A transforming urban landscape
Active Living Project, in Luanda, encourages the practice of physical activities at the capital’s beach
Those who are often at Luanda Island (peninsula located in the Angolan capital) certainly have observed that the beach at Murtala Mohamed Avenue is becoming, slowly, an outdoor space for sports. Lessons and games of volleyball, soccer and basketball have been occupying a part of the sand that was previously little used by residents. Other activities are also offered in the area, such as aerobics, guided for free by physical education teachers.
Little by little, more and more Angolans join the group of amateur athletes and professionals, either on weekdays, or Saturdays and Sundays, using public space for leisure, which is transforming the local landscape and habits of the population - a cultural change that accompanies the city’s process of modernization. ”Quality of life and environmental education are the two main objectives of the initiative,” emphasizes Virgínia Machado.
Virgínia is Responsible for Social Area and Community Relations of the Project Routes of Luanda (Projeto Vias de Luanda), through which streets and avenues of the capital of Angola are being revitalized. In parallel to the works was born the Active Living Program (Programa Vida Ativa), conceived to be an instrument to promote sports and health care. ”We revitalized of the Island, with street furniture, gym, playground… This ended up changing the profile of an urban space which was previously underutilized,” adds Virgínia.
Activities offered for free attracted over a thousand participants from January to March. Because of its high receptivity, the project will be extended indefinitely. The initiative of Odebrecht Angola and the Government of Luanda Province includes the actions of the program on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - but all week long the courts and sports spaces from the boardwalk and the beach at Cape Island are also open to the public. ”Anyone can participate, all it takes is to simply take the initiative,” says Virgínia.