Citation
Reconectando el rio Tunjuelo : reconnecting the River Tunjuelo

Material Information

Title:
Reconectando el rio Tunjuelo : reconnecting the River Tunjuelo
Creator:
Himschoot, Benjamin J. ( Dissertant )
Gurucharri, Tina ( Thesis advisor )
Padua, Mary ( Thesis advisor )
Blanco, Andres ( Reviewer )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Cities ( jstor )
Community structure ( jstor )
Ecology ( jstor )
Land use ( jstor )
Mining ( jstor )
Open spaces ( jstor )
Public space ( jstor )
Rivers ( jstor )
Sidewalks ( jstor )
Stormwater ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Landscape architecture
Landscape Architecture, MLA
Spatial Coverage:
Colombia--Bogotá
Coordinates:
4.598056 x -74.075833

Notes

Abstract:
The Río Tunjuelo in Bogotá, Colombia is one of the most contaminated rivers in the country. A combination of sedimentation from mining added to urban runoff and industrial toxic pollution have seriously degraded the quality of this river. This project is concerned primarily with the restoration of the river and its reconnection to the surrounding city. The project looks at the urban portion of the river basin across three different scales: 1.) the regional and metropolitan scale; 2.) neighborhoods and communities; and 3.) at the street and pedestrian scale. Through comprehensive analysis, issues and opportunities at each scale were explored and create the foundation for specific strategies aimed at retrofitting green and blue infrastructure within the city. New strategies for the river are presented at each of the three scales: 1.) the creation of an urban greenway along the river corridor that connects with the larger fabric of the city’ 2.) the creation of new links that connect communities to the river; and 3.) retrofitting green and blue infrastructure at the street level. The overarching vision is the creation of a network of streets, parks, and public spaces that work in harmony with the River Tunjuelo.
Acquisition:
Landscape architecture terminal project
Thesis:
Project in lieu of thesis

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Rights reserved by the author.
Resource Identifier:
978431958 ( OCLC )

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Full Text










Reconectando el Rio Tunjuelo;
Reconnecting the River Tunjuelo












By
BENJAMIN JOSEPH HIMSCHOOT
















A THESIS PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE
ARCHITECTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTERS OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2010
































2010 Benjamin Himschoot






























To Popochin and Niffer









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


First and foremost, I thank my parents for their continued love and support

of my educational career. A special thanks to my committee and mentors, Mary

Padua and Tina Gurucharri for their guidance and unyielding commitment to

helping me learn and grow as a landscape architect, and also to Andres Blanco

from UF department of Urban and Regional Planning who acted as a special

advisor to my project, and connected me with many key people in Bogota. I

would also like to thank all those who played a supporting role in helping me to

research and develop my thesis in Bogota; Andres Guhl and Jorge Sefair at the

Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Fabio Zambrano and Orlando Campos at

the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Alexandra Garzon of the Aqueducto de

Bogota, Elizabeth Valenzuela with the Secretaria Ambiental, and Liliana Ospina

with the Instituto de Deporte y Recreacion of Bogota. Their contributions

enabled me to truly explore and better understand Bogota and the Rio Tunjuelo.

A special thanks to Chuck and Sandra Wagner for their unflagging support and

encouragement. I also thank Meredith Leigh for her emotional and technical

support in compiling my work. Finally, I thank Fabiany Herrera; my partner,

friend, and stabilizing force through the entire process and without whom I would

not have had the opportunity to experience Colombia.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................................... 3

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES .................................................... 5

A B S T R A C T ...................................................... ............. 9

INTRODUCTION ............ ......... ......... ............................... ......... .. 10

CHAPTER

1 PROJECT HISTORY AND CONTEXT .......... ... ..................12

2 METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH ............. .......................23

3 REGIONAL ISSUES ............... .......... ......................... 25

4 LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS .............. ....... ............46

5 THE STREET SCALE ......... ..................... ... ............. ... .......... 58

6 REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY ......... .. ..... ... .......... .... ........68

7 STRATEGIES FOR LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS .................81

8 BRINGING GREEN AND BLUE
INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE STREETS ............................. ..............97

9 CONCLUSIONS ............ ...... .................. .. ............ 107


APPENDIX

LIST OF REFERENCES .................... ........................ 110

IN T E R V IEW S ............................... ........... . ............ ........... 116









LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES


Figure 1-1

Figure 1-2

Figure 1-3

Figure 1-4

Figure 1-5

Figure 1-6

Figure 3-1

Figure 3-2

Figure 3-3

Figure 3-4

Figure 3-5

Figure 3-6

Figure 3-7

Figure 3-8

Figure 3-9

Figure 3-10

Figure 3-11

Figure 3-12

Figure 4-1

Figure 4-2

Table 4-3


General map of Colombia ........ .... ........ ......... ... ... ... 12

Relationship between Bogota and the Andes Mountains ....... 13

Illegal development and contamination of the River Tunjuelo ... 15

The localities of Bogota ............... ............... .......... .. 16

Areas with risk of flooding .......................... ............... 17

Murky waters of the Rio Tunjuelo .............................. 18

General map of Bogota ................... ............... ............ 25

The eastern mountains marking the edge of Bogota .............. 26

The five major rivers of Bogot ........... ....... ... .............. ... 27

The geomorphology of the River Tunjuelo ...................... 28

Dichotomy of the city's physical structure ........................... 30

Residents participating in the Ciclovia ............................. 31

Map of the Ciclovia .......................................... 32

Example of a Cicloruta in a road median .............. ............ 33

Desplazados in Nuevo Mizu .......................... ... ....... 34

Pollution mixing into the River Tunjuelo .................................. 37

Untreated mining pits in south Bogota ............... ........... 39

POMCA vision of the restored river .............. ... ........... 42

Bogota's localities and study area ................................. 46

Garbage heaped along roadside ............ ...... ................47

Types of public parks in Bogota ............ .... .. ..... ............... 48


Item


Page









Figure 4-4

Figure 4-5

Figure 4-6

Figure 4-7

Figure 4-8

Figure 4-9

Figure 4-10

Figure 4-11

Figure 5-1

Figure 5-2

Figure 5-3

Figure 5-4

Figure 5-5

Figure 5-6

Figure 5-7

Figure 5-8


Figure 5-9

Figure 5-10

Figure 5-11

Figure 5-12

Figure 6-1

Figure 6-2

Figure 6-3


Existing parks in south Bogota ......... ......................

Open expanses typical of Parque El Tunal .........................

View of the lake at Parque Timiza ... ... ....................

Jardines del Apogeo as public green space ........................

Open mining pits and the military base beyond .................

Typical streetscape in Ciudad Bolivar .... ................ .....

Existing Ciclorutas in the study area ............... ..............

Transmilenio service within the study area ....................

Road and sidewalk conditions in Ciudad Bolivar ..................

An "Estrella negra" on one of Bogota's roads ......................

Unpaved sidewalks in Ciudad Bolivar .... ................ .....

Existing Ciclorutas within the study area .......................

Residents enjoy the urban forest in Parque Timiza ..............

Diagram of w ater treatm ent ...... ... ........................

Section of project .... ...... ...............................

Master plan of stormwater treatment
areas and adjacent development ... ..........................

Stormwater retention areas ............. ......... .............

Rendering of the riverside ............... ...... .... .... .. ........

Plan of the community amphitheater ..... ............... ....

V iew of the riverside .......... ................................

The River Tunjuelo within the study area .............................

Land use within the study area ...... ... .....................

Potential green spaces ........ ...............................









Figure 6-4

Figure 6-5

Figure 6-6

Figure 6-7

Figure 6-8

Figure 6-9

Figure 7-1

Figure 7-2

Figure 7-3

Figure 7-4

Figure 7-5

Figure 7-6

Figure 7-7


Figure 7-8

Figure 7-9

Figure 7-10


Figure 7-11


Figure 7-12

Figure 7-13

Figure 7-14

Figure 8-1

Figure 8-2


Proposed greenway ....... .......................................... 72

Greenway and Transm ilenio ............................. ......... 73

Existing Ciclorutas .................. ....................... 73

Proposed Ciclorutas and Transmilenio ................ ............. 74

Proposed green network ........................................ .. 74

Vision of reclaim ed m ining pits ................................... ....... 77

Streetscape in Nuevo Mizu ........ .... ....... ... ...... ... ... ... 81

Concrete channel in Nuevo Mizu ............... ..... ........ ... 82

The neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu and the River Tunjuelo ........ 83

Existing green and blue infrastructure ............ .............. ... 84

Proposed green and blue infrastructure ................ ............. 84

W wetlands restoration in Bogot ........................................... 85

Example of a promenade including a Cicloruta and
pedestrian pathway along the Rio Salitre in north Bogota ........ 86

Community nodes along the greenway ............ .................87

Residents enjoy an afternoon at Parque Timiza ................... 88

Illustraton of a hypothetical recreational
area and its relationship to the river ..................... ............. 88

A vacant parcel covered in
refuse in the industrial area of Atlanta ................. ..... ........ 90

Diagram of a recycle processing center ................ ............. 92

Example of a street market in Bogot .................. ...............94

Example of a successful neighborhood park in Kennedy ..........96

Unpaved Sidewalk acting as store frontage in Ciudad Bolivar...97

Haphazard sidewalk conditions in Tunjuelo ............. .......... 98









Figure 8-3

Figure 8-4

Figure 8-5

Figure 8-6

Figure 8-7

Figure 8-8

Figure 8-9

Figure 8-10

Figure 8-11


Figure 9-1


Bus stop in Ciudad Bolivar with no sidewalk or bus shelter ......98

Sidewalk in Kennedy with no street trees & minimal vegetation ...99

Dirt sidewalk in Ciudad Bolivar .......... ..................... 99

Urban garden in a curbside bulb-out in Gainesville, Florida ......100

A family participating in urban agriculture ............................ 101

Curb cut-out in Portland, Oregon ............... ... ................. 103

Diagram of curbside plantings and water retention ................ 103

Existing and proposed perspective of a typical street ............. 105

Incorporating curb cut-outs for
fruit trees and vegetable gardening................ ................ 105

Children playing soccer in a community park ..........................109









Abstract of Thesis Project Presented to the Department of Landscape
Architecture of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Landscape Architecture
RECONECTANDO EL RIO TUNJUELO:
RECONNECTING THE RIVER TUNJUELO

By

Benjamin Himschoot

May of 2010

Chair: Mary Padua
Cochair: Maria "Tina" Gurucharri
Major: Landscape Architecture

The Rio Tunjuelo in Bogota, Colombia is one of the most contaminated

rivers in the country. A combination of sedimentation from mining added to

urban runoff and industrial toxic pollution have seriously degraded the quality of

this river. This project is concerned primarily with the restoration of the river and

its reconnection to the surrounding city. The project looks at the urban portion of

the river basin across three different scales: 1.) the regional and metropolitan

scale; 2.) neighborhoods and communities; and 3.) at the street and pedestrian

scale. Through comprehensive analysis, issues and opportunities at each scale

were explored and create the foundation for specific strategies aimed at

retrofitting green and blue infrastructure within the city. New strategies for the

river are presented at each of the three scales: 1.) the creation of an urban

greenway along the river corridor that connects with the larger fabric of the city'

2.) the creation of new links that connect communities to the river; and 3.)

retrofitting green and blue infrastructure at the street level. The overarching

vision is the creation of a network of streets, parks, and public spaces that work

in harmony with the River Tunjuelo.









INTRODUCTION

This first chapter of this thesis introduces the major issues and

opportunities related to the river system and surrounding communities. By

exploring the underlying issues surrounding the river, the author lays the

foundation for the analysis and strategies presented in later chapters. The

methodology used for studying the river and creating the subsequent strategies

is presented in the second chapter.

Chapters three through five explore the specific issues and opportunities

related to the lower basin of the River Tunjuelo across the three specific scales.

Chapter three explores the regional setting of Bogota, investigating the

physical, cultural, and political aspects pertaining to the study area. An

exploration of these issues illustrates the complexity of the situation, and creates

the framework for subsequent strategies presented in this thesis project.

Chapter four explores the issues faced at the locality and neighborhood

scale, and offers some observations for the improvement of public spaces, land

use, and infrastructure of green spaces. It explores some of the key issues and

challenges facing the localities and neighborhoods along the River Tunjuelo's

urban basin. While there are too many individual areas to address all of them,

this portion will seek to uncover common problems relating to the river, and the

communities that surround it.

Chapter five examines issues related to the streets and open spaces of south

Bogota, user needs, urban water systems, and explores several case studies.









This section lays the foundation for the strategies presented in the final section of

this thesis.

In the previous chapters, this project explores the issues and opportunities for

the study area across three different scales. The final four chapters focuses on

specific strategies and concepts that can be applied at each scale. At the

metropolitan scale, the focus is on urban planning and policy. For localities and

neighborhoods, strategies for the physical, economic, and social reconnection to

the river are explored. At the street scale, strategies for retrofitting green and

blue infrastructure are explored, as well as creating nodes and gateways to

connect users to the larger greenway. Finally, safety for pedestrians and cyclists

is explored. Conclusions and recommendations are offered for each scale of

concern.










CHAPTER 1
PROJECT HISTORY AND CONTEXT


Every major city in the world has at one time or another struggled with

balancing the issue of water quality and quantity versus the needs of the urban

residents, especially cities that originated along rivers. Bogota, Colombia is no

exception. The city has grown in leaps and bounds from a population of around

100,000 at the turn of the 20th century to over 700,000 in 1950 and over 8 million

inhabitants today (Zambrano, 2004)( Fig.

1-1). This enormous growth has come Panama --

at a huge cost to the environment and w '
-r- -. '. Venezuela

quality of life for its inhabitants, an .j ..
I Bogota


important issue that will be explored in '.. 6
.' .- Colombia .
IV.
this thesis. Furthermore, the illegal '.. Brazil
Ecuador
development that was observed during A-,

this study has left many residents of .

areas in south Bogota with inadequate Figure 1-1. General Map of Colombia
(Source: Google Maps, 2010)
open green spaces. This problem was

verified by Fabio Zambrano, historian and professor and Andres Guhl, professor

of ecological development in Bogota. Current efforts to improve water quality in

the city's rivers have been very slow in forthcoming, but there is some hope in

that things might be turning around (Guhl, 2009).


Ri
A.
R
1









Bogota, Colombia is a .

dramatically sited city that is in a major .. .

floodplain of the Andean Mountain: -

Chain in South America; and it is

situated at an elevation of over 8,500

feet altitude (Fig. 1-2). Originally a

native Indian town, the Spanish '

conquistadors established a colony

there in 1538, and laid out the town 'i ..
Figure 1-2. Bogota and the Andes
according to the Laws of the Indies1. Mountains (Source: Google Maps, 2010)

The city thrived due to its rich soils in the broad, flat floodplain, and became the

capital of Gran Colombia which included Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, and

Colombia upon gaining independence from Spain.

The 20th century marked the real beginning of intense urbanization for

Bogota. It transformed from an agrarian area, dominated by coffee plantations to

the modern city we see today (Del Castillo, 2003). As the city's population grew,

so did its demand for clean water, land to build on, and materials for construction.

