1,100 Instagrammers participate in Ferrovial’s #UrbanPeekAtHome, posting portraits of the pandemic from 100 cities

Press releases

  • The fifth edition of the contest attracted participants from as far afield as Caracas, New York, Helsinki, Lima and Hong Kong
  • The winner receives a €1,000 solidarity prize to be donated to one of the activities supported by the Ferrovial Juntos COVID-19 fund

Empty streets and avenues, deserted bars, museums without visitors … The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has changed many of our habits, but we still look at our cities, albeit from a different perspective: from our windows and balconies.

In this novel setting, Ferrovial and the Instagram community invited users around the world to share the view from their homes under the hashtag #UrbanPeekAtHome, in a creative reflection of an urban reality that we were not expecting: deserted streets, silent skylines, windows, balconies and terraces full of people clapping, and sunsets like we had never seen them before.

“I was trying to capture some of the beauty that we’re missing these days at home, such as sunsets and skies that are possibly at their most beautiful this time of the year,” says Manuel Garcia, one of the finalists, who photographed a sunset in Loja, Andalusia. Another contestant, Josu de la Gandara, posted an unusual panorama of one of Madrid’s most emblematic streets. The famous Gran Vía appears empty, with none of the usual hustle and bustle. “I wanted to show how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting cities,” says this finalist.

The winner of this charity-linked contest was Giovanna-Paola Vergari, who photographed her daughters as they watch a solitary figure walking the streets of Lille, in France. “The street was empty, and then someone came along. My daughters were fascinated by this person, who was crossing the street. Seeing the image and taking the photo was magical,” says this Italian woman, who can now choose how to donate her €1,000 prize via the Ferrovial Juntos COVID-19 fund: to healthcare equipment, research or social assistance.

The photographs submitted for the competition portray our new reality. They reflect loneliness, worry and fear, but also gratitude and hope. On their walls, the users express how they are experiencing social distancing, from our balconies, how we clap to thank essential workers for their efforts, and photos of the dawn that represent the hope that the world needs now more than ever in order to beat the pandemic.

Perth, Chicago, Luxembourg, Boston, Tangier, London, Tenerife … 1,100 users from 100 cities in more than 10 countries joined with Ferrovial to show a different picture of the pandemic.

Michael Mettenburg, another finalist in this fifth edition, posted a spectacular photo of Chicago’s iconic skyline against a colorful sunset, a sign of hope in these troubled times. “Life in the pandemic was like a fork in the road, a split in life that we faced and overcame,” says Nicolay Vasquez Puerto, who submitted an impressive photo from Colombia’s capital city.

Santiago Villavicencio, who posted an emotional scene in which people applaud from their terraces in a Madrid neighborhood, says it is inspired by the social distancing that we are experiencing with the coronavirus and the emotions people feel on their balconies. Meanwhile, Laura García Arisco’s photo of a lone person in Toledo is a reflection of solitude.


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