A distinct part of the Caracas landscape is being recognized for its role in promoting social change – a cable car.
In a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Metro Cable San Agustin – a cable car line connecting poor mountainside communities to downtown Caracas – is recognized as one of eleven architectural projects on five continents that “respond to localized needs in underserved communities,” according to the museum. “These innovative designs signal a renewed sense of commitment, shared by many of today’s practitioners, to the social responsibilities of architecture.”
The Metro Cable, which stretches high above Caracas, was first proposed in 2003, gained government support in 2006, started construction in 2007 and opened for service in January 2010. It runs from Parque Central in downtown Caracas up one of the mountains that ring the city’s valley, serving four stops, including the uppermost terminus, San Agustin.
The Metro Cable is a small part of an expanding network of services and connections being provided to isolated or underserved communities in Caracas and throughout Venezuela. Since 2003, a number of social programs (known as “misiones”) launched by the government of President Hugo Chavez have brought much-needed medical services and educational facilities into neighborhoods that had never had them. Additionally, a rapidly expanding network of communal councils has allowed communities to better organize and access resources for improvement of their neighborhoods, villages and towns.
The exhibit, “Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement,” opened on October 3 and will run through January 3, 2011 at MoMA in New York.
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S./ October 26, 2010