By the late 1930's, the development of a new dam in the upstream portion of the

River Tunjuelo showed promise to supply the city with clean drinking water for

decades to come (Osorio, 2007, pg.47). The development of the road for the

construction of the dam, along with the development of mining pits south of the

city to extract clay and gravel for the construction of roads, houses, bricks, and

tile created an opportunity for new neighborhoods and informal settlements to









spring up in the southern area outside the city (Zambrano, 2003). These

settlements began to play an important role in the future of the River Tunjuelo as

the area around the river changed from agrarian to industrial and residential. At

the beginning, residents became dependent on the river for their water supply.

Osorio gives the reason for this dependence: "The construction of the urban

habitat for the most part and especially in these sectors was done in an illegal

(pirated) way; with the approval of the landowner, but without the planning and

infrastructure (public services) that should have been managed by the District

Administration (Osorio, 2007, pg.53)." Without an institutional administration to

manage the distribution of water, people tended to locate near the river so that

they had easy access to draw much of their water for everyday use. Eventually,

these neighborhoods were grouped together to form the locality of Tunjuelito

(little Tunjuelo) which was eventually incorporated into the metropolitan area of

Bogota and retrofitted with public services. However, because many parts of this

area were not properly developed under the city's master plan, public works such

as green space, utilities, stormwater and roads were not addressed from the

outset and are still lacking in quality to this day (Zambrano, 2009). A similar

development pattern was seen in the localities of Bosa, Ciudad Bolivar, and

Kennedy. The rapid expansion in this area of the city coupled with the

construction of the dam and mining pits began the ultimate degradation of the

river that is highly visible today. The locality of Tunjuelito is but one example of

many similar stories of growth and development in this area of the city. This

thesis project explores some of the major issues now surrounding this river basin









and proposes strategies to retrofit the green and blue infrastructure (to be

explained in a later section) in this area of the city.

Major Issues

During the course of the

literature review, several major

issues related to the river basin were

uncovered (Fig 1-3). These findings

were confirmed with an analysis of

existing conditions and verified

through interviews conducted with
Figure 1-3. Illegal development and
Elizabeth Valenzuela with the contamination of the River Tunjuelo

Department of the Environment in Bogota and Alexandra Garzon, specialist in

wetlands restoration with the Aqueducto (Water supply and management) of

Bogota. Each issue is of great significance both for short and long term health

and recovery of the river and especially for the citizens living in the study area.

Lack of Green Space

The urban areas surrounding the River Tunjuelo in South Bogota are

amongst the poorest neighborhoods in the city. The city is divided into

"Localidades" or localities, which are then subdivided into "Barrios" or

neighborhoods (Fig. 1-4). The major localities surrounding the urban portion of

the river are Tunjuelito, Usme, Kennedy, Bosa, and Ciudad Bolivar. Combined,

these areas carry a population of over 2.5 Million people (DAPD, 2002, pg. 55),

but have the lowest ratios of green space per inhabitant in the city. For example,










the district of Ciudad Bolivar in the southern part of the city has a meager 1.94

square meters of park space per person, compared to the rich district of Barrios

Unidos in the north with over 10.13 square meters per person (DAPD, 2002,

pg.55). By comparison, other major international cities such as Buenos Aires

hold approximately 18m2/person, and London over 20m2/person. What little

green areas exist in this are often in poor repair, overused, and suffer from

vandalism.

Other major issues in these areas that were found during my field work

include poorly developed
Bogota
infrastructure. Many

areas still have unpaved


or under maintained

roads, while others have

limited basic utilities such

as electricity and water.

Due to the area's dense

population, the only

public spaces available

are the roads and

sidewalks between the

buildings that serve as

part of the social fabric of

the city. Little vegetation


N UhlDOS C At _- 0

U''TSAOUILL9

S~iFE
Legend CA 4i
LOCALITIES


CUDADBOUVAR \Z
B||E SInON1O
KENNEDY
LOSMAReRES


~OUENt 0 1 S2 84


Figure 1-4. The localities of Bogota


M I









exists and the area is quite barren and devoid of trees; both in the streetscapes

but also in many of the parks. The area's largest park El Tunal, covering over 70

acres, is a huge open space with various programmed elements, but also lacking

mature trees.

Flooding

Perhaps the most serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare in

the area is flooding in the River Tunjuelo. Intense urbanization of the river basin

has drastically changed the ability of the river to self-regulate water flows during

storm events; the results are often serious flooding in neighborhoods adjacent to

the river (Fig. 1-5). Many of these areas were developed illegally and were

ZAreas With Risk Of Flooding


Figure 1-5. Areas with high risk of flooding









created by filling in former wetlands or built in unsuitable areas. The river poses

not only safety risk but also serious health problems within the community.

There are high reports of respiratory and gastric problems with residents living

near the river (Osorio, 2007). The government has tried to educate residents

about the inherent risks of living near the river, but many residents are so poor

that they have no other option than to continue living in the danger zones.

Compounding the issues are the city's current stormwater management

practices. This involves conventional practices where most stormwater is

channeled into concrete gutters or pipes in an effort to rapidly clear the water

from an area. Stormwater drainage pipes are visible along many portions of the

river, redirecting urban runoff via pipes directly into the river without treatment.

The impact during a storm event is that the water is rapidly concentrated and

flows overland into the streams and rivers, typically causing flooding in low-lying

areas. The local response to this issue has been conventional flood control

practices including expanding the channelization of the river and building high

berms alongside many areas of the river. These engineering practices have

further exacerbated the problem.

More concrete channels and dams

mean less water percolation into the

ground.

Pollution and Water Quality

In addition to the problems of - .

water quantity and stormwater flows, re 1. Mrk r
S Figure 1-6. Murky waters of the Rio Tunjuelo









perhaps the most critical is the issue of water quality. Today the river stands as

a silent witness to the abuse and urbanization that has destroyed it (Fig 1-6).

During my field investigations, I experienced firsthand the vile and acrid odor of

filth and degradation. The color is almost completely black, and trash is

prominently visible floating in and piled near it. The river is a vile and toxic soup,

swirling in hues of black and brown, loaded with sediment and contaminants. It

serves as a dumping ground for both personal and industrial waste, a discussion

that will be covered in a later chapter. As a result, the river's degradation

appears to be an indefinite activity. This thesis project proposes to change this

pattern of degradation.

Bogota's Natural Systems

Crucial to the health and welfare to any city are its natural systems.

However, the explosive growth resulting from the industrial revolution has

completely changed how urban environments respond and interact with natural

systems. Before urbanization and the development of urban areas, land existed

in a natural state, with its own ecosystem, life cycles, habitats, and hydrology. As

generally recorded, human settlements and civilizations have had an impact on

nature. Most sought to dominate and control nature for human good, molding and

sculpting the land and creating cities in which to live. Overnight (in geological

time), entire ecosystems have been rearranged, and in many cases wiped out, to

accommodate the explosive population of mankind over the past two centuries.

Now, many professionals in the fields of planning and landscape architecture are

looking for ways to make our cities more in harmony with the natural systems









that flow through and around them. Following the theories espoused by James

Corner in Landscape Urbanism Reader, my thesis project proposes to

incorporate innovative green and blue infrastructure interventions new for

Tunjuelito. (Corner,2006, pp. 22-33) My goal is to reinvent the river Tunjuelo into

a green network that serves both human and natural ecosystems. Because the

river is so dramatically altered from its original ecology and function, a complete

"restoration" back to the original state is nearly impossible. Fortunately, the river

is not completely channelized yet, and many opportunities exist to create an

urban waterway that more nearly resembles a natural system.

Green and Blue Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure

For this thesis project, green infrastructure follows the theory and practice

of Benedict and McMahon. They define green infrastructure as, "An

interconnected network of natural areas and other open spaces that conserves

natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clean air and water, and

provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife." (Benedict & McMahon,

2006, Pg.1) The project builds from their definition where Green infrastructure is

interpreted to include street trees, parks, gardens, riparian buffers, wetlands,

trails, or natural preserves. It may include green roofs or green walls, drainage

swales, and agricultural zones. It can be self-contained, part of a grid or network,

or woven together with other urban elements. Green infrastructure is often found

physically related to blue infrastructure in some way or form, but for this

investigation it does not necessarily have a mutually dependant relationship.









In Tunjuelito and surrounding area, a green infrastructure system has the

potential to improve urban ecology, as well as create a positive impact on local

economic and health related issues. Research has shown that, "The

psychological benefits made possible by the urban forest are pervasive and far-

reaching. They range from simple enjoyment to enhancing the quality of life to

what could only be described as life-changing impacts." (Kaplan, 2002, pg.10)

The communities within the study area who reside in this urban setting can enjoy

the relief of having green spaces within the city, a welcome respite from its

current situation.

In the United States of America, Frederick Law Olmsted, father of

landscape architecture once said, "If we analyze the operations of scenes of

beauty upon the mind, and consider the intimate relation of the mind upon the

nervous system and the whole physical economy, the action and reaction which

constantly occur between bodily and mental conditions, the reinvigoration which

results from such scenes is readily comprehended. .. The enjoyment of scenery

employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet

enlivens it; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body gives the

effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system (Olmsted, 1865)."

This thesis project intends to propose a master plan that will follow Olmsted's

design philosophy.

Blue Infrastructure

Every city needs water to survive and Bogota is no exception in this

regard. In dealing with issues of water supply and disposal of wastewater and









stormwater, local institutions and city populations have tended to rely on

conventional engineering solutions that have ignored the greater environmental

impacts. It is widely accepted that the evolution of industry and resulting

urbanization have inadvertently degraded many of our planet's water systems. In

many cases worldwide, rivers have been disconnected from city life and some

have been viewed as a threat or nuisance. "Now water is one of the key

questions as far as the future of our world is concerned, as we have recognized

that naturally available water supplies are finite, pollution is always just around

the corner, and we are aware that water plays a complex role in the stability of

ecosystems (Dreiseitl, 2005, pg. 42)." This thesis project seeks to define a long

term plan that is sensitive to natural river systems and water issues.

For purposes of this project, blue infrastructure will refer to anything

dealing with water supply, quality, or quantity. This may include stormwater

drainage, river systems, wetlands, sewers, and water supply. Every drop of

water that falls on a city must go somewhere, and a strategy will be proposed for

the study area that can improve the current situation. New methods for dealing

with our water systems have shown that it is indeed possible to have a healthy

and thriving ecosystem working in tandem with an urban environment. Some of

these methods and strategies will be explored in this thesis project across

several spatial scales.









CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH


This research is qualitative and investigates innovative methods and

contemporary practices for green and blue infrastructure. This work does not rely

specifically on gathering empirical data, nor does it seek to prove or disprove any

scientific fact. It is intended to build on and expand from existing landscape

architecture and infrastructure planning research that deals with green and blue

infrastructure in urban areas. This thesis project goal is to develop a series of

strategies that address the problems of water quality, pollution, and lack of public

green space in some of the poorest areas of south Bogota, Colombia.

This thesis project entailed various research tasks. The initial research

task was exploratory where secondary research and field research defined the

scope and breadth of the issues surrounding the lower basin of the River

Tunjuelo. Another aspect of the secondary research involved a focused review

and analysis of existing literature that related to urban ecology, river restorations,

and blue and green infrastructure. This work helped to develop meaningful

strategies for Tunjuelito that can be applied across several scales of concern.

The primary research question for this thesis project is, "How can green and blue

infrastructure be retrofitted in existing urban areas of south Bogota across three

different scales?"

The research for this project began early in 2009, when I was made aware

of the River Tunjuelo system in the south region of Bogota. Some more in-depth

research revealed that the river was seriously degraded and the residents of the









surrounding areas had very limited access to open green space. The methods

used to collect information and data for this project involved applying a variety of

techniques to gain a holistic overview of the situation in Bogota. This included:

Large-scale regional analysis.

An in depth review of current policies and laws affecting the river basin,

using both literature reviews and interviews with officials and educators in

Bogota.

Field studies, interviews and preliminary findings: Two and a half months

were spent in Bogota over the summer of 2009 collecting data, conducting

field observations, documenting site conditions, and conducting informal

interviews. Eight experts were interviewed ranging from the disciplines of

historical research, engineering, landscape architecture, urban planning,

ecological research, and city administration in Bogota. I learned that

existing research conducted by many different parties, including the

Aqueducto of Bogota, University of the Andes, National University, and

Secretary of the Environment on the river Tunjuelo confirm that the river is

in terrible condition and needs to be cleaned up. The questions of how

and in what capacity are aspects that are fundamental to the primary

research question.

Both the user needs and long-term effects for design and planning

recommendations are examined. At each of these scales, key issues are

explored, observations made, and strategies for incorporating green and blue

infrastructure are developed.









CHAPTER 3
REGIONAL ISSUES


Regional Setting

Home to over 8 million inhabitants, Bogota is Colombia's capital and home to

the country's seat of government (Fig.3-1). Changes in policy in 1988 allowed

the city's mayor to be freely elected rather than appointed, which led to a series

of reforms within the city. Sweeping changes were achieved during 1995-2003

under the direction and leadership of mayors Mocuks and Peralosa, who

effectively helped to reduce the crime rate, improve traffic congestion, implement

a new centralized public _

transportation system, and n P "


reclaim public open space

for the citizens. (Berney,

2008) Today Bogota is a

vibrant and robust city,

very different from the

chaotic and unsafe place

during the drug wars of the

1980's (Berney, 2008).

However, some key

differences still exist

between the north and

south regions of the city.


-f


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FuATER FOLO

Figure 3-1.


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General map of Bogota


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The north remains the wealthy, well organized, and clean with ample amounts of

park and open space. In stark contrast, many areas in the south are still

struggling to combat crime, poverty, and are severely lacking in public green

space.

Physical Structure

Bogota is a dynamic city, which continues to grow every day. It has areas

that are very clearly organized on a grid pattern and others that have a more

organic form. Architectural styles range from two storey simple buildings to

skyscrapers of over 60 stories. One common element used throughout the city is

the extensive use of red brick, due to the readily available clay in the region.

Topography

Bogota, is situated on a plateau

which lies in the floodplains of the

central Andes of Colombia. At an

elevation of over 8,500 feet the city

enjoys relative year-round

temperature stability, with two "wet"
Figure 3-2. The eastern mountains marking the
seasons and two "dry" seasons edge of Bogota

annually. The city is relatively very flat, bordered immediately to the east by

range of tall mountains known as the "cierros orientales" or eastern mountains

(Fig 3-2). The city was originally developed at the foot of these mountains and

grew for over 400 years to the North, West, and South out into the floodplains.

The rich soils support a host of agricultural industries even today.









Hydrology

The floodplain is host to four major rivers; the Torca, Salitre, Fucha, and

Tunjuelo, each of which are a tributary of the Rio Bogota (Fig. 3-3). The

headwaters for each of these rivers are formed in the mountains to the East and

South of the city, and are part of the

city's water supply system. The Rio

Bogota flows northward passing

; .I," through the city, and eventually drops
i'

I off the Savannah at the Tequendama

SFalls. It then follows a steep course,

Falling about 2,000 meters in 50 km, to

join the Magdalena River which



Ocean (Wikipedia, 2010).

The Tunjuelo river system

begins high in the mountains to the

south of the city in the paramount of

Sumapaz, flows through the middle

basin in the lower mountain regions,

and the lower basin sits in the floodplain
Figure 3-3. The five major rivers of Bogota;
(Source: Aqueducto de Bogota, 2007)
of the savanna before joining the River

Bogota to the West (Fig. 3-4). The River was originally partially navigable and

had a varied landscape of Alder Trees, scrublands, deer, rabbits, and birds.









