Friday, 24 December 2004

Creative governing

This article from an old issue of the Gazette has been making the rounds: it's on Mayor Antanas Mockus of Bogota and how he turned the city around, partly with the help of mimes. Yup, mimes:
Initially 20 professional mimes shadowed pedestrians who didn't follow crossing rules: A pedestrian running across the road would be tracked by a mime who mocked his every move. Mimes also poked fun at reckless drivers. The program was so popular that another 400 people were trained as mimes.
I must admit, if a mime followed me whenever I did something antisocial, I would stop doing that toot sweet. Mimes are annoying.

Mockus' work is a really interesting example of creative governance, developing "artistically creative strategies that employed the power of individual and community disapproval". And that's the first time I've heard Habermas referenced by an actual official, rather than a college / grad student.




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