Bahía Reconstruction Plans

A committee, which is headed by Patricio Tamariz, Planet Drum’s original contact in Bahía, held a meeting to discuss plans for rebuilding Bahía.
The committee, which is part of the Ministry for Urban Development and Housing (MIDUVI), has a proposal for 8 development projects in Bahía.
The projects were presented by urban architect Carolina Proaño to a group of community representatives in order to receive feedback about the plans from the public.

Urban architect Carolina Proaño presents 8 projects for the recovery of Bahía de Caráquez.

The projects include:
1. Revitalization of the historic downtown
2. Recovery of the coastal profile (improving the area between Bahía and the beaches along the entire peninsula).
3. Improvement of public spaces
4. A river boardwalk in Leonidas Plaza
5. A park on the hillsides above the city
6. A system of resilient public spaces (i.e. parks with vegetation)
7. Road improvement through Leonidas Plaza (i.e. separating incoming and outgoing traffic through the suburb.)
8. Housing projects for earthquake refugees whose properties are located in high-risk areas.

Sociologist Antonio Villaroel listens to participants impressions of the proposals.

Sociologist Antonio Villaroel facilitated audience participation to analyze the pro’s and con’s of the various projects.

The most intriguing projects from Planet Drum’s perspective are related to revegetation of the coastal areas, implementation of green spaces around the city, and converting the hillside areas into a massive city park.

Planet Drum has been revegetating the Maria Auxiliadora hillside neighborhood with native plants since 1999, when the area was declared high-risk for construction after El Niño mudslides killed 17 residents there. This new plan for a network of hillside green spaces from San Roque to the Astillero is basically a massive expansion of Planet Drum’s original urban park and includes numerous revegetation sites planted during the past 17 years.

A slide from PD intern Laura Weingartner’s April, 2015 city hall presentation shows two lanes of the four lane road that could easily be closed to road traffic in order to make a large, multi-use pedestrian boardwalk area.

There is also a plan for converting one half of the road that goes around the peninsula into a pedestrian walkway, a more ambitious version of a plan presented by Planet Drum and Community Engagement Intern Laura Weingartner to city hall in April, 2015. They even propose bike (triciclo) lanes, which was included in our plan!

Another slide from Laura’s city hall presentation in 2015 shows what triciclo bike lanes in downtown Bahía could look like.

Overall, if the government approves the projects, they could represent a major shift for Bahía towards becoming the Ecological City that it declared itself as in 1999.

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