During the first half of the
Geomorphology of the upp .RFi R
1900's, it was a tourist River Tunjuelo Basin .., :

destination for the upper class..

citizens of Bogota for

picnicking, horseback riding,

swimming, fishing, and s.. ,- ..,.,

canoeing (Zambrano, 2003).

Numerous wetlands also

served as a resting place for migratory birds, and were home to water birds, fish,

insects, amphibians, and reptiles (Osorio, 2007). As the city developed, in the

first decade of the 1900's, there was a crisis of public health with deaths from

Typhoid and Cholera which led to the creation of the Administration of Hygiene

and Health in Bogota. Initial studies showed that the rivers that supplied the city

were already filled with garbage and was filled with large quantities of fecal

microbes (Orsorio, 2007). As a result, the city began to chlorinate the water

supply, which proved effective at sterilizing the water, but did not address the

problem of water shortage in the following decades.

In response to the water shortage, the tributaries of the River Tunjuelo

were looked to as a potential source of clean, abundant water for the growing

city's needs. The first major alteration to the river Tunjuelo began in 1934 with

the construction of the dam called "La Regadera" or the watering can. Studies

conducted before the dam's construction showed that the dam would create

enough water supply to sustain the city's water needs for decades to come, and









the negative environmental impacts were disregarded for the benefit of the city's

needs. Most importantly, the dam severely impacted the water flows in the River

Tunjuelo. As promising as the new dam was for water supply, it fell short only

two years after its completion in 1938, and in 1940 residents were put on a partial

rationing of water (Osorio, 2007). The major elements that affected the supply of

water were the occurrence of El Nino in the 1940's, coupled with the burgeoning

population of the city.

Today the hydrology of the river has been extensively changed from its

original form and function, both from the dam, which still exists, and the urban

stormwater runoff from the city. To compound the problem, huge open mining

pits to the south of the city have now filled with water, creating an artificial series

of lakes, full of pollution and sediment. In some areas the river meanders into

some of these lakes, before going passing north into the city. The extensive

sedimentation from the mines has caused the level of the river bed to rise

significantly over the past half century, and artificial berms have been erected

along many parts of the river in an attempt to control flooding.

Urban Form

Bogota was originally developed and laid out according to the Laws of the

Indes, following the Spanish formula of creating a central city square, and

creating a grid system based upon the dimensions of the central square to

theoretically expand the city in an organized and orderly system. Plaza Bolivar

still stands today as the original central plaza flanked with government buildings,

cathedral, and courthouse. This orderly system of expansion served the city







quite well until in1948 the city erupted into a violent and bloody civil war that left
the core of the old city in chaos. Many residents immediately began to move and
develop new areas outside the existing city. The more affluent population moved
to the north of the city, maintaining good order, efficient planning, organization,
and provision for public open space. Conversely, the poorer residents began to


Bogota's
Dichotomy


South


Figure 3-5. Dichotomy of the city's physical structure









develop areas in the south of the city without such cohesive organization. The

result was that the city was now dichotomous; with the upper class citizens living

to the north and the lower classes or "Estradas" living to the south (Fig. 3-5).

Social and Cultural Issues

The physical dichotomy of the city also reflects the social disparity of many

of Bogota's citizens as well. There is a very clear division of the "Have" and

"Have Nots" in the city with many of the richest citizens living away from the

poverty and slums in the south of the city. Statistics published by the city in 2005

confirm that over 97% of residents in the locality of Ciudad Bolivar are living in

poverty, as well as 81% of the residents of Kennedy (DAPD, 2005, pg.52). Not

surprisingly, these two localities also had the highest number of homicides in the

city both in 2002 and 2003 (DAPD, 2005, pg.25). It is interesting to note that

both of these areas border the River Tunjuelo, and are part of the study area of

this thesis project.

Ciclovia

Despite the enormous

pressures created by the city's

inequality, the residents of

Bogota are united every week :- ..:iiii .i.::: :i:::! y

by a program is called

"Cyclovia" which means bike Figure 3-6. Residents participating in the Cyclovia

path in English (Fig. 3-6). The unique quality of the program is that is closes off

over 70 miles of streets and roads and opens them up specifically to bicyclists,










skateboarders,

pedestrians, and

rollerbladers, effectively

turning many of the

city's streets into a

place where everyone

can socialize, interact,

and exercise. The

program takes place

every Sunday and

national holiday from

7AM to 2PM, and is

now a huge part of the

culture of the city. Not

only are the bike lanes


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htt//www.inbogota.com/transporte/ciclovia.htm. Last accessed
5February 20a
S. Pi-)dp li nl*(ite _, .-a ./ j








Cid& P .-

Figure 3-7. Map of the Ciclovia (Source:
http://www. inbogota.com/transporte/ciclovia.htm. Last accessed
February 2010)


open, but certain points along the routes also offer public exercise classes, such

as Zumba, dancing, and aerobics. It provides a safe and encouraging

environment for people get out and exercise. During field studies in Bogota a

huge turnout of people was observed every week in various parts of the city.































Figure 3-8. Example of a Cicloruta in a road median


The program began in the early 1980's, but expanded over tenfold by the

efforts of Gil Pehalosa who served as Parks Director in the 1990's (Liveable

Streets, 2009). "Where else can you get thousands and thousands of people

doing physical activity? So then, the infrastructure is there, it's free. The roads

are already there, all you need to do is close them. You need operational costs

to set it up, and then you can get this fantastic idea which is like a party where

everybody attends; the rich and the poor and the young and the old, and

everybody (Gil Pehalosa, Streetfilms, 2007) (Fig. 3-7)."

In addition to the weekly Cyclovia, permanent Cyclorutas (bicycle routes)

form a large network connecting many parts of the city (Fig. 3-8). These routes

are equally important to the mobility and transportation of people as are the city's

streets and roads. Successful examples of this are the paved lanes present in









many of the city's medians. They form part of the green and grey infrastructure

already existing in the city, and many people depend upon them to go daily from

one area to another. Unfortunately, the network is much less developed within

south Bogota, especially within the study area.

Street Vendors

Perhaps the most notable difference noticed between the sidewalk culture

of Bogota as compared to Buenos Aires or New York is the huge amount of

informal vendors on the sidewalks. As part of the weekly Cyclovia, the Carrera 7

(Septima) boulevard is shut down, and here not only do people walk and cycle

along the center of the road, but thousands of unauthorized vendors line the

street sidewalks laying out blankets to display their goods. They are known as

vendedores ambulantes (ambulatory vendors), and these people have no social

security, insurance, or secure employment and are often harassed by the police.

Many offer secondhand goods and

merchandise often collected from what

others throw away. These ambulatory

vendors are a part of the social fabric of

the city, and should be taken into

consideration rather than overlooked.

Desplazados

Another significant group of people : .

that are commonly overlooked are the

"Desplazados" (displaced persons). -
Figure 3-9.
Desplazados in Nuevo Mizu









Colombia has struggled with over 50 years of civil war and unrest, guerilla

warfare, and the threat of violence. Forceful takings of land in the countryside by

FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and paramilitaries has

forced many people to move into the larger cities to escape the violence and

seek opportunities. Studies by CODHES (Consultoria para los Derechos

Humanos y el Desplazamiento Consulate for Human Rights and the Displaced)

estimate that there are over 4.9 million displaced persons in Colombia as of 2009.

However, the Colombian government only reports estimates of 3.3 million for the

same time period, leaving a huge disparity between the numbers (IDMC, 2009).

The response of many government agencies is one of dismissal and non-

recognition, reflected in the disparity of statistics published by the government

versus other NGO's (Non governmental Organizations) working in the area.

Unfortunately many of these peoples are often homeless, seeking refuge

in makeshift tents and shanties (Fig. 3-9). During the study period, a large group

of desplazados had gathered together and took over the Parque Tercer Millenio,

setting up a shantytown to make their presence known to the government. Local

government estimated only 700, but the residents estimated almost 2000. For

four months they stayed in the park, but were put into quarantine by the city's

government after fears of an outbreak of the AH1 N1 virus (El Tiempo, July 19,

2009, Sec.2 Pg.1). The ultimate response of the government was to evacuate all

the people, putting them on busses with a small remittance of money and

sending them back to the town or region they originated from (Semana, August 3,

2009, online). While this group of people did eventually receive some assistance,









many others are not so fortunate. Another group of desplazados were observed

during field observation in the parque Nuevo Mizu, making temporary homes

from tarps, bags, and sheets. Due to the ongoing violence and instability in the

county, the issue of displaced persons is something that will continue to be an

issue and must be considered when planning public spaces for the city.

Land Use Along Corridor and Riparian Edges

In the urban portion of the lower River basin, land use is varied from

residential, industrial, commercial, and public land. The types of land use and

their stormwater runoff contribute directly to the health of the river. GIS analysis

was done to determine the patterns of land use and identify key areas of concern

along the river basin in the study area.

From the beginnings of development, the agricultural practices

undertaken began to have a significant impact on the hydrology of the river.

Between the end of the 1800's and 1940, it is estimated that over 40 percent of

native vegetation was destroyed and replaced with potato crops (Osorio, 2007).

The result was that the capacity of the region to regulate water flows was greatly

diminished. As the area began to industrialize and urbanize, the effects became

much more pronounced. The mining operations near the river began to have a

negative impact on the river and water quality, especially in regard to

sedimentation that was being leached into the river in runoff from the mining pits.

Fast forward over 50 years and the negative effects are still evident on the river

today. Sedimentation remains one of the primary factors of pollution of the river,

and very little mitigation has been done to address the problem.









Sadly, another development in the river's history happened in 1962 when

the Aqueducto y Alcantarillaro de Bogota (Aqueduct and Sanitary Water

Department) began to implement a new master stormwater and sewer treatment

plan. This effort started combining stormwater and raw sewage and then

dumping them into the River Tunjuelo (along with several other rivers in the city),

effectively turning them into an open sewer (Horsefield, 1968). Up until 1963,

people in the newly developed neighborhood of San Benito had no public utilities.

However, they were still able to pull "clean" water from the river for cooking and

washing clothes (Zambrano, 2003, pg. 163). It wasn't long before the

contamination became so severe that people stopped using the river altogether.

The 1980's marked the first series of river studies that examined in-depth


Figure 3-10. Pollution mixing into the River Tunjuelo

37









its severe environmental degradation of the river. Several reports and

monographs documented the sources and causes of pollution. According to one

study, the industries that contributed most to the pollution of the river were meat

processing plants, makers of cooking oil and margarine, textile industry, and

leather treating and processing (Osorio, 2007). Perhaps the most shocking

findings of these reports was that in 1982, 99% of leather processing factories

were dumping their chemicals into the river. It estimated that there were over

100 kilos (2201bs) of chrome, zinc, and aluminum per week being dumped into

the river in addition to unspecified amounts of sulfur, cyanide, acids, fats, and

organic materials (Osorio, 2007). By this point, the river had been completely

inundated by sedimentation and toxic chemicals and all of its original ecological

functions were severely compromised if not altogether lost (Fig. 3-10).

Pirated development has historically been part of the negative impact

along the river. However, squatters along the river's edge do not appear to

negatively impact the study area. During my field visits, I observed the

encroachment from development along the river's edge, violating the 60 meter

buffer of public land on either side of the river, which has led to the loss of habitat

and floodplains along the river.

Environmental Challenges

The presence of leather processing factories appears to continue as an

ongoing problem. Very little is being done to control their pollution of the river.

There is currently a set of voluntary regulations that a number of processors have

agreed to be part of to reduce their pollution. However, due to the highly









fragmented number of small processing companies and lack of enforcement,

there still remains a huge portion that continues to pollute the river as verified by

Andres Guhl (2009) during my investigation.

What's more, the mining companies are quite large and powerful, and it

appears that they have not been forced to clean up their sedimentary practices.

One of the major corporations is Cemex, a multi-national cement company based

out of Mexico. Due to the affluence and lobbying power of these large

corporations, they have also remained

unregulated in this area (Fig.

3-11),

Another consideration

is the regular flooding that the . :.u

river brings to the residents

living nearby the river.

Because many of these areas

were developed illegally, Figure 3-11. Untreated mining pits in south Bogota

many residents are at high

risk of flooding during the rainy season, often putting several feet of polluted

water into people's homes along the river. The river poses not only safety risk

but also serious health problems within the community. There are high reports of

respiratory and gastric problems with residents living near the river (Osorio,

2007). The government has tried to educate residents about the inherent risks of









living near the river; but many residents are so highly impoverished that they

have no other option than to continue living in these dangerous areas.

Another key issue that was discovered during the investigation was some

opinions of why the river has remained unchanged. According to Fabio

Zambrano (2009), "The people who make the decisions in Bogota don't see this

part of the city and it doesn't matter to them. The distribution of public green

spaces is not very well spread. Parque El Tunal and nothing else. It's very

inequitable." However this is not to say that the government has done nothing at

all to address the river.

The Role of Government

The government of Bogota has a unique position. It it is both a large

metropolis and also the seat of the Federal Government. The primary care for

water bodies falls under the jurisdiction of two major agencies, similar to the

United States of America. The Aqueducto y Alcantarillaro de Bogota acts as the

water supply and quality agency, combined with a water management agency,

who also handles sewage and stormwater. The second agency who would have

direct input would be the Secretaria Ambiental (Secretary of the Environment).

However, numerous other agencies are also involved in the oversight of water

issues in the country as detailed in decreto 316 in the following section.

Similar to what is found in the United States of America, the process of

improving water quality is not a linear process. One piece of federal legislature

that set the stage for water cleanup in the River Tunjuelo on June 2, 2002 was

the Federal Decree 1729. The decree seeks to find a balance between the use









of rivers as a renewable resource and conservation of the physical and biological

structure of the rivers. It also seeks to plan the sustainable use of rivers and

specific projects to conserve, preserve, and protect or prevent deterioration and

restore the hydrology of Colombia's rivers. It also sets up a commission to

oversee the cleanup of rivers. The decree laid out a major process for

accomplishing directives that include: diagnosis, creation of prospects,

formulation of a specific plan of action, execution, follow up, and evaluation.

Furthermore, the language seeks to define "zones" of ecological importance, and

map the exact river course, paramount, sub paramount, spring heads, and

aquifer recharge zones (Decreto 1729, 2002). Overall this appeared to be a step

forward to improve water quality. The language appears to favor human use

over the actual conservation and restoration of natural resources.

Two years later on October 7, 2004 Decree 316 was enacted. It

specifically targeted a clean-up the Rio Tunjuelo and adopting instruments for

institutional coordination and participation in action for the River Tunjuelo. The

measure sought to define the river as a macro urban project for the river for the

medium and long-term. It also sought to create a plan of prevention and

mitigation of risks in the river basin, adjacent neighborhoods, and the mining

zone in the short-term. This appears to be the first active measure being taken

by the government to restore the water quality of the Rio Tunjuelo. Some of the

long-term goals include:

A.) To create a structural impact and improve quality of life









B.) To guarantee basic rights to a clean environment for the population living

in the river basin

C.) To create an inter-institutional arrangement to efficiently deal with the

derived impacts

D.) To create opportunities for involvement from the public sector

E.) To generate holistic impacts that strongly favor the environmental

recuperation, economic and social development of the river basin.

