Urban green spaces fulfill important environmental functions, improve urban conditions, capture atmospheric pollutants and serve as places of recreation for the population. Pasto presents a high quantitative and qualitative deficit of public space and green areas, associated with the informal occupation of public space in the traditional center and the riparian buffer zones of rivers and streams, especially the Pasto river. The river plays an important role within the city’s public space network—the historic bridges from colonial times are still used as regular infrastructure in the city. However, the river and the historical city center today are disconnected. The Dos Puentes Market is a well working market in the city, however, due to the widening of Calle 22 to provide more spaces for cars, the market and some valuable building blocks in the southern part of the historical city will be demolished and the Parque de Toledo extended.
The urban strategy for the transformation of the seven kilometers of the Pasto river within the urban footprint is divided into the following four dimensions. Firstly, regarding mobility, the strategy includes the design of a new, continuous network of bicycle paths running alongside the Pasto river. Secondly, the environmental interventions focus on the recovery of the ecological structure of the Pasto river by restoring riparian vegetation. Thirdly, to improve the provision of public spaces, the strategy lays out a network of pedestrian connections that run parallel and transversal to the Pasto River. The adaptation and extension of sidewalks, paths, alleys and boulevards will generate spatial integration between the existing and proposed public space. Finally, the urban strategy also includes residential uses through the provision of affordable and high density housing. Through this approach, the strategy promotes a compact city of mixed-use buildings with active ground floors that support the appropriation of the Pasto river.
May to October, 2014
Authors: Laura Scharf, Roland Krebs, Edna Escobar, Sebastian Sattlegger, Jafet Garnica, Arturo Bolaños