This are a series of practical interventions through an infrastructural lens, considering the political, social and economic connotations therein embedded, and establishing structural violence as a fundamental issue: not simply a phenomenon of circumstantial exclusion or implicit prohibition of access to specific resources, but a systematic suppression of capacities to acquire institutional recognition and legal rights. Therefore, our proposal is based on the development of mobile infrastructures as instruments for political, social and economic empowerment -proportional to individual agency- understanding infrastructure as a complex set of social, material and technological processes in constant transformation. These mobile infrastructures are means to enable the capacity for collective action, while simultaneously addressing the biases of governmental agendas.
In this context, we frame the development of the Manantial neighborhood -in the Corinto biodiversity node- located on the Eastern Hills of Bogotá (Colombia) in the district of San Cristóbal Sur. Given that since the 1990s the inhabiting families have been subjected to constant structural violence through eviction and relocation policies, yet, through their own initiatives and effective organization the community has not only achieved fundamental interventions for the improvement of the neighborhood, but also other processes of self-management and mutual aid necessary for a sensible development of the territory.
In that manner, in order to legitimize their permanence, as well as enhance their organizational processes and mitigate the effects of the structural violence that has historically affected them, we propose the idea of these mobile infrastructures as a viable alternative and a tool that can provide substantive uses by means of a minimum resource and energy consumption. As ‘light infrastructures’, these can be easily intervened or transfigured by its users, and can even easily cease to exist while ensuring a substantial impact on the surroundings of the Manantial neighborhood. These structures can serve and transform into mobile businesses and community centers, complementing broader coordinated urban planning systems and socio-spatial dynamics built over more than half a decade. Transitional systems for the integration of informal economies, the implementation of citizen security -by self-regulation-, and building future resilience.
Under this logic, a mobile community center in the context of the Manantial neighborhood is set as a transportable device -and even play space- that does not require foundations: an entrepreneurship unit that works as a pedagogical space and a community meeting place, in a ubiquity that allows it to be in various locations throughout the day. Hence, infrastructural needs are addressed while working with minimal material capacities; a radical reduction of the footprint, through apparently inconsequential mediations that provide fundamental conditions for the development of urban life, while encouraging the implementation of more complete and adequate infrastructural systems.