F.) To promote the use of natural resources with criteria of sustainability and

efficiency and of the adequate management of the generated impacts for the

transformation of the territory ""

(Decreto 316, 2004).. ,

Other measures included i_

setting up an interdisciplinary Z;

team of members from different i

agencies to oversee the progress, .. 3'

steering, and oversight of the / '

cleanup of the river. These '

members would include the Figure 3-12. POMCA Vision of the Restored River
(Source: Orlando Campos, 2008)
Aqueducto of Bogota, the

Secretary of the Environment, Administration Department of District Planning,

Department of Technical Administration of the Environment, Administration for

the Department of the Defense of Public Space, Institute of Urban Development,









Emergency Prevention and Response, Secretary of Health, Lower Income

Housing Authority, and the Executive Unit for Public Services.

This model also sets up a plan for the prevention and mitigation of risks; and it

appears that government is setting up the framework for the river cleanup.

However, it remains to be proven that this legislation can be enforced.

Several plans have been drafted that deals with both the long and short

term improvements to the river. Primarily, the Aqueducto de Bogota has made a

significant effort to meet their short- term goals for flood control in the lower basin

of Tunjuelo. Their response has been to create new channels for the river to flow

through which would bypass the Lago Pozo Azul in the mining district. Secondly,

the plan would drain the existing stagnant lake and use the space as a potential

reservoir to capture stormwater runoff in flood events. This project was one of

the first steps towards controlling the inundations during storm events.

Intermediate and long-term goals have been formulated by the Secretary

of the Environment under a program called POMCA (Planning and Management

of the River Tunjuelo Basin). This is a holistic effort to do environmental cleanup

and restoration as well as improve economic and social aspects of the river (Fig.

3-12). Three new water treatment plants are planned to help reduce the

immediate toxicity of the river.

The Secretary of the Environment hired the Universidad Nacional

(National University) working with Landscape Architect Orlando Campos to help

with creating a new vision for the river. The plan includes restoring the river,

stitching the river back into the community with the creation of gateways, creating









a linear park system along the sides of the river, and adding nodes of cultural

and social interest to the area. The ultimate goal is to create a new sustainable

example for the community and for the city as a whole. However, according to

the Secretary of the Environment, there is currently not enough funding to

incorporate this plan. This thesis project will expand upon some of the basic

ideas put forth in the POMCA study, and develop specific strategies for restoring

the river.

Observations

Although it has only been five years since the legislation for the river

clean-up was decreed, it appears several activities are needed to reach the

ultimate goal at the regional scale. My visit to the river's banks revealed that very

little has changed since this legislation has passed. The river remains a toxic

mess and there is little evidence of its clean up. Lack of regulation for the

polluting industries, poor stormwater practices within this urban area, along with

apathy from the community makes this a very complex situation. While Bogota

appears to be making some strides towards cleaning up their rivers and passing

progressive legislation, those in charge need to take it to the next level and follow

through with their directives.

At the regional scale, it will take a multi-pronged approach to realize large-

scale cleanup and improvement of the river basin. One possible mechanism is to

consider the designation of the river basin as an ecological corridor or greenway.

Most of the land immediately adjacent to the river is currently held in public trust;

and the cost to the government to change the zoning to "suelo protegido" or









protected land may be minimal. Furthermore, the land should also be designated

as a regional park. With the creation of the greenway as the spine, it can facilitate

future implementation of green and blue infrastructure at smaller scales. This

concept will be expanded upon in a later section of this thesis project.

Secondly, mechanisms for stronger regulation of all industries along the

river basin should be considered. Until the large-scale pollution stops, the river

will continue to flow as a toxic soup. The introduction of incentives might be

effective to goad industries into compliance. Existing legislation should be re-

evaluated and modified to address the flagrant violations.

Thirdly, large-scale remediation of the pollution should be undertaken to

cleanse the river system and restore or recreate the natural ecology. The project

proposes a combination of treatment plants and bioremediation to remove the

heavy metals, pollutants, and chemicals. However, the details of this

combination would need to be part of a separate study to identify the specifics

related to this undertaking. The continued cleansing of the river will be a long-

term project, but one that is vital to restoring the health of the Rio Tunjuelo.

Finally, the larger green space should seriously be considered as a way to

create linkages and connectivity between the river and individual localities and

neighborhoods. A strategy to use green infrastructure to integrate the river into

the fabric of the city might improve the current situation. This concept will be

explored in depth in a later chapter.









CHAPTER 4
LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS

Context


The city is broken down

by localidades, or localities;

each acting like a zone or

sector within which individual

barrios or neighborhoods exist

(Fig. 4-1). Each locality has its

own local seat of government

called the Alcaldia Local which

oversees activities, projects,

and management of each

locality. The five major

localities surrounding the urban

portion of the river are; Usme,

Tunjuelito, Ciudad Bolivar,


Bogota





,;





J i -'TMUSAQUUO-


r--
LOCAULTES




LOS [jMEiBS

- uANTAPE1

o 1 2 u4 6 e

Figure 4-1. Bogota's localities and study area


Kennedy, and Bosa.

At this scale, the fabric of the communities and neighborhoods begin to

become visible. In driving through these neighborhoods, I observed the

differences between one locality and another. In some cases, the changes are

abrupt and the contrast is quite apparent. For example, when crossing the River

Tunjuelo from the locality of Tunjuelito into the locality of Ciudad Bolivar, it is

immediately apparent that you are crossing from a poor area into an area of









extreme poverty as reflected in

the architecture, roads, and

amount of garbage heaped

k.- alongside the roads (Fig. 4-2).

Even within each locality, there

remain differences between the

individual neighborhoods and

Figure 4-2. Garbage heaped along roadside communities. For example
within Tunuelito the character of

public space in Nuevo Mizu is different from that of Isla Del Sol despite the fact

that they are geographically adjacent. Much of this is tied into how and when

these areas developed, as is explained in Zambrano's book.

Public spaces

As mentioned previously, South Bogota is characterized by a lack of green

public spaces per capital. This is not to say that green spaces don't exist,

because in fact they do. However, their limited quantities and distribution make

public green space inaccessible to many. Within the city, park spaces are

divided into different categories depending on the size of the park.

Divisions of parks within Bogota include Regional, Metropolitan, Zonal,

Neighborhood, and Vestpocket parks (Table 4-3). Each type of park falls under

the jurisdiction and maintenance of different sectors of government, depending

on size. My understanding of South Bogota is that there are several metropolitan

parks, and some vest pocket parks, but relatively few zonal or neighborhood









parks for residents. At this scale, neighborhood parks are very important to the

wellbeing of a community.


Type Size Use
Regional Very Large Can be partially Ecological, natural systems -
outside the city Active and Passive Recreation
Metropolitan Larger than 10 Hectares Active/Passive recreation
and/or ecological function
Zonal 1-10 Hectares Use for multiple
neighborhoods/zones
Primarily active recreation
Neighborhood 1,000 10,000 Sq. Meters Active and Passive Recreation
Community events
Vestpocket Less than 1,000 Sq. Meters For neighborhood use,
S____children's playgrounds
Table 4-3. Types of public parks in Bogota (Source: Re-created from IDRD, 2008)

Over one million people live within close proximity to the River Tunjuelo in

Bogota, yet most of these people avoid the river due to the inherent problems

associated with it. The three major green spaces in South Bogota include two

parks and one cemetery; The Jardines del Apogeo (Gardens of the Ascension

Cemetery), Parque Timiza (a large park in Kennedy), and Parque El Tunal (a

large park in Tunjuelo) (Fig. 4-4). Interestingly enough, all three parks are

immediately adjacent to the river Tunjuelo. By creating a greenway along the

river's edge, these three separate parks could then become part of a larger green

network, connected by the river. Furthermore, more residents would have

immediate access to this green infrastructure, rather than having to take a bus to

another locality to get to the parks. This concept will be explored in depth in a

subsequent chapter.
































Figure 4-4. Existing parks in south Bogota

Parque El Tunal in Tunjuelito was built in 1968 in anticipation of the visit of

the pope to the sector. However, in

subsequent years, the park was not

maintained and fell out of repair for

many years (Zambrano, 2004, pg.

194). However, by the late 1990's,

efforts to restore the park came into

effect. The park occupies over 56
Figure 4-5. Open expanses typical of
hectares, and is largely programmed Paraue El Tunal

with active sports recreation. The addition of a public library in 1998 won design

awards, and has helped to reinvigorate the public space around the park.

However, site visits to the park revealed that the space is seriously lacking in









mature vegetation, and is quite desolate (Fig. 4-5). Conversations with locals

confirmed that the park is primarily used on the weekends and during special

events, but remains underused during most of the time. While active sports

might be part of a successful program, the over-emphasis on this may be part of

why the park remains vacant so much of the time.

To the north in the locality of Kennedy, park Timiza sits close to the river

Tunjuelo with over 10 hectares of public space. In comparison to Parque El

Tunal, this park enjoys mature vegetation, a four acre lake, and a mixture of both

active and passive recreation. A site visit on Sunday revealed that the park was

full of people enjoying the Cyclovia, and was host to an exercise station with live

Zumba dance being actively enjoyed by park-goers in the main plaza. This park

is much better maintained and appeared to be well used by residents. Although

it was much smaller than park El Tunal, it would appear that the mixture of

programs, mature vegetation, subdivision of spaces, and the lakefront made for a

more successful park design

for South Bogota (Fig 4-6)..

About two kilometers ,

to the East, the Jardines del

Apogeo (Gardens of the

Ascension) sits adjacent to

the bus terminal Portal del

Sur. The cemetery is open Figure 4-6. Viiew of the lake at Parque Timiza

to the public, and sits immediately adjacent to the river Tunjuelo. However, a site









visit revealed that this public space

is somewhat underused relative to

the busy urban setting surrounding

it (Fig. 4-7). Many cemeteries in

Europe have a great heritage of

being used as public parks for

passive recreation. This additional Figure 4-7. Jardines del Apogeo as public
green space
public green space provides

another opportunity to plug into the larger greenway proposed by this thesis

project.

Research done by Landscape Architect Orlando Campos for the POMCA

project confirmed that these large park spaces are by themselves inadequate for

the entire population of South Bogota. "The diagnosis determined... that the two

metropolitan parks supply, for their size, infrastructure and services for the

requirements at this scale, but on the other hand, the network of smaller parks at

the neighborhood scale are insufficient. The worst cases are in Cuidad Bolivar

and Bosa, where the city grew so tightly [and quickly], that it did not leave room

for recreation areas (Campos, 2009, p.30)." Thus, a very good case has been

made that a larger network of public spaces at the neighborhood scale are

needed for this area.

Land Use

Land use at the neighborhood scale reveals that Bogota's residents are

accustomed to a very mixed model of land use. Here, what the US would call









mixed-use development is the norm as many people run businesses out of their

homes. Groceries are often purchased in smaller, individually owned markets,

and specialization is quite common. For example, people may go to the

vegetable grocer for their produce, butcher shop for their meat and cheese, and

bakery for bread. This finer-grained system is uniquely embedded into the

community and sense of place in Bogota. Larger chain grocery stores such as

Carulla (similar to Albertson's or Publix) do exist, but are not as common in the

poorer areas of South Bogota. Therefore, any proposed redevelopment and

revitalization of spaces must take into account the informal nature of land use in

this sector.

When looking at the individual land uses by zones, there is a large

concentration of commercial and manufacturing uses alongside residential. The

neighborhood of San Benito to this day contains one of the largest

concentrations of leather processing business on the region. Other large-scale

industries, warehouses, and manufacturing are concentrated in the barrios of

Guadalupe, Isla del Sol, Delicias, Atlanta, and Muzu as confirmed by site visits to

the area. These industrial areas are

indeed part of the urban mix of this area,

and provide employment for many

residents.

To the south, a large military

base abuts the mining zone, creating a

large zone all of its own, separated from F 4 O m
Figure 4-8. Open mining pits and the
military base beyond









the general populace by walls and fences. These areas are off limits to the

public, yet cover an immense area surrounding the river, and the mining

continues to be one of the largest polluters in the region (Fig. 4-8). A visit to the

area confirmed that it is an off limits zone, as I was denied entry to both the

military base and the mining pits.

Because this project deals with the rehabilitation of the river, the role of

industry must be considered as part of the solution, as they have historically

been part of the problem. It will be at the neighborhood scale that these issues

can be addressed, as the industries are part of the livelihood and well-being of

the community.

Existing Infrastructure

The urban fabric in South Bogota

consists largely of a gray network of roads -

and sidewalks, and many unused and

abandoned spaces in-between the active

spaces. Many areas still lack proper .

pavement or sidewalk development (Fig.
Figure 4-9. Typical streetscape in Ciudad
4-9). Social spaces are often derived Bolivar

from whatever spaces are immediately available for use. Do to the piecemeal

manner in which these areas were developed, there remains a lot of disconnect

between individual areas. One concept that will be explored in the subsequent

chapter will be how to stitch these areas together, and connect them to the larger

greenway.









Another unique feature in Bogota is the numerous large undeveloped

tracts of land within the urban area of the city. These parcels remain

undeveloped and for the most part privately held. However, in consideration of

the future growth and regeneration of the area, they must be considered as

potentially part of a holistic solution. If developed properly, they could help to

provide housing, spaces for new "green" industries to expand, and manage

urban stormwater runoff. Additionally, many of these sites are located adjacent

or in close proximity to the river, making it prime for incorporation into the large-

scale program put forth in this thesis project.

One very successful part of the infrastructure in this area is the Ciclorutas.

These bike paths wind through some select areas of the city and provide an

alternate route of transportation for many. However, there are only a very few

handful of these bike routes in the south of the city as compared to a more

extensive network in the north. One objective of this thesis project is to expand

upon the existing network and incorporate more CicloRutas into the proposed

urban greenway (Fig. 4-10).

The major form of public transportation in Bogota is the Transmillenio bus

system (Fig. 4-11). While already mentioned in the previous section, it is

important to emphasize its significance to the individual communities. In these

poorer sections of town, most people cannot afford a personal vehicle or to take

a Taxi. Therefore, their dependence on public transit is essential to their survival.

Although there are many stops along these neighborhoods, there are two major

hubs within the study area; Portal del Sur and Portal del Tunal.































Figure 4-10. Existing Ciclorutas within the study area
-- TRANSMILENIO BUS SYSTEM


Figure 4-11. Transmilenio service within the study area









Interestingly enough, both of these existing stations are located adjacent to the

river. Therefore, by adding major circulation along the river's edge, it will also

increase connectivity for transport to other parts of the city for residents.


Observations


City-building is a very complex and intricate task; and even the best efforts

can fall short of creating a sense of community. It is difficult to imagine that one

could possibly design or mandate and entire ecosystem restoration and creation

of entire new communities. Instead, a successful approach might be one that

sets into motion the "large moves" of creating this green infrastructure, making

sure it is tied into the community, and provides for long-term management of the

project. Additionally, opportunities for informal land uses, non-traditional housing,

and subsidies for small businesses along the river corridor should be part of the

strategy.

