important highways which become restricted in its traffic lanes, and sometimes completely closed, these events cause massive traffic jams and distress for people who rely on this highway for their daily commute.
Why not re-think these types of spaces? The infrastructure and location of the places where we go to have fun should not and cannot disrupt the majority of people who are not having any fun waiting for two or three hours stuck in the chaos of transportation.
The answer, I believe, lies in creating spaces in the urban and metropolitan areas which are well built and most of all well planned, located in open (preferably public) land and with access to public transportation enough to avoid car use and thereby diminish congestion.
Can your city function during large events? What seems to work?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.