The Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, already has some three million inhabitants and is still growing at a rapid pace. As a result of the steady expansion of the metropolitan area, an urban strategy and planning are required, especially in the eastern parts. Ciudad Juan Bosch is one of the few large-scale planned urban extension projects of the Dominican Republic’s government; in partnership with the private sector, its goal is to reduce the country’s housing shortage. Urban growth in this area is characterized by its informal nature—with very low-density development patterns. Low-income, informal settlements were attracted to areas in the close vicinity of Ciudad Juan Bosch, which is suitable for approx. 100,000 middle-income residents. Ciudad Juan Bosch has not adequately reacted to its low-income surroundings and is rather isolated, with no proper connection to public mass transportation. At the local level, weaknesses in infrastructure—such as water supply, electricity, transportation, and education—can be found in all informal residential developments in the surrounding area. The labor market does not provide sufficient opportunities, neither for the local population nor for new residents, and this creates an unstable financial situation.
The strategy proposes to include three existing informal settlements (Nuevo Renacer, Nuevo Jerusalem and La Ureña) into the development of Juan Bosch. These settlements will be formalized by structuring public space into strategic areas every 300 meters or 5-minute walking distance. Catalytic “urban acupuncture” projects will remedy the lack of basic services and integrate the new development with the existing, informal settlements. All future informal and formal extension projects shall be developed under this plan.
February to September, 2018
Authors: Bettina Plainer, Stefan Kasmanhuber, Tamara Egger, Sarah Benton, Sharina Espinal, Roland Krebs, Markus Tomaselli