In keeping with James Corner's view of landscape urbanism, "This

attempts to create an environment that is not so much an object that has been

"designed" as it is an ecology of various systems and elements that set in motion

a diverse network of interaction. Landscape urbanism is here both instigator and

accelerator, working across vast surfaces of potential. This approach, at once

simple and conventional affords residents a range of programmatic

configurations as seasons, needs, and desires change. The thrust of this work is

less toward formal resolution and more toward public processes of design and

future appropriation. Concerned with a working surface over time, this is a kind









of urbanism that anticipates change, open-endedness, and negotiation(Corner,

2006, p.31)." In keeping with this idea, this thesis proposes using the open

space of the greenway as the primary building block for the redevelopment of

these urban spaces near the river.

With a basic understanding of the background, community spaces, and

infrastructure of this region of the city, specific strategies will be explored for

implementing green and blue infrastructure at the neighborhood scale. The key

idea is how to use the greenway to link together these individual communities,

and how to successful link the communities to the greenway.









CHAPTER 5
THE STREET SCALE: ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Streets and Open Space

This chapter of the thesis is an exploration of the streets and small urban

spaces within the study area. Issues related to the current infrastructure and

user needs are studied, and case studies are presented to compare and contrast

the situation on the ground. The work seeks to build a framework for subsequent

strategies for linking streets at the human scale to the larger proposed greenway.

User Needs

At the street scale, human scale and user needs in these communities

come into view. During my efforts to

collect data for primary research,










Figure 5-1. Road and sidewalk conditions in
and bicyclists at the street scale, and Ciudad Bolivar

how does the lack of green spaces affect quality of life for residents? Many of

the roads and streets that form the city's public spaces are in disrepair, and

appear somewhat chaotic to outsiders as observed during the field studies (Fig.

5-1). In many places, the sidewalks are not continuously paved, crosswalks are

non-existent, and major roads sever neighborhoods rather than acting as unifying

spaces. Most strikingly apparent is the sheer lack of vegetation in this part of the









city. Trees are almost non-existent along the average sidewalk, as well as

shrubs and other vegetation. Usually, the only green spaces that exist are large

patches of undeveloped land; fenced off to the public, overgrown with weeds,

and most often decorated with piles of garbage dumped upon them. Public

spaces are often formed from leftover or undeveloped areas within the city and

many of the small plazas or vestpocket parks are in disrepair. The resulting

situation for pedestrians and bicyclists is hazardous and chaotic. In 2003, there

were 151 deaths attributed to auto accidents

within the study area, many of which

pedestrian (DAPD, 2004, p. 25). On most

major highways in Bogota, there are estrellas

negras or "black stars" on the pavement

Figure 5-2. An "Estrella Negra" on marking where pedestrians have been killed
one of Bogota's roads
(Fig. 5-2). These stars are part of a public

awareness campaign by the Fondo de Prevencion Vial (Fund for Highway

[Accident] Prevention) to educate people of the risks associated with vehicles.

Despite the city's efforts to educate people on the dangers of crossing major

highways, there are unfortunately many people still killed every year. For the

study area, I believe that a better system of safe pedestrian and bicycle

pathways would help to reduce the risks to users.

Public Sidewalks

One major part of the city life that I observed in almost every part of

Bogota was the activity and life of the city's streets and sidewalks. This street life









includes; mothers with children, workers delivering goods, street vendors on

every corner, cafes, and street performances truly something for everyone.

Jane Jacobs states, "Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old

city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the

streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence of intricacy

of sidewalk use, bring with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all

composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may

fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance... an intricate

ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts

which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole." (Jacobs,

1961, pg.50) This "ballet" she describes is one that was observed daily in the

two and half months spent walking the streets of north Bogota. However, the

ballet within south Bogota tells a different

story, and the cohesion seems to break

down. The pavement of the sidewalks is

not always continuous, the dancers seem a

bit unsure of their steps, and there are no

clearly defined pedestrian and vehicle

zones (Fig. 5-3). As an outsider, I felt
Figure 5-3. Unpaved sidewalks in Ciudad
unsafe walking the streets in the south Bolivar

alone during my visits, and had often been warned by locals to be extremely

cautious when visiting this area due to the statistically high levels of accidents,

crime, and violence previously mentioned.









In addition to precarious sidewalk, the lack of street trees, benches,

bollards, street lights, and other basic streetscape elements is visibly apparent

when visiting many of these areas. This is not to say that the entire south sector

of Bogota is devoid of these trappings, but it is much easier to find areas without

them in the south than in the north based on visits to the area. The result is a

streetscape that is unpleasant to traverse, lacking a buffer between pedestrians

and vehicles, and visually appears unsafe and unstable. The next section of the

thesis will begin to outline some strategies for improving the quality of these

streetscapes, and increasing the safety for pedestrians.

Bicycle Paths

Bogota is known internationally for their progressive network of bicycle

paths (Cyclorutas) and the weekly Cyclovia mentioned in the previous section.

However, the cyclorutas are not nearly as extensive in the southern half of the

city. According to the current map shown, only three cyclorutas significantly

cross this study area with over 2.5 million people. Compared to the large

network of roads and highways, opportunities for cyclists to safely traverse this

part of the city are very few. Because vehicle ownership is statistically much

lower in the study area, many residents rely on public transportation, bicycles,

and walking to get around the city. Therefore, a network of bicycle routes should

be given even higher priority in this area where so many people rely on the








bicycle as a means of transportation (Fig. 5-4).

- A --. .- CCiclorutas


Figure 5-4, Existing Ciclorutas within the study area
1 ,1n J


Figure 5-5. Residents enjoy the urban forest in Parque Timiza









Aside from the transportation issue, providing opportunities for safe

access to nature, especially locomotion in nature have proven physical and

psychological benefits as well (Kaplan, 2002). Kaplan's research points to direct

benefits in having green spaces within the urban environment (Fig. 5-5). The

research suggests that access to nature can help people in urban situations

overcome economic and social disadvantage, foster a better sense of community,

and help people become more effective in managing life issues. (Kaplan, 2002,

pp. 8-9) All of these issues are relevant to the residents within the study area,

who suffer from a severe lack of natural settings within the urban megalopolis.

Urban Water Systems

The existing infrastructure for water within the study area varies from

informal drainage into the streams and rivers to piped curb and gutter

approaches. In most cases, the water is channelized to remove the water as

quickly as possible away from the streets, sidewalks, and buildings. However,

flooding in the savanna of Bogota remains a serious problem during the rainy

seasons. Many stream riverbeds have been replaced with concrete channels to

direct the flows of water. As a result, much of the drippings from cars, pet

excrement, and other chemicals from the city are dumped directly into the rivers

and streams of the city without treatment.

The local government's approach to dealing with urban water systems has

generally been one of "out of sight, out of mind". Problems only arise when the

system can't keep up with the amount of water or when, as in the case of the Rio

Tunjuelo, the contamination gets out of control. Such an engineered response









has been questioned in recent years as the disciplines of landscape architecture,

urban ecology, and urban design have offered an alternate solution. Instead of

hiding and ignoring our water systems, why not link them directly into our

streetscapes, making them a visible amenity allowing the water to be treated for

healthier water systems? Rather than being a part of the problem, the

opportunity now exists to turn our streetscapes into something that helps to

capture, cleanse, and infiltrate urban stormwater.

Case Studies

Innovative projects that incorporate living water systems into the urban

environment have been done over the past decade by Herbert Drieseitl, William

Wenk and Associates, SWA group and the DSW group. While each situation is

unique, I believe that many of the concepts presented in the subsequent case

studies can be applied to Bogota.


Kronsberg in Hanover, Germany Herbert Drieseitl

This project was undertaken as part

} of the World Expo 2000, and was part of

the development of an urban district of 130

I ...... hectares. Rather than piping stormwater


L -
.. . .. .



Figures 5-6. (above) Diagram of water treatment. and 5-7.
(below) Section of project (Source: Drieseitl, 2006)



i- --------


away, it created a series of stormwater

retention gardens that serve as a central

park space for residents while

cleansing water runoff. The plan




64









creates an amenity out of what would

otherwise have been piped away and

disregarded. The scale of the project is

uniquely urban, but allows residents some

green spaces for recreation and connection

with nature (Fig. 5-8). "The idea was that

not a drop of rainwater that fell on roofs,

roads, and squares would be taken into the

sewerage system (Drieseitl, 2005, p.

82)(Figs. 5-6 & 5-7)." The retention areas

are separated into chambers, which allow


the water to slow down and soak into the I I -, ',-W

ground (Fig. 5-9). During heavy flooding,
Figure 5-8. Master plan of stormwater
the chambers overflow to the next and treatment areas and adjacent
development. (Source: Drieseitl, 2006)
next, and the system uses a mixture of

natural and piped systems to convey the .

water. By capturing and dispersing the

water into detention areas, most of the

water is able to soak into the ground

rather than being piped into another water

body untreated. Using some of the
Figure 5-9. Stormwater Retention Areas
Source: (Drieseitl, 2006)
methods and ideas used in this project, a

similar approach to dealing with stormwater might be very successful in Bogota.


S.. .....
--- ` Ir









Estes Park, Colorado; Riverfront Restoration Project -Project by Design

Studios West of Denver and Heath Construction

This project located in Estes Park, Colorado tells the story of a town that

had turned its back on the river, and after decades of abuse, was able to restore

the river's function and create a powerful economic engine for the area (Fig. 5-

10). In response to a major flood event in 1982, the city decided that something

needed to be done with the river. Through what started as a series of

streetscape projects, the vision and plan for the river was able to eventually

create a promenade and series of public spaces to reconnect people to the river

(Fig. 5-11). Not only did the residents benefit from having what was once a












Figure 5-10. Rendering of the riverside Figure 5-11. Plan of community amphitheater
(Source:Landscape Architecture, April 2009) (Source: Landscape Architecture, April 2009)

hazard into an amenity, local business were able to cash in as well, creating

additional tax revenues that more than self-funded the project. By involving the

community in the design process, DSW was able to actively engage the public

and secure their support for the project. Most impressively, the city's investment

of $20million recaptured them over $50million in revenues from the project.

(DSW website, 2010) After a process of 25 years, the project has received









numerous awards, been featured

in Landscape Architecture

magazine, and been hailed as a

great success for this community

(Fig. 5-12).

Figure 5-12. View of the riverside.
s (Source: Landscape Architecture, April 2009)
Observations

As demonstrated in the previous two case studies, there are alternative

options for incorporating stormwater and river systems into the urban

environment. These two projects illustrate the possibilities for natural systems to

coexist in harmony with high density land use. When dealing with the street

scale, user groups and needs must be considered in order to formulate a

successful program. While it would be impossible to assume that a design

program can solve all of a community's problems, research and case studies

have shown that the role of nature and the environment can have positive effects

on urban populations. I believe that Bogota has a fantastic opportunity to deal

with both green and blue infrastructure in a manner that could both improve the

quality of life for residents and better deal with cleansing and reducing

stormwater runoff. With a better understanding of the issues faced at the street

level, I will set forth some new ideas for Bogota and strategies for the streets in

this part of the city.









CHAPTER 6
REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY


As discussed in chapter two, there are many factors affecting the Rio

Tunjuelo today. Urban stormwater runoff, alteration of the river's natural function

and ecology, and industrial pollution remain on the top of the list of contributors to

the problem. The river remains disconnected from the city that surrounds it, and

regular flooding remains a threat to its citizens. At the regional scale, this project

provides that some new policies and strategic planning can create an urban

greenway surrounding the river as a basis to reconnect the river to the city.

Analysis

This portion of the

analysis examines the

existing urban situation to

gain an understanding of the

structure and function of the

river. An aerial photo of

south Bogota reveal the J

dense urban situation
Figure 6-1. The River Tunjuelo within the study area.
around the lower basin of Source: Google Maps, 2010)

the river. In the lower portion of the image, the river is visible passing through

the area of mining and artificial lakes. The tributary of Quebrada de Chiguaza

joins the river on the right and Quebrada de Limas on the left. In the northwest

corner we see where the Rio Tunjuelo meets the Rio Bogota (Fig. 6-1).









Based upon a land use analysis, patterns of use and development along

the river corridor were revealed. In figure 6-2, I identify in purple the

concentrations of industrial lands along the belt. The mining areas are also

designated in purple, concentrated along the southwest part of the map. The

large green area in the

southeast corner of the map relates to the ecological Parque Entre Nubes (Park

Among the Clouds). This ecological park covers over 626 hectares of land and is

a district park under the supervision of the city of Bogota. The park is home to

many unique types of flora and fauna, sitting between several surrounding

ecotones. Currently, the park faces encroachment from illegal development, and

from 1989 to 1989, the park went from having 1400 hectares to only 626.

(Secretaria Ambiental, 2006) As such, the park faces continued pressure for


Land Use





















Figure 6-2. Land use within the study area.









further development and mining activities.

The Sectary of the Environment wants to see the continued protection of

the park, and the preservation of its unique characteristics. As such, the park

would provide a very strong connection for the creation of an urban greenway

that stretches from the high mountains through the city and into the agricultural

areas to the west of Bogota.



Creation of a Greenway

Along the Rio Tunjuelo, a minimum buffer of 60 meters (196 feet) is

designated on either side of the river (Guhl, 2009). However, in many areas,

there has been some serious developmental encroachment on either side as

observed during field visits. This presents an opportunity to create a large

greenway along the length of the Rio Tunjuelo that acts as an ecological corridor

through the city. Additional analysis of existing land use within the city reveals

that there is indeed a large amount of land that is public land, state-owned land,

protected land, existing parks, or urban land not developed immediately adjacent

to the river corridor (Figure 6-2). Using these lands as criteria for selection, the

city could then create a cross-city greenway centered on the Rio Tunjuelo. Given

the amount of available land to the city, it would appear to be quite feasible. The

designation of the river corridor as a protected urban greenway could have a

tremendous impact upon the currently degraded river system. The restoration of

the river could potentially make it harder for industries to continue their pollution.

The re-creation of the river's ecology would create new habitat for animals and









insects. Additionally, a large-scale project would capture public interest and

create local civic pride.

Connecting the Greenway to the City

Another positive benefit for adding a new greenway would be to provide

connectivity to existing green infrastructure within the city. By identifying other

existing parks adjacent to the river, the new proposed greenway would link

existing sites to create a much larger network, similar to Back Bay Fens in

Boston (Fig 6-3). The creation of this larger greenway could serve as the basis

for future creation of larger network within south Bogota (Fig. 6-4).

The connectivity offered by the Ciclorutas (Fig 6-6) could be readily

available. This new connection with existing infrastructure could serve as both a

greenway and a major pedestrian and bicyclist route within the city. This begins

to create a network centered on the river and connecting into the city. By adding

vegetation and improving the spaces immediately adjacent to the existing

Ciclorutas and Ciclovias, a green network begins to develop.

The next step would be to consider expanding the Cicloruta system to

offer better coverage within south Bogota. One method for achieving this would

be to connect existing paths along green boulevards along major roads within the

study area (Fig 6-7). This expanded network could tie the greenway into the city,

linking it to the surrounding neighborhoods and localities. Furthermore, it would

offer the residents easier access to the greenway, and lay the groundwork for

more green spaces at the street level (Fig. 6-8).









Potential Green Spaces


-,, h *- . -


So:.,,- -. .. ..
'___ .. ... ".. ., . . ,





Figure 6-3. Potential green spaces (Above). 6-4. Proposed greenway (Below).. .
USE ",, '# -.." .,:?, "^
-. ,E..- A ., .. ,'. <- ?


