Dear citizen, do you consider a very safe place? What where no one can enter, because there are many obstacles for it? Or in a place where we can be at our ease without having to worry about anything? For example, I can tell, my site is safe, because they need to put keys or locks, I can go out and leave the doors open wide nothing happens, the neighbors we know, we care, and no one was going to happen, take something that is not theirs. We are a community and I feel safe in it. Or I can say, my site is secure because I have set alarm, a door with three sheets, and a storm reinforced with three locking plates. Besides, I have a deep ditch in front of my house with crocodiles, minefield in the garden, a wall six feet high surrounded by barbed wire, electric fence, armed guards and in my neighborhood access is restricted, with chains and checkpoints that if there is not a special invitation, password supersecret and difficult to forge, you can not enter, and you can not trust anyone or neighbor, or who shares his room. Which of these areas do you think is Safer? Can we say that the two spaces are safe? That the first space is a safe space that there is a strong community, while the second case is a safe space to force? Good to force a space is not safe, is an insulating space is a space of repression, is a exclusive space is an offensive space is a space limitation, is a negative space, is a challenging space. And that is the tendency of the modern city, which is leading more and more to create a city dissociated, where the public space is increasingly inhospitable and restricted to travel, where if a pedestrian is crossing through an unfamiliar neighborhood, people see him as a suspect, where every time we shut ourselves more on developments and closed sets, in houses with high walls , electrified fences and alarms, with armed men, and guards everywhere. And that's because the culture of fear and individuality makes us rather than getting together with neighbors and create a safe environment in our neighborhood and our city, think of individual protection measures, citizens armed, locked, fearful and isolated, which saw us analyze ourselves criminals and lonely, weak and unable to help, we fall and we steal, we steal, kidnap us, we are raped, assaulted us, kidnap us, confront us, hurt us, hurt us and kill us. say that crime has risen, no longer safe to walk the streets, leave the house alone, shake hands with a stranger, do the polite, talk with a stranger, you have to avoid contact with strangers. Is not there a lot of paranoia in this? It is true that crime has gone up, but it will be that in the nearly two million people living in Quito do most are criminals? Could it be that they are very few indeed, and if most of us come together and work as a community we can beat them? So instead of distrusting everyone know we must work to create connections and know we can count on the neighbors? A place, space, home, street, neighborhood or city is safe where we can be quiet, without protect or insulate too so we will not pass anything. We can do that only if we have a strong community in which citizens participate. We do projects where we strengthen the ties between neighbors, in appropriating public space in many activities in the neighborhood to know we can count on the other, with our immediate neighbor, where they see that there is life in the neighborhood, in where a real community feel. Therefore, instead of isolating ourselves, arm ourselves, distrust of all, work for safe spaces through the participation of all citizens, in projects of reclaiming public space for citizens' meeting, to strengthen local businesses, to integrate student life to everyday life in the neighborhood, to recover the lives of neighborhood meetings between neighbors, to create control systems community to play in the streets, in solidarity, sharing and create jobs, etc..
Diego Hurtado 2006APQ