Barranquilla is a major Colombian port and industrial hub located along the Caribbean coast. The city is currently part of the Sustainable Cities Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank — a citywide action plan to tackle climate change adaptation, economic resilience, and urban development through the preparation and implementation of strategic projects driven by the public sector.
Re-energising the city
Due to the informal economy, lack of public open space and urban mobility in this historic centre, we have been commissioned to develop a concept masterplan for its revitalisation. The strategies of the masterplan are based on four key concepts: the direct relationship between free public spaces and the improvement of public health; the inclusion of the entire population in urban mobility; the reconnection of the city with the Magdalena River; and finally, the mitigation of environmental risks.
A new urban ring
The masterplan proposes the creation of public spaces and a new “urban ring” where a series of demonstrator projects will be developed, together with the creation of an agency that will manage the stakeholder engagement process and delivery. The spatial strategy proposes urban mobility and improved accessibility, diversity of land uses, smart utility networks, and a tax increment strategy to fund the required investment to implement the masterplan.
Five city areas were chosen as a starting point for the execution of the masterplan. Zone 1 comprises the zoo area where the army battalion is located. The project involves transferring the battalion and converting the space into a metropolitan park. Zone 2 is where the Tomás Arrieta stadium, one of the headquarters of the Central American Games in 2018, is located. The objective is to integrate the hall with the Amira de la Rosa, the Coliseo Humberto Pereira, and the Olympic pool. Zone 3 contains the Ahuyama channel, a body of water known for its pollution. The aim for zone 4 is to transform the space into a green recreation area, reducing negative environmental impacts. Finally, zone 5 comprises the Romelio Martinez Stadium.