.RrrEC" TE u!,4 f.. S -. V ., ** '.- '
fai m ".'-E ', ,.r 1 i ." 'r. i '
..;', o **:'.-L- .: ." ,.'- -. + ?



"0 I )-"'" 't '" -





Figure 6-3. Potential green spaces (Above). 6-4. Proposed greenway (Below).
:-- ,, i. .. i ,_ ,-.


Proposed Greenway

. ., .
A ~ : V
.W. ...,.. ,WJ









-.]+: '1. ,_ ,











Ciclovia & Cicloruta


LEGEND
SRIC i CArJALE.
IlpRE DE E rTUIII:
SF1 'Sif
p OEliFSTIGCCI.O I aLd & ilO lUTA
PROFOSED ,0,lO\'nA & Ci .I'IHi t


0 750 1.0' i 3000 4 500 6.000 -

Figure 6-5. Existing Ciclovia and Ciclorutas (Above). Proposed network (Below).
Figure 6-5. Existing Ciclovia and Ciclorutas (Above). 6-6. Proposed network (Below).


Ciclovia & Cicloruta Network







































Figure 6-7. Proposed Ciclorutas (Above). 6-8. Proposed green network (Below).









Regulation of Industry

The mining industry has for the past half-century taken advantage of the

soils rich in clay and gravel naturally abundant in south Bogota. However, their

strip mining practices have left a less than desirable situation for the surrounding

environment. The most direct negative impact seen are the high levels of

sedimentation being mixed into the river. In terms of absolute pollution, the

mining industry is the first stop in the pollution of the river as the river makes its

way from the middle basin into the lower basin.

Current mining practices involve the removal and extraction of the

materials then the pits are abandoned and allowed to fill up with stormwater,

creating an artificial lake. No visible efforts have been made to reclaim the land

for any other usable purpose, nor has any vegetation been replanted to restore

the previous ecology as verified from aerial photos. The Rio Tunjuelo meanders

in and out of several of these lakes, adding to the sedimentation in the river.

Based upon field observations and aerial photos, there appears to be no

evidence for the mitigation of stormwater runoff with high concentrations of

sediment from mining areas into the river.

This provides context to consider recommendations for two major policy

changes in local (and federal) government to address the situation. The first will

deal with ongoing practices related to the mining operations and the second will

deal with the long-term treatment of the mines. This could include measures to

regulate the current mining practices to reduce the impact upon the river as the

mining is happening. The introduction of a protective buffer and its maintenance









on either side of the stream, planted with vegetation, and further protected with a

silt-fence could help reduce negative impacts. It could also help to reduce the

amount of sedimentation being washed into the river during rain events.

Stormwater management should be dealt with on-site, with proper retention

areas to capture and treat stormwater. Because each site is unique, a

professional familiar with techniques and processes related to mining reclamation

should be consulted for each area. My key recommendation proposes tougher

regulations and ways to enforce them. This has the potential to change the

manner in which the mining companies are doing their operations. Halting

polluting practices by mining companies are critical to restoring the river.

Secondly, I propose that a long-term strategy be developed that deals with

the reclamation of the land after the mines are exhausted. Great volumes of

information exist on methods and techniques available to reclaim surface mines

as documented by Dr. Jon Bryan Burley (2007). If left abandoned, strip mines

located in south Bogota have the liability of becoming derelict sites and a

perpetual source of contamination to the river. However, the opportunity exists

to reclaim the land for ecological and recreational purposes as proposed by

Orlando Campos, Landscape Architect in his POMCA proposal (Fig. 6-9). The

author agrees with his proposal, but would add that modification to and tougher

regulation of existing practices should be implemented to achieve a successful

restoration of the river. While it may not be realistic to assume that the mining

companies would be willing to pay for the complete ecological restoration of the




















.--- -._ -

Figure 6-9. Vision of reclaimed mining pits (Source: Campos, 2009)
sites, they should, at a minimum, be made to adopt non-polluting practices and

contribute to leaving more behind than an ecological disaster.

In keeping with tougher regulations, the leather processing industry is also

to blame for the severe contamination of the river. Stop two of the pollution train

lies in the district of San Benito, with the highest concentration of leather

processors discussed in the previous chapter. One of the challenges reported by

Andres Guhl is the fragmentation of the industry. "There was an initiative to try to

create an equificient [eco-friendly] facility for processing the leather goods. The

mayor's office developed an area that brought in a whole bunch of leather and

tanneries and places of this sort, but they still left a large amount of places still

along the river. They are forcing these people (within the initiative) to become

equificient and pay a little bit more in production costs but still the others, the

others that are not within this initiative, are still polluting. There are still many

industries pouring industrial oil and things of that sort directly into the river (Guhl,

2009)." Based upon this observation and site visits to the river, it is clear that









more must be done to regulate and enforce standards for disposal of industrial

chemicals in this area.

In this situation, a "stick and carrot" approach might prove effective. In

addition to tougher standards, fines for non-compliance could be the "stick"

portion. Tax breaks or even subsidies (the "carrot") for businesses that can show

they are not polluting could incentivize business into doing the right thing. Finally,

the city government should provide centralized collection service for toxic waste

for businesses. The reason many dump their chemicals into the river might

simply be that there is no other convenient place to dispose of their waste. By

providing accessible collection stations for oil, gas, or other chemicals, the city

may be able to prevent additional waste from going into the river.

Incentives for Business

One incentive is the creation of a new greenway using adjacent

undeveloped land along the. This may present an opportunity for the city to

stimulate economic growth in this area while promoting "green", non-polluting

businesses. One example of this might be to offer tax incentives to ecologically

friendly businesses. Additionally, further analysis of undeveloped parcels within

the study area could suggest specific areas for the development of economic

development zones. Because many of Bogota's businesses are individually

owned, and are home-based, these business models must also be included in

the consideration of economic development. Some specific ideas for the creation

of new community and economic opportunities will be explored in the following

chapter.









Summary of Strategies

To summarize, at the regional/metropolitan scale, a combination of

planning and policy are recommended to incorporate the following changes:

Creation of a cross-city greenway

By designating the Rio Tunjuelo as an ecological corridor and creating

protections for the floodplains, adjacent parks, and public lands, a central

backbone for the development of a green network in south Bogota would be

created. This could be relatively inexpensive to designate, as described in the

previous section. Furthermore, this could be based directly upon existing

legislation from Decree 316, where there is already support for the recuperation

of the river. The key difference is that the greenway would be physically tied to

existing ecological resources of Parque Entre Nubes, and would officially

designate the river corridor as a protected zone. Based upon these protections,

it would let industries know that the city is serious about cleaning up the river and

make it easier to enforce regulations aimed at stopping the pollution. While a

complete restoration of the river and the development of the greenway may take

decades to accomplish. This large, sweeping move would be a good first step in

changing the river.

Link the Greenway to the City

By utilizing the existing infrastructure of public transport and the ciclorutas,

an opportunity exists to stitch the greenway into the city and create a network of

public green spaces in south Bogota. The city should expand the network of the

ciclovias to promote connectivity and create green streets and boulevards that









join the larger system. Some specific ideas for creating green streets are

presented in Chapter 7.

Specific Policies

While regulation is considered problematic to some businesses, it has been

very effective in changing the policies and practices of industries to prevent

pollution in other parts of the world. Some major policies addressed include the

following:

1.) The creation of standards for the operation of mining industries operating

in south Bogota

2.) Regulations for the reclamation of exhausted strip mines.

3.) Regulations for leather processing industries and disposal of chemicals

4.) Standards and regulations for the post-mining condition

5.) Incentives for the development of green industries

Conclusions

The city must start by designating the lower basin of the river as an urban

greenway. Then, steps must be taken to link this greenway at the large scale to

the surrounding city. Until the sources of pollution are stopped, the river cannot

be restored. The adoption of these policies and plans at the large scale could

then set the stage for the subsequent strategies proposed in the following

chapters and provide the opportunity to reconnect the river at smaller scales of

concern.









CHAPTER 7
STRATEGIES FOR LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS


Localities and Neighborhoods

Each locality in south Bogota is unique, but each of the five localities within

the study share a common connection; the Rio Tunjuelo. With the adoption of a

unifying greenway discussed in the previous chapter, the question then becomes

how can these communities become connected and vested into this project?

One of the major problems discussed in chapter 3 was the disconnection of

these communities from the river. This section presents some specific ideas and

strategies for reconnecting the river to the surrounding communities and

businesses.

Linking the communities to the greenway

Due to the size of the study area which covers over 12 miles (20km) of the lower

river basin, creating an illustrative master plan for the entire river system would

not be feasible for the purposes of this project. Instead, this chapter of the

project explores connectivity

principles that could be applied to

many sites along the river corridor.

One example of this connectivity

will look at a neighborhood of

Nuevo Mizu in the Locality of

Tunjuelito (Fig. 7-1). This

neighborhood was developed in
Figure 7-1. Streetscape in Nuevo Mizu









the 1970's with the urbanization and development of that period. The land was

created by filling in a lake to create building lots, and the first residents had no

public utilities to depend on (Zambano,

2004, Pg. 178). The lake served as an

overflow area for the Rio Tunjuelo, but

because it was filled in, the

neighborhood is now in a flood risk

zone.

Along the south border of the

barrio is a drainage ditch, made

completely of concrete (Fig 7-2). The

ditch serves to drain that

neighborhood and two adjoining others.

Perpendicular to the ditch is an open

green area used for soccer, and is Figure 7-2 Concrete Channel in Nuevo Mizu

adjacent to a school. Another concrete ditch runs up into the middle street of the

neighborhood. These concrete ditches have the potential to become open green

and blue amenities for the neighborhood instead of an eyesore and hazard.

Furthermore, they could serve as part of the stormwater treatment from

neighborhoods before dumping this runoff directly into the River Tunjuelo.

Based on this, the individual streets could be part of a network for

detaining and reducing stormwater before it reaches the channel. The channel

itself should be restored to a more natural state, with meandering banks and










weirs or rocks to slow down the stormwater, allowing it to infiltrate the ground

before rushing into the Rio Tunjuelo. This potential network is illustrated in the

following diagrams (Figs. 7-3, 7-4, & 7-5).


Proposed Green Network


LEGEND
M ProposeO Network


Figure 7-3. The neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu and the River Tunjuelo


Tj'



























Figure 7-4. Existing Green and Blue Infrastructure (Above)
Figure 7-5. Proposed Green and Blue Infrastructure (Below)


Ecological Restoration and Wetlands

One key measure to be addressed in the design is the ecological

restoration and creation of wetland areas. With the intense urbanization









discussed in previous chapters, the Rio Tunjuelo has not only lost most of

its original ecology and habitat, but has also lost much of its ability to handle

stormwater during flood events. Research by Campbell and Ogden states,

"There has been a corresponding increase in constructed wetlands and their

potential to provide an effective, low-cost, natural method of removing pollutants

from both wastewater and stormwater (Campbell & Ogden, 1999, pg. v)." As

such, these proven benefits can be used both to treat stormwater runoff from

adjacent urban areas, provide buffer areas to handle surges of water during flood

events, as well as treat the existing polluted river conditions.

Extensive research by Alexandra Garzon with the Aqueducto de Bogota

specializes in exactly these types of wetlands restorations within the city (Fig. 7-

6). The precedent for wetlands restorations and created wetlands is already in

place, and can be applied to the larger framework of the greenway (Fig. 7-7).














Before After

Wetlands Restoration Project in the Locality of Kennedy Bogota, 2007
Photos Courtesy of Alexandra Garzon



Figure 7-6. Wetlands restoration in Bogota (Source: Garzon, 2007)

85











Promenade / Cyclorutas

An integral part of the entire green network would be the creation of linear

Ciclorutas and pedestrian paths parallel to the river (Fig. 7-7). Furthermore,

pedestrian bridges at key locations could help to link communities formerly

separated by the river. These pathways could also serve to dramatically

increase the connectivity between the limited ciclovias in south Bogota as well as

linking to hubs for public transport. The creation of such a promenade would

also help to reinforce the larger network of green infrastructure and offer better

access for residents to public green spaces.


Figure 7-7. Example of promenade including a Cicloruta and pedestrian pathway along
the Rio Salitre in in north Bogota









Community Nodes

At intervals along the greenway, it will become important to create community

"nodes" to stimulate activity and get people back to the river (Fig. 7-10). These

places are an important part of Bogota's social network and create opportunities

for informal markets, vendors, and socialization. These nodes can be as simple

as creating plazas at intersections, or more extensively by offering opportunities

for small business or entrepreneurs to set up shop. If people begin to take

ownership in their communities, they will be more likely to promote a healthy and

safe environment.


Community Nodes


Figure 7-8. Community nodes along the greenway









Recreation Opportunities


Opportunities for, ,

active recreation are needed

in every community. During .

site visits most often seen

were people participating in

active sports and recreation.

One very important part of

the suggested strategy is Figure 7-9 Residents enjoy an afternoon at Parque Timiza

the creation (and rejuvenation) of active recreation spaces (Fig. 7-8).

Opportunities for the incorporation of facilities for tennis, volleyball, soccer, and

basketball should be included (Fig. 7-9). Recreation centers along many parts of

the new greenway would also act as another type of community node. This also

provides for a mixture of active and passive recreation options.


Figure 7-10. Illustration of a hypothetical recreational area and its relationship
to the river









Security & Maintenance

One major consideration for these new parks will be the ongoing

maintenance, upkeep, and security needed to sustain a healthy environment.

One recommendation is to get community groups such as churches, schools,

and other social groups to "adopt a park" to take responsibility to periodically

clean and maintain sections of the greenway. By getting people actively involved

and taking ownership of the public spaces, there is a much better chance that the

parks will be cleaner and safer all around.

Regarding security, Jane Jacobs' concept of "Eyes on the street (Jacobs,

1961, pg. 56)" is very important to this project. By creating active community

spaces and nodes near the river, a viable and well-connected network for

pedestrians and bicyclists, and encouraging the development of businesses near

the river, there is a much better chance for ensuring a safe environment for

everyone.

In addition to citizen participation, the city should also commit the services

of their police and non-combat military to also regularly patrol the parks and

cyclorutas. These personnel are readily seen in other public areas of the city,

especially in the north. Finally, the adopted design should always permit space

for ambulances and fire trucks to service areas of the greenway and parks in

case of emergencies.

Vacant Parcels

Bogota uniquely has many large undeveloped parcels of land within the

metropolitan boundaries. Often these spaces act as a dumping ground for refuse









and are fenced off from the public (Fig. 7-10). These available space have

potential to be developed in a manner that will work in harmony with the

proposed green corridor. Some specific ideas include the creation of new types

of "green" industry for Bogota, and the development of a variety of housing

including provisions for low-income and displaced citizens. Some specific ideas

for what can be done with some of these parcels adjacent to the river are

explored here.


... I -,
jr -r

---F--~h


Figure 7-11. A vacant parcel covered in refuse in the industrial area of Atlanta.









Recycling Center

As previously stated, Bogota has no centralized recycling system. Most of the

city's physical waste is hauled off to the landfill Doia Juana, south of Bogota.

