Mapear No Es Habitar

Cities for people: humanizing Quito with art and culture

Mapping Is Not Inhabiting

“Mapear no es habitar” by Arte Actual FLACSO was born as an innovative proposal to promote and evidence good citizen practices, that comprise everything intangible, subjective and most important that consider human beings as protagonists of the city (‘right to the city’).

“Save man as the principal element and protagonist of the city he created”

Henri Lefebvre


This initiative tries to generate a critic dialog and profound thoughts that involve art, economy and the city. It tries to create a network in order to exchange and communicate different ideas, experiences and perceptions of how to use a map, to construct spaces in the city to see, think and share with other people. This experience and all its social processes mark the starting point to achieve social transformation.

Humanizing the City

The current projects focus on research, with the constant aim of humanizing the city. This is done by starting and learning from referents in different parts of the world, in order to socialize this valuable information, generate spaces for dialogue and foster new strategies in the way of thinking and living.

They are looking for the enhance of art and culture in activities that occur throughout a territory, in this case, Quito. The initiative has taken place in different laboratories selected by professionals and students from several countries interested in domains such as architecture, urbanism, geography, art and social sciences. They have been investigating the experiences of different cities and want to share their experiences and points of view.

Many of these initiatives use resources such as “the derive”, an action based on taking a walk without a specific objective, usually in a city, to seek new thoughts on the way of watching and experiencing urban life. This process uses daily life, urban problems, emotions and urban situations to get a new, personal perception of the city.

The experience

A clear example is “Espacio Cero”, created by Alex Silencer. Through audio-visual resources, he highlights a deeper approach of “La Floresta” neighborhood, involving more traditional actors like cobblers or former organists of churches. From this detailed evidence of various actors and activities, a human approach to the city is generated. As such, it will continue the path of thinking and building appreciation based on aspects like art or economy.

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