Turning a Busy Street Into a Work of Art in Santiago

It was all done in record time. In just 30 days, more than 120 people—led by 32-year-old Chilean visual artist Dasic Fernández—transformed one of the most congested and iconic streets in the center of the Chilean capital. Today, Bandera Street, next to the government palace and the city’s main square, is a colorful promenade, thanks to an urban intervention that’s unprecedented in Latin America.

Local authorities had sought to do something with this 400-yard section of Bandera Street after it was closed to traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian) for the construction of Line 3 of the Santiago Metro. So Fernández, who lives in New York City, joined forces with architect Juan Carlos López, and in three days they developed a proposal to sway the mayor: The idea was to transform Bandera into an example of tactical urbanism that fused art and architecture, and that would set a precedent for how both disciplines can successfully intervene in urban spaces.

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Kate McCartyart, global