ViaRecreactiva : The biggest open-street in Latin America !

Date: 25 Apr 2016
Cat: Bicycle, Civic actions, Initiative policy, Mexico

Last Sunday, Urbanovacion was at Guadalajara and on the recommendation of Mario Silva (Responsable de Movilidad de Guadalajara) decided to experiment ViaRecreativa on their bikes.

Initiated in 2004, “this weekly event takes place on Sunday and is the biggest in Latin America with 78 km dedicated to it” (Oscar A. Rodríguez Alemán, Jefe del Departamento de Vía RecreActiva Guadalajara).

With 350 000 participants each week and more than 400 persons working to make it happens, this is now part of the DNA of Gudalajara’s city!

Let’s have a look on this adventure.

Urbanovacion experimenting ViaRecreativa


This project was initiated by a collective in 2003 after having heard of the same initiative in Colombia. After getting the support of the municipality of Guadalajara, the first ViaRecreativa took place on December 2004 with 10 kilometers of avenue.

Year on year, the area was extended and other municipalities decided to enter into this project. Today, every municipalities of Guadalajara are parts of it and the roads closed totalize 78 kilometers!


How it works?

  • Logistic: Every Sunday of the year, avenues selected are closed to motorized vehicles. It allows participants to use their bikes (40%), rollers and skates (30%) on the street safely! The streets are closed from 8 am to 2 pm.
  • People: Each week, a dedicated team of 120 persons are working on making it happens. To ensure the safety of people, students are taking care of each corner streets. Students are parts of a civic program of 30 universities. “They need to give some hours of their time for the community. Each week, 400 of them are parts of ViaRecreativa” (Oscar A. Rodríguez Alemán, Jefe del Departamento de Vía RecreActiva Guadalajara).
  • Activities :
    • Cultural : music, painting, dance.
    • Sportive : bicycle, rollers, run…
    • Recreative : open-air circus, chess..


  • Rediscover the city :
    • Streets are covering the historical place of the cities (avenue, cathedral, parks…).
    • People are reclaiming their public spaces.
    • Increase the sense of belonging to the city.
  • Create a cohesion between people :
    • More than 350 000 persons are attended this event weekly and get to know each other.
    • A free-event opens to everybody (Mexicans, tourists)
    • A free-event opens to every age (from children to elder ones)
    • The streets are covering lots of area of the city from the poorest ones to the richest ones.
  • Educate people :
    • Inculcate respect for the public space.
    • Inculcate respect for the others.
    • Promote the safety on the roads (wear helmets, careful with other people)

old and young