Civic Imagination Series: Antanas Mockus
Guest Speaker: Antanas Mockus, Corpovisionarios (Colombia)
Host: Center for Urban Ecologies and Blum Cross-Border
Bogotá in the 90's was a city in crisis. Drug violence, urban crime, and complete civic break-down made it 'one of the most dangerous cities on the planet.' When Antanas Mockus took office as mayor (1995-1997, 2001-2003) he declared that transforming the city must begin with re-imaging municipal bureaucracy and transforming social behavior. His idiosyncratic methods, using art and culture as performative instruments of civic engagement, provoked dramatic change in a time of urban crisis. During his years of governance, Bogotá’s water usage decreased by 40%, homicide decreased by 70%, traffic fatalities by 50%, water and sewer services were extended to nearly all households, and tax collections nearly doubled.
A set of public programs that address pressing bio-regional and global socio- economic, urban and environmental issues. These meetings focus on a critical analysis of local conflicts in order to re-evaluate the meaning of shifting global dynamics, across geo-political boundaries, natural resources, cultural demographics, urbanization and social justice. In previous years, the series has included Eyal Weizman, Andrew Ross, Richard Sennett, Hou Hanru, MAP Office and many others.
Antanas Mockus now leads the Bogotá-based think tank Corpovisionarios, who is presently collaborating with UCSD on a Ford Foundation-funded Bi-national Citizenship Culture Survey to measure citizenship culture in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. Antanas Mockus is a philosopher, former Rector of The National University of Colombia, and was a presidential candidate in the last national elections in Colombia.