Throwing away organic waste and mixing it with general rubbish is one of those things you are almost physically unable to do once you have learnt to compost. Still, in most cities, this is far from a simple thing to do. …


Over the December break I read a book called ‘Socrates Express’ by Eric Weiner, it is a sort of life manual based on the teachings of a number of philosophers who have long ago left this earth. …


Photo by Lisa Burnell | Open Streets Day Observatory 2013

A group of transport academics and activists based in different parts of the Americas convened an online discussion about mobility justice on December 10th, 2020. It was inspired by a document entitled ‘Untokening 1.0 — Principles of Mobility Justice’ produced by a similar group based in the US.

The principles…


Temporary bike lane in Bogota (Photo by IDRD)

If anyone had told me that ‘open streets’ (temporary car-free streets) would be part of the discussion in how to tackle a global pandemic, I would have not believed it 6 months ago but a look at social media or transport and urban related articles show that the concept has…


A clock in downtown frozen in time

I recently spent a year in Bogotá, Colombia — the longest period of time in the country of my birth since leaving 23 years ago. Being back in South Africa now, the country where I’ve spent most of my adult life, has reminded me that this journey of finding a…


A couple of years ago I contracted a nasty type of flu during a trip, when I returned home my partner, having greater awareness than me, implemented some measures to ensure he didn’t get infected. It led to one of the biggest fights we have had. I felt alone and…


Bogota held a ‘car free day’ yesterday and I basked in the joy of seeing the city turn into a bicycle heaven, but also experienced a sense of paradox, a sentiment consistent with my overall experience living here for the past year.

There was a clear increase in bicycles and…


Photo Fernando Caro

Today, 45 years ago, Ciclovia was born in Bogotá. Jaime Ortiz Mariño, Fernando Caro Restrepo and Rodrigo Castaño Valencia, successfully lobbied local government to shut down 5 kilometres of one of the major artery of Colombia’s capital. They had just changed the history of this place.

I had the fortune…


This morning I wept as I was cycling to a meeting. It was the first time I felt deeply emotional despite the collective emotion on the streets of the city over the last five days. I had just come across a young woman with a sign on her backpack that…


The Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra in concert

My therapist used to be amused, if not slightly annoyed, at my inability to understand why we needed to talk about the same issue repeatedly. I would try to move the conversation along by saying that we had already covered it and she would remind me with kindness that this…

Marcela Guerrero Casas

I am passionate about cities, public space & community engagement. Born in Colombia, I have spent my adult life in the US & South Africa. Cape Town is home.

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