The landfill is projected to have only 6 years left until reaching capacity (El

Tiempo, May 2009). Currently, it is estimated that Bogota produces 8,500 tons

of solid waste every day, and one third of that is material that could be recycled,

such as glass, cardboard, and metals (Tareaescolar, 2010). This does not take

into account the organic materials that could also potentially be sorted and

composted for fertilizer. One progressive system that Bogota has employed is

the reclamation of methane gasses from the landfill for use in supporting the

city's energy needs. However, their efficiency could be greatly improved if a

central recycling system could be employed.

Bogota has borrowed several urban design components from Curitiba,

Brazil, such as the Transmilenio bus system and Pico y Placa. For recycling,

there is another unique system from Curitiba that could be applied to Bogota as

well. There are, "79 exchange centers that the municipality of Curitiba has

established in communities where the streets are too narrow or too bumpy for

large garbage trucks to circulate. Instead, people can carry their trash to biweekly

collection sites and trade four pounds of garbage for one pound of vegetables.

Mostly they bring plastic, paper and cardboard. At another site, run by the

community council, more valuable aluminum cans are collected in return for

money, and at yet another, organic material is traded for bus tokens (Lubow,

2007, pg.3)." This brilliant system could easily be applied to Bogota, if only a









centralized recycling processing center could be established. There is already

the social structure of "Recicladores" or persons who sort through the garbage

for food or items of value to resell on the streets on the weekend markets. These

individuals generally are living "hand to mouth", and have no centralized

organization. However, there is the National Association of Recyclers

(www.anr.orq.co) dedicated to "The establishment, recognition, and dignification

of Recicladores (ANR, 2009)." By using the existing social structure the potential

to create a new economic engine for the community, a new centralized recycling

center for Bogota is recommended. If the majority of the city's garbage were

processed and sorted, a very large percentage could be separated for reuse (Fig.

7-11). Uniquely tied to this will be the opportunities for employment for

underprivileged individuals in collecting and sorting the recyclables. An

additional opportunity is created for users to resell the still-viable products

collected from the waste. Overall, this proposal could create a solution for

several social and physical problems within south Bogota.


Figure 7-12. Diagram of a recycling processing center









New Housing

Ciudad Bolivar has some of the highest poverty rates in Bogota. Many

underprivileged persons are living in less than ideal conditions. Likewise, there is

currently no specific housing program for desplazados. Providing some

subsidized housing for them could provide measured success in getting some of

these people out of tents and shacks. While subsidized housing may not be a

permanent solution for these people, it could serve as a halfway point for many

people to get on their feet, get established, and receive some job training or get

employment in something that they are qualified for, such as farming or sorting

recycling. The idea is to have a structure that will provide a mixture of housing

options for middle and lower-income housing all mixed together. Community

nodes and spaces for small business should also be provided to allow for a

blending within the community.

Urban Farming and Market

Another strategy that could be employed in this area is to produce

agriculture in currently unused plots of land. Many of the desplazados have a

background in farming, and their skill sets would lend favorably to working in a

productive agricultural area. Organic material from the recycling center could be

composted and used to grow fruits and vegetables. Bogota's soils are generally

very rich with clay and sediment deposits, and most of the area of Ciudad Bolivar

was active agricultural land during the turn of the century. Not only would this

provide a green industry for the area, but the produce could be traded to the

recicladores in exchange for recyclable materials. Additional produce could be









sold at a central market space, alongside other goods salvaged from the

recycling operations (Fig. 7-15). In this model, a synergy is created between the

people who live in the housing, work in the fields, and work in the recycling

operations. Profits from the recycling could be used to subsidize the housing and

agriculture, and provide a living for thousands of individuals in this area.


Figure 7-13. Example of a street market in Bogota


Summary of Strategies

At this scale, some new ideas for creating economic industry and

sustainable living are explored. The emphasis here is to create opportunities for









community development and creating economic engines that can help improve

environmental quality in the river basin at the community scale.

By developing the infrastructure to process recycling for the city,

opportunities for urban agriculture, and mixed housing types, it lays the

foundation for creating a larger framework connected to the urban greenway.

The project takes land that is currently not being used and develops some new

opportunities for community development. While any of these elements could be

used at other places along the river, this model provides some additional ideas

for how these spaces could be implemented and developed at the neighborhood

and locality scale (Fig. 7-16). The main points here are the creation of the

following:

1.) Spaces for Stormwater and Wetlands Use nature to cleanse

2.) Places for Ecological Education Community Education

3.) Community Nodes along the Greenway Build Neighboring

4.) Promenade and Ciclorutas Connectivity and Safety

5.) Space for Recreation Improve and Expand

6.) Security and Maintenance Involve the community, eyes on the street

7.) New Housing Mixed incomes and types

8.) Centralized Recycling Program Create Employment

9.) Urban Agriculture Feed the community









































Figure 7-14. Example of a successful neighborhood park in Kennedy









CHAPTER 8
BRINGING GREEN AND BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE STREETS

This final chapter looks at some specific strategies for retrofitting green and

blue infrastructure into south Bogota's streets. The focus is on creating better

environments at the human and pedestrian scale. This will be done through

street improvements, utilization of underused and undeveloped urban patches,

and the adoption of urban agriculture within the study area.

Creating Green and Blue Streets

As discussed in Chapter 4, the street conditions in south Bogota are

hazardous, uncoordinated, disjointed, and visually unsightly. Because of the

nature in which these areas were developed, no cohesive master plan for

streetscapes and sidewalks has yet been implemented. To better understand

what the average streetscape is like for a pedestrian, refer to the following

photographs taken at different places throughout the study area (Figs. 8-

1,2,3,4,5). These serve as the basis for the subsequent recommendations.

.-r.


Figure 8-1. Unpaved sidewalk acting as store frontage in Ciudad Bolivar

97













































Figure 8-2. Haphazard sidewalk conditions in Tunjuelito







N*' \


Figure 8-3. Bus stop in Ciudad Bolivar with no sidewalk or bus shelter












Figure 8-4. Sidewalk in Kennedy, with no street trees and minimal vegetation


Figure 8-5. Dirt sidewalk in Ciudad Bolivar


I




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Reconectando el Rio Tunjuelo; Reconnecting the River Tunjuelo By BENJAMIN JOSEPH HIMSCHOOT A THESIS PROJECT PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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1 © 2010 Benjamin Himschoot

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2 To Popochin and Niffer

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3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I thank my parents for their continued love and support of my educational career. A special thanks to my committee and mentors, Mary Padua and Tina Gurucharri for their guidance and unyielding commitment to helping me learn and grow as a landscape architect, and also to Andres Blanco from UF department of Urban and Regional Planning who acted as a special advisor to my project, and connected me with many key people in Bogotá. I would also like to thank all those who played a supporting role in helping me to research and develop my thesis in Bogotá; Andres Guhl and Jorge Sefair at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Fabio Zambrano and Orlando Campos at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Alexandra Garzon of the Aqueducto de Bogotá, Elizabeth Valenzuela with the Secretaria Ambiental, and Liliana Ospina with the Instituto de Deporte y Recreacion of Bogotá. Their contributions enabled me to truly explore and better understand Bogotá and the Rio Tunjuelo. A special thanks to Chuck and Sandra Wagner for their unflagging support and encouragement. I also thank Meredith Leigh for her emotional and technical support in compiling my work. Finally, I thank Fabiany Herrera; my partner, friend, and stabilizing force through the entire process and without whom I would not have had the opportunity to experience Colombia.

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4TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â… 3 LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….5 ABSTRACT Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…9 INTRODUCTIONÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…....Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 10 CHAPTER 1 PROJECT HISTORY AND CONTEXT Â…..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…12 2 METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH ..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…..23 3 REGIONAL ISSUES Â….Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….25 4 LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS .Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…46 5 THE STREET SCALE Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…58 6 REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…68 7 STRATEGIES FOR LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS ..Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…...81 8 BRINGING GREEN AND BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE STREETS Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…...97 9 CONCLUSIONS Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…...Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…107 APPENDIX LIST OF REFERENCES Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…110 INTERVIEWSÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 116

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5LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Item Page Figure 1-1 General map of Colombia ………………………………………… 12 Figure 1-2 Relationship between Bogotá and the Andes Mountains …….. 13 Figure 1-3 Illegal development and contamination of the River Tunjuelo ... 15 Figure 1-4 The localities of Bogotá ……………………………………………... 16 Figure 1-5 Areas with risk of flooding ………………………………………… 17 Figure 1-6 Murky waters of the Rio Tunjuelo ………………………………… 18 Figure 3-1 General map of Bogotá ……………………………………………. 25 Figure 3-2 The eastern mountains marking the edge of Bogotá …………… 26 Figure 3-3 The five major rivers of Bogotá …………………………………… 27 Figure 3-4 The geomorphology of the River Tunjuelo ……………………… 28 Figure 3-5 Dichotomy of the city’s physical structure ………………………. 30 Figure 3-6 Residents participat ing in the Ciclovia …………………………… 31 Figure 3-7 Map of the Ciclovia ………………………………………………… 32 Figure 3-8 Example of a Ciclor uta in a road median ………………………... 33 Figure 3-9 Desplazados in Nuevo Mizu ………………………………………. 34 Figure 3-10 Pollution mixing into the River Tunjuelo ..................................... 37 Figure 3-11 Untreated mining pi ts in south Bogotá …………………………… 39 Figure 3-12 POMCA vision of the restored river ……………………………….. 42 Figure 4-1 Bogotá’s localities and study area ………………………………… 46 Figure 4-2 Garbage heaped along roadside ……………………………………47 Table 4-3 Types of public parks in Bogotá …………………………………… 48

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6 Figure 4-4 Existing parks in south Bogotá …………………………………….. 49 Figure 4-5 Open expanses typica l of Parque El Tunal ……………………. 49 Figure 4-6 View of the lake at Parque Timiza ……………………………… 50 Figure 4-7 Jardines del Apogeo as public green space …………………... 51 Figure 4-8 Open mining pits and the military base beyond ………………. 52 Figure 4-9 Typical streetscape in Ciudad Bolivar ………………………….. 53 Figure 4-10 Existing Ciclorutas in the study area …………………………… 55 Figure 4-11 Transmilenio service within the study area ……………………. 55 Figure 5-1 Road and sidewalk conditions in Ciudad Bolivar ……………… 58 Figure 5-2 An “Estrella negra” on one of Bogotá’s roads …………………. 59 Figure 5-3 Unpaved sidewalks in Ciudad Bolivar ………………………….. 60 Figure 5-4 Existing Ciclorutas within the study area ………………………. 62 Figure 5-5 Residents enjoy the urban forest in Parque Timiza …………… 62 Figure 5-6 Diagram of water treatment ……………………………………… 64 Figure 5-7 Section of project …………………………………………………. 64 Figure 5-8 Master plan of stormwater treatment areas and adjacent development ……………………………….. 65 Figure 5-9 Stormwater retention areas…………………………………..……... 65 Figure 5-10 Rendering of the riverside ………………………………………... 66 Figure 5-11 Plan of the co mmunity amphit heater ……………………………. 66 Figure 5-12 View of the riverside ………………………………………………. 67 Figure 6-1 The River Tunjuelo within the study area ……………………….. 68 Figure 6-2 Land use within the study area …………………………………… 69 Figure 6-3 Potential green spaces ……………………………………………. 72

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7 Figure 6-4 Proposed greenway ………………………………………………... 72 Figure 6-5 Greenway and Transmilenio ……………………………………… 73 Figure 6-6 Existing Ciclorutas …………………………………………………. 73 Figure 6-7 Proposed Ciclorutas and Transmilenio …………………………... 74 Figure 6-8 Proposed gr een netwo rk …………………………………………… 74 Figure 6-9 Vision of reclaimed mining pits ……………………………………. 77 Figure 7-1 Streetscape in Nuevo Mizu ………………………………………… 81 Figure 7-2 Concrete channel in Nuevo Mizu …………………………………. 82 Figure 7-3 The neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu and the River Tunjuelo …...... 83 Figure 7-4 Existing green and bl ue infrastructure ……………………………. 84 Figure 7-5 Proposed green and blue infrastructure …………………………... 84 Figure 7-6 Wetlands restoration in Bogotá ……………………………………..85 Figure 7-7 Example of a promenade including a Cicloruta and pedestrian pathway along the Rio Salitre in north Bogotá ……… 86 Figure 7-8 Community nodes al ong the gre enway …………………………….87 Figure 7-9 Residents enjoy an afte rnoon at Parque Timiza …………………. 88 Figure 7-10 Illustraton of a hypothetical recreational area and its relationship to the river ………………………………. 88 Figure 7-11 A vacant parcel covered in refuse in the industrial area of Atlanta …………………………….. 90 Figure 7-12 Diagram of a recycle processing center …………………………... 92 Figure 7-13 Example of a street market in Bogotá ……………………………..94 Figure 7-14 Example of a successful neighborhood park in Kennedy ………..96 Figure 8-1 Unpaved Sidewalk acting as store frontage in Ciudad Bolivar…97 Figure 8-2 Haphazard sidewalk c onditions in Tunjuelo ……………………….98

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8 Figure 8-3 Bus stop in Ciudad Bolivar with no sidewalk or bus shelter Â…Â…98 Figure 8-4 Sidewalk in Kennedy with no street trees & minimal vegetation Â…99 Figure 8-5 Dirt sidewalk in Ciudad Bolivar Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….99 Figure 8-6 Urban garden in a curbside bulb-out in Gainesville, Florida Â…Â…100 Figure 8-7 A family participating in urban agriculture Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 101 Figure 8-8 Curb cut-out in Portland, Oregon Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…. 103 Figure 8-9 Diagram of curbside plantings and water retention Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 103 Figure 8-10 Existing and proposed perspective of a typical street Â…Â…Â…Â…. 105 Figure 8-11 Incorporating curb cut-outs for fruit trees and vegetable gardeningÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….. 105 Figure 9-1 Children playing soccer in a community park Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â….....109

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9 Abstract of Thesis Project Presented to the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Landscape Architecture RECONECTANDO EL RIO TUNJUELO: RECONNECTING THE RIVER TUNJUELO By Benjamin Himschoot May of 2010 Chair: Mary Padua Cochair: Maria “Tina” Gurucharri Major: Landscape Architecture The Río Tunjuelo in Bogotá, Colombia is one of the most contaminated rivers in the country. A combination of sedimentation from mining added to urban runoff and industrial toxic pollution have seriously degraded the quality of this river. This project is concerned primarily with the restoration of the river and its reconnection to the surrounding city. The project looks at the urban portion of the river basin across three different scales: 1.) the regional and metropolitan scale; 2.) neighborhoods and communities; and 3.) at the street and pedestrian scale. Through comprehensive analysis, issues and opportunities at each scale were explored and create the foundation for specific strategies aimed at retrofitting green and blue infrastructure within the city. New strategies for the river are presented at each of the three scales: 1.) the creation of an urban greenway along the river corridor that connects with the larger fabric of the city’ 2.) the creation of new links that connect communities to the river; and 3.) retrofitting green and blue infrastructure at the street level. The overarching vision is the creation of a network of streets, parks, and public spaces that work in harmony with the River Tunjuelo.

