Joining American cities including Portland, San Francisco, and New York in borrowing the temporarily car-free ciclovia concept pioneered in Bogota, Colombia, Oakland officials will clear the automobiles from the heart of the city this Sunday for its first Oaklavia event.
The city's invitation to “come play in the streets of Oakland” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. mirrors SF's Sunday Streets call that brought thousands of people into the streets of the Mission District last Sunday, an event that will be repeated July 11 before moving to Great Highway Aug. 22 and the Western Addition Sept. 19.
“The heart and soul of a city is its pedestrians spaces,” former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa, who started the trend, told the Guardian during a visit to San Francisco last year, emphasizing the value of borrowing space from cars to to create temporary parks, particularly in resource-strapped cities such as Oakland. "In a poor city, the inequality is felt most during leisure time,” he said. “My main concerns are equity and happiness and the way cities can contribute to those things."