5 Pleas to the mayors and urban administrators from Latin America

The job of the real estate industry is deeply linked to urban administration and the progression of our cities. In that sense, there must be a match between urban vision and real estate evolution. Nevertheless, nowadays it feels more like an ambiguous and dramatic relation (which implies the permission release) than an intended long term marriage.

Even though every city is different, there are five topics that should urgently be addressed in most of the Latin America’s dynamic cities.

1.Demystify the vertical density

Talking about density is like speaking of the devil. More density means limited batches, also inefficiency and transit difficulties. What has changed? The vertical density of the present is not the same that the one creating “mini-batches”. On the other hand, the new demographics don’t have the same effect nor in the public services or the transit difficulties. According to ULI (Urban Land Institute, a global organization of urban investigation) a rise in the monitored density may breed better social dynamic, create awesome opportunities and achieve more efficient public services. We urge to start the discussion about density and to push for the developing of community centres or vertical strategic areas (VSA’s).

2.Transportation Oriented Development (TOD)

Opening the guidelines to development could be dangerous, specially considering our vehicle addiction. Thus, we need that the community centres that we seek the enhancement, are assembled to a vision of transportation oriented development. Under view, is built over where the public transport (and roads) allow it. In that sense, an agile and modern city is built at the same time. In these sites, the requirements of parking lot can be removed by thinking in reinforcing the public transportation use.

3.Creating Pedestrian Districts

Once the densification of strategic vertical zones oriented to transportation is achieved, the next challenge would be to make them walkable. For that, we need three subjects. First that there is a protocol for interconnection of projects to link neighboring properties. The Toronto underground city is what comes up in mind. Everything started off with four projects, today it is an endless network.
Second, that there exists a regulation of sidewalks and accesses plan. That way the privilege to the walker is visually intended. This enhancement process may be done with the same project investment, so it does not represent an extra cost for the city.
Finally, that they some roads are strategically defined to be a 100% walkable in certain days or hours. It is not about the rudely closure of roads, it is about encouraging progressively the pedestrian culture

4.Portray the city finished

Another one of the urgent pending affairs the Latin American cities go through is to portray which one of the cities they want to be done first. What do we mean? If we perform the setting of borders to the city, ideally it should be seen wholly settled and under restoration process. What should the result be? What do we crave on the waste grounds of the city? Which areas do we want to change/renew? We must have a clear-out idea of the city done. A very important observation to this point is that because of cultural and construction techniques, our cities persist more rigorous than in other countries, consequently, to be modified requires so much energy. Thus and so the end must be definite, more than the beginning

5.Make accountings and activities promotion (EEC)

I’ve had the chance to discuss in multiple occasions on wether the Latin American cities are naturally boring or not. In fact, they are not, but the events, activities and life that happen therein don’t possess the appropriate communication power to resonate in the city. Thus, urban administrators should have a lifestyle management division, which undertakes the accounting and advertises key activities. That way, the dynamics to promote culture and entertainment scoped in different life stages beefs up. A flowing and vibrant city knows what they are up to every day of the year.

Unquestionably, these are not the only challenges of urban planning. To facilitate and catch on always can be dangerous. Nevertheless these are subjects that must be included urgently in the Latin American cities improvement.

We catch a sight to a future in which Latin America and its cities fearlessly compete against any other first world city. We must spot us as Latin American siblings to improve, build and promote noteworthy cities. For this purpose, Grupo 4S is launching a support area to local governments that seeks to work strategically in the momentum of urban future. In our vision, a close association of the property development core, urban administrators and authorities may be capable of give rise to disruptive financial gains.

This is the Latin American future we would like you to participate in.

*Carlos Muñoz is a Latinamerican urban visionary. You may find him at carlos@grupo4s.com

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