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10 INTRODUCTION This first chapter of this thesis introduces the major issues and opportunities related to the river system and surrounding communities. By exploring the underlying issues surrounding the river, the author lays the foundation for the analysis and strategies presented in later chapters. The methodology used for studying the river and creating the subsequent strategies is presented in the second chapter. Chapters three through five explore the specific issues and opportunities related to the lower basin of the River Tunjuelo across the three specific scales. Chapter three explores the regional setting of Bogotá, investigating the physical, cultural, and political aspects pertaining to the study area. An exploration of these issues illustrates the complexity of the situation, and creates the framework for subsequent strategies presented in this thesis project. Chapter four explores the issues faced at the locality and neighborhood scale, and offers some observations for the improvement of public spaces, land use, and infrastructure of green spaces. It explores some of the key issues and challenges facing the localities and neighborhoods along the River Tunjuelo’s urban basin. While there are too many individual areas to address all of them, this portion will seek to uncover common problems relating to the river, and the communities that surround it. Chapter five examines issues related to the streets and open spaces of south Bogotá, user needs, urban water systems, and explores several case studies.

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11 This section lays the foundation for the strategies presented in the final section of this thesis. In the previous chapters, this project explores the issues and opportunities for the study area across three different scales. The final four chapters focuses on specific strategies and concepts that can be applied at each scale. At the metropolitan scale, the focus is on urban planning and policy. For localities and neighborhoods, strategies for the physical, economic, and social reconnection to the river are explored. At the street scale, strategies for retrofitting green and blue infrastructure are explored, as well as creating nodes and gateways to connect users to the larger greenway. Finally, safety for pedestrians and cyclists is explored. Conclusions and recommendations are offered for each scale of concern.

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12 CHAPTER 1 PROJECT HISTORY AND CONTEXT Every major city in the world has at one time or another struggled with balancing the issue of water quality and quantity versus the needs of the urban residents, especially cities that originated along rivers. Bogotá, Colombia is no exception. The city has grown in leaps and bounds from a population of around 100,000 at the turn of the 20th century to over 700,000 in 1950 and over 8 million inhabitants today (Zambrano, 2004)( Fig. 1-1). This enormous growth has come at a huge cost to the environment and quality of life for its inhabitants, an important issue that will be explored in this thesis. Furthermore, the illegal development that was observed during this study has left many residents of areas in south Bogotá with inadequate open green spaces. This problem was verified by Fabio Zambrano, historian and professor and Andres Guhl, professor of ecological development in Bogotá. Current efforts to improve water quality in the city’s rivers have been very slow in forthcoming, but there is some hope in that things might be turning around (Guhl, 2009). Figure 1-1. General Map of Colombia (Source: Google Maps, 2010)

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13 Figure 1-2. Bogotá and the Andes Mountains (Source: Google Maps, 2010) Bogotá, Colombia is a dramatically sited city that is in a major floodplain of the Andean Mountain Chain in South America; and it is situated at an elevation of over 8,500 feet altitude (Fig. 1-2). Originally a native Indian town, the Spanish conquistadors established a colony there in 1538, and laid out the town according to the Laws of the Indies1. The city thrived due to its rich soils in the broad, flat floodplain, and became the capital of Gran Colombia which included Venezuela, Panamá, Ecuador, and Colombia upon gaining independence from Spain. The 20th century marked the real beginning of intense urbanization for Bogotá. It transformed from an agrarian area, dominated by coffee plantations to the modern city we see today (Del Castillo, 2003). As the city’s population grew, so did its demand for clean water, land to build on, and materials for construction. By the late 1930’s, the development of a new dam in the upstream portion of the River Tunjuelo showed promise to supply the city with clean drinking water for decades to come (Osorio, 2007, pg.47). The development of the road for the construction of the dam, along with the development of mining pits south of the city to extract clay and gravel for the construction of roads, houses, bricks, and tile created an opportunity for new neighborhoods and informal settlements to

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14 spring up in the southern area outside the city (Zambrano, 2003). These settlements began to play an important role in the future of the River Tunjuelo as the area around the river changed from agrarian to industrial and residential. At the beginning, residents became dependent on the river for their water supply. Osorio gives the reason for this dependence: “The construction of the urban habitat for the most part and especially in these sectors was done in an illegal (pirated) way; with the approval of the landowner, but without the planning and infrastructure (public services) that should have been managed by the District Administration (Osorio, 2007, pg.53).” Without an institutional administration to manage the distribution of water, people tended to locate near the river so that they had easy access to draw much of their water for everyday use. Eventually, these neighborhoods were grouped together to form the locality of Tunjuelito (little Tunjuelo) which was eventually incorporated into the metropolitan area of Bogotá and retrofitted with public services. However, because many parts of this area were not properly developed under the city’s master plan, public works such as green space, utilities, stormwater and roads were not addressed from the outset and are still lacking in quality to this day (Zambrano, 2009). A similar development pattern was seen in the localities of Bosa, Ciudad Bolivar, and Kennedy. The rapid expansion in this area of the city coupled with the construction of the dam and mining pits began the ultimate degradation of the river that is hightly visible today. The locality of Tunjuelito is but one example of many similar stories of growth and development in this area of the city. This thesis project explores some of the major issues now surrounding this river basin

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15 and proposes strategies to retrofit the green and blue infrastructure (to be explained in a later section) in this area of the city. Major Issues During the course of the literature review, several major issues related to the river basin were uncovered (Fig 1-3). These findings were confirmed with an analysis of existing conditions and verified through interviews conducted with Elizabeth Valenzuela with the Department of the Environment in Bogotá and Alexandra Garzon, specialist in wetlands restoration with the Aqueducto (Water supply and management) of Bogotá. Each issue is of great significance both for short and long term health and recovery of the river and especially for the citizens living in the study area. Lack of Green Space The urban areas surrounding the River Tunjuelo in South Bogotá are amongst the poorest neighborhoods in the city. The city is divided into “Localidades” or localities, which are then subdivided into “Barrios” or neighborhoods (Fig. 1-4). The major localities surrounding the urban portion of the river are Tunjuelito, Usme, Kennedy, Bosa, and Ciudad Bolivar. Combined, these areas carry a population of over 2.5 Million people (DAPD, 2002, pg. 55), but have the lowest ratios of green space per inhabitant in the city. For example, Figure 1-3. Illegal development and contamination of the River Tunjuelo

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16 the district of Ciudad Bolivar in the southern part of the city has a meager 1.94 square meters of park space per person, compared to the rich district of Barrios Unidos in the north with over 10.13 square meters per person (DAPD, 2002, pg.55). By comparison, other major international cities such as Buenos Aires hold approximately 18m2/person, and London over 20m2/person. What little green areas exist in this are often in poor repair, overused, and suffer from vandalism. Other major issues in these areas that were found during my field work include poorly developed infrastructure. Many areas still have unpaved or under maintained roads, while others have limited basic utilities such as electricity and water. Due to the area’s dense population, the only public spaces available are the roads and sidewalks between the buildings that serve as part of the social fabric of the city. Little vegetation Figure 1-4. The localities of Bogotá

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17 exists and the area is quite barren and devoid of trees; both in the streetscapes but also in many of the parks. The areaÂ’s largest park El Tunal, covering over 70 acres, is a huge open space with various programmed elements, but also lacking mature trees. Flooding Perhaps the most serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare in the area is flooding in the River Tunjuelo. Intense urbanization of the river basin has drastically changed the ability of the river to self-regulate water flows during storm events; the results are often serious flooding in neighborhoods adjacent to the river (Fig. 1-5). Many of these areas were developed illegally and were Fi g ure 1-5. Areas with hi g h risk of floodin g

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18 created by filling in former wetlands or built in unsuitable areas. The river poses not only safety risk but also serious health problems within the community. There are high reports of respiratory and gastric problems with residents living near the river (Osorio, 2007). The government has tried to educate residents about the inherent risks of living near the river, but many residents are so poor that they have no other option than to continue living in the danger zones. Compounding the issues are the cityÂ’s current stormwater management practices. This involves conventional practices where most stormwater is channeled into concrete gutters or pipes in an effort to rapidly clear the water from an area. Stormwater drainage pipes are visible along many portions of the river, redirecting urban runoff via pipes directly into the river without treatment. The impact during a storm event is that the water is rapidly concentrated and flows overland into the streams and rivers, typically causing flooding in low-lying areas. The local response to this issue has been conventional flood control practices including expanding the channelization of the river and building high berms alongside many areas of the river. These engineering practices have further exacerbated the problem. More concrete channels and dams mean less water percolation into the ground. Pollution and Water Quality In addition to the problems of water quantity and stormwater flows, Figure 1-6. Murky waters of the Rio Tunjuelo

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19 perhaps the most critical is the issue of water quality. Today the river stands as a silent witness to the abuse and urbanization that has destroyed it (Fig 1-6). During my field investigations, I experienced firsthand the vile and acrid odor of filth and degradation. The color is almost completely black, and trash is prominently visible floating in and piled near it. The river is a vile and toxic soup, swirling in hues of black and brown, loaded with sediment and contaminants. It serves as a dumping ground for both personal and industrial waste, a discussion that will be covered in a later chapter. As a result, the river’s degradation appears to be an indefinite activity. This thesis project proposes to change this pattern of degradation. Bogotá’s Natural Systems Crucial to the health and welfare to any city are its natural systems. However, the explosive growth resulting from the industrial revolution has completely changed how urban environments respond and interact with natural systems. Before urbanization and the development of urban areas, land existed in a natural state, with its own ecosystem, life cycles, habitats, and hydrology. As generally recorded, human settlements and civilizations have had an impact on nature. Most sought to dominate and control nature for human good, molding and sculpting the land and creating cities in which to live. Overnight (in geological time), entire ecosystems have been rearranged, and in many cases wiped out, to accommodate the explosive population of mankind over the past two centuries. Now, many professionals in the fields of planning and landscape architecture are looking for ways to make our cities more in harmony with the natural systems

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20 that flow through and around them. Following the theories espoused by James Corner in Landscape Urbanism Reader , my thesis project proposes to incorporate innovative green and blue infrastructure interventions new for Tunjuelito. (Corner,2006, pp. 22-33) My goal is to reinvent the river Tunjuelo into a green network that serves both human and natural ecosystems. Because the river is so dramatically altered from its original ecology and function, a complete “restoration” back to the original state is nearly impossible. Fortunately, the river is not completely channelized yet, and many opportunities exist to create an urban waterway that more nearly resembles a natural system. Green and Blue Infrastructure Green Infrastructure For this thesis project, green infrastructure follows the theory and practice of Benedict and McMahon. They define green infrastructure as, “An interconnected network of natural areas and other open spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clean air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife.” (Benedict & McMahon, 2006, Pg.1) The project builds from their definition where Green infrastructure is interpreted to include street trees, parks, gardens, riparian buffers, wetlands, trails, or natural preserves. It may in clude green roofs or green walls, drainage swales, and agricultural zones. It can be self-contained, part of a grid or network, or woven together with other urban elements. Green infrastructure is often found physically related to blue infrastructure in some way or form, but for this investigation it does not necessarily have a mutually dependant relationship.

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21 In Tunjuelito and surrounding area, a green infrastructure system has the potential to improve urban ecology, as well as create a positive impact on local economic and health related issues. Research has shown that, “The psychological benefits made possible by the urban forest are pervasive and farreaching. They range from simple enjoyment to enhancing the quality of life to what could only be described as life-chang ing impacts.” (Kaplan, 2002, pg.10) The communities within the study area who reside in this urban setting can enjoy the relief of having green spaces within the city, a welcome respite from its current situation. In the United States of America, Frederick Law Olmsted, father of landscape architecture once said, “If we analyze the operations of scenes of beauty upon the mind, and consider the intimate relation of the mind upon the nervous system and the whole physical ec onomy, the action and reaction which constantly occur between bodily and mental conditions, the reinvigoration which results from such scenes is readily comprehended. . . The enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system (Olmsted, 1865).” This thesis project intends to propose a master plan that will follow Olmsted’s design philosophy. Blue Infrastructure Every city needs water to survive and Bogotá is no exception in this regard. In dealing with issues of water supply and disposal of wastewater and

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22 stormwater, local institutions and city populations have tended to rely on conventional engineering solutions that have ignored the greater environmental impacts. It is widely accepted that the evolution of industry and resulting urbanization have inadvertently degraded many of our planet’s water systems. In many cases worldwide, rivers have been disconnected from city life and some have been viewed as a threat or nuisance. “Now water is one of the key questions as far as the future of our worl d is concerned, as we have recognized that naturally available water supplies are finite, pollution is always just around the corner, and we are aware that water plays a complex role in the stability of ecosystems (Dreiseitl, 2005, pg. 42).” This thesis project seeks to define a long term plan that is sensitive to natural river systems and water issues. For purposes of this project, blue infrastructure will refer to anything dealing with water supply, quality, or quantity. This may include stormwater drainage, river systems, wetlands, sewers, and water supply. Every drop of water that falls on a city must go somewhere, and a strategy will be proposed for the study area that can improve the current situation. New methods for dealing with our water systems have shown that it is indeed possible to have a healthy and thriving ecosystem working in tandem with an urban environment. Some of these methods and strategies will be explored in this thesis project across several spatial scales.

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23 CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH This research is qualitative and investigates innovative methods and contemporary practices for green and blue in frastructure. This work does not rely specifically on gathering empirical data, nor does it seek to prove or disprove any scientific fact. It is intended to build on and expand from existing landscape architecture and infrastructure planning research that deals with green and blue infrastructure in urban areas. This thesis project goal is to develop a series of strategies that address the problems of water quality, pollution, and lack of public green space in some of the poorest areas of south Bogotá, Colombia. This thesis project entailed various research tasks. The initial research task was exploratory where secondary research and field research defined the scope and breadth of the issues surrounding the lower basin of the River Tunjuelo. Another aspect of the secondary research involved a focused review and analysis of existing literature that related to urban ecology, river restorations, and blue and green infrastructure. This work helped to develop meaningful strategies for Tunjuelito that can be applied across several scales of concern. The primary research question for this thesis project is, “How can green and blue infrastructure be retrofitted in existing urban areas of south Bogotá across three different scales?” The research for this project began early in 2009, when I was made aware of the River Tunjuelo system in the south region of Bogotá. Some more in-depth research revealed that the river was seriously degraded and the residents of the

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24 surrounding areas had very limited access to open green space. The methods used to collect information and data for this project involved applying a variety of techniques to gain a holistic overview of the situation in Bogotá. This included: Large-scale regional analysis. An in depth review of current policies and laws affecting the river basin, using both literature reviews and interviews with officials and educators in Bogotá. Field studies, interviews and preliminary findings: Two and a half months were spent in Bogotá over the summer of 2009 collecting data, conducting field observations, documenting site conditions, and conducting informal interviews. Eight experts were interviewed ranging from the disciplines of historical research, engineering, landscape architecture, urban planning, ecological research, and city administration in Bogotá. I learned that existing research conducted by many different parties, including the Aqueducto of Bogotá, University of the Andes, National University, and Secretary of the Environment on the river Tunjuelo confirm that the river is in terrible condition and needs to be cleaned up. The questions of how and in what capacity are aspects that are fundamental to the primary research question. Both the user needs and long-term effects for design and planning recommendations are examined. At each of these scales, key issues are explored, observations made, and strategies for incorporating green and blue infrastructure are developed.

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25 CHAPTER 3 REGIONAL ISSUES Regional Setting Home to over 8 million inhabitants, Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and