Despite being recognized with legal status and basic utilities 12 years ago, the informal Comuna 4 settlement at the edge of Bogotá still lacked effective park space. When its citizens grew tired of lobbying city officials, they resolved to spearhead the initiative themselves. Aided by a team of university students, Aaron Brakke and his design studio Whiteknee came on board to lead exercises focused on unifying the disconnected community to build consensus around key priorities. Their eventual concept is a testament to the power of navigating steep challenges. Taking advantage of the site’s harsh incline, a series of ramps lead to expansive landings dedicated to playground swings, exercise equipment and a garden to help an NGO feed neighbourhood children. The park’s construction — from a thoughtful mix of largely recycled materials — doubled as a strategic learning opportunity, with teachers brought in to train participants in key techniques and ultimately help them earn government-sponsored certificates in construction.
Project Zig Zag Park Location Bogotá, Colombia Firm Whiteknee (U.S.) Team Aaron Brakke and Estefania Villamizar with Ivan Avila, Alejandro Bello, Juan Nicholas Rivera, Yojhanth Gonzalez, Nicholas Arias, Javier Augusto Rosas, Diego Lopez, Jeisson Carrillo, Jhon Palacios, Amanda Lopez, Jhonatan Lopez and Jhon Vitechi