Nearly five hundred people turned out for the opening of Our Cities Ourselves – or As Cidades Somos Nos as it is known in Brazil – last night. The exhibition is on display at the prestigious Centro Cultural Correios in downtown Rio. The images of ten of the world’s most vibrant cities, including Rio de Janeiro, are interspersed with bicycles suspended from the ceiling and walls showing videos of pedestrianized streets and bicycle lanes from cities around the world. Visitors commented on how the exhibition made them feel excited and positive about the opportunities and challenges facing Rio De Janeiro, as it gears up for the Rio +20 earth Summit next year, World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016.
Alexandre Sansao Fontes, Transport Secretary in Rio, addressed the opening, commenting: “We are excited about the future for Rio. ITDP is our inspiration and our support, and has been a key partner in enabling us to bring our transport plans to fruition.” Rio’s first BRT is set to open in 2012 and ITDP has been working with the city to support its plans.
“We share the same commitment to putting people at the heart of political decision-making,” commented Rosiska Darcy, President of Rio Como Vamos, a leading NGO which monitors government progress. Sergio Besserman, Special Advisor on sustainable development to the Mayor of Rio and Chair of the As Cidades Somos Nos Advisory Committee, added: “This exhibition shows relevant ITDP is and what an important role it can play in the conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, scheduled to take place in Rio in 2010.”
ITDP is planning four events during the course of the exhibition, kicking off next week with an event on February 10th focused on Urban Renewal. Speakers include Oren Tatcher , Consultant in Intermodal stations, based in Hong Kong; Helia Nacif, architect and former Urbanism Secretary for the city of Rio, and Mauro Osorio, Economst and Professor at the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro.