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36 Hours in Mexico City: SCPR Team Explore Ciclovía as Denver Launches Open Streets for Everyone this Summer

Photo: Joe Freemond

As our urban centers have evolved over time – expanding and contracting to meet societal and economic shifts – one key element remains constant: the power of cities lies in the life that takes place in between the buildings. The world’s most dynamic cities offer opportunities for people of all backgrounds to gather and share in experiences without barriers or division. One of the most powerful examples of this takes place every Sunday, just a short plane ride away from Denver.  

Last month, the SideCar PR team took to Mexico City to experience the city’s iconic Ciclovía in anticipation of Denver’s own upcoming ¡Viva! Streets event, which will open downtown streets to people on four Sundays this summer.  

In 36 short hours, we experienced the magic of North America’s largest city, and the true joy of participating in its weekly “Muévete en Bici” (Move on Bike). 

Photo: Joe Freemond

Working with the Downtown Denver Partnership, SideCar is leading public relations and communications for the launch of ¡Viva! Streets, which kicks off Sunday, May 14 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. ¡Viva! Streets. The event covers 3.5 miles of downtown streets from Welton and Downing Streets to Broadway and Alameda, bringing the iconic Bogotá-born Ciclovía to Denver and welcoming the community to walk, bike, skate, roll or dance along car-free streets.  

As proud city builders, we know that the best way to understand cities and traditions like the Ciclovía is to immerse ourselves – which is exactly what we did in Mexico City, where over 50 kilometers (or 30+ miles) of city streets are opened to people every Sunday. As we look ahead to ¡Viva! Streets, here are five takeaways from one of the largest Ciclovías in the world: 

Photo: Joe Freemond
  1. Ciclovías are for everyone: the power of public spaces lies in its ability to foster equity, offering people from all walks of life a place to come together. The Ciclovia does just that and, in Mexico City, we saw firsthand the beauty that exists when people from all cultures and backgrounds coalesce. 
  2. Your Ciclovía, your way: from spandex-clad road cyclists to mini strider riders, rollerblading performers to families Sunday strolling, Mexico City’s CiclovÍa is truly what you make it. Whether you’re new to city cycling or a rollerskating wiz, Ciclovías welcome.
  3. The ultimate air freshener: Mexico City first launched its Ciclovía in 2007 as a pilot program called “Paseo Dominical en Bicicleta” (Sunday Bike Ride) to combat air pollution and congestion. Closing streets – even temporarily has a huge role in decreasing vehicle emissions like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, helping city dwellers to breathe easier
  4. A whole new way to explore: as proud urbanists, we know there’s simply no better way to experience a city than on foot or on bike. Ciclovías offer the unique opportunity to discover new and familiar places alike, from elusive architectural details to vibrant neighborhoods, shops and restaurants, without the worries of parking or traffic.
  5. There’s no feeling quite like it: Ciclovías evoke an indescribable sense of joy. Don’t just take it from us – we invite you to experience it for yourself at ¡Viva! Streets this summer! Visit vivastreetsdenver.com to learn more and get involved – we hope to see you there! 
Photo: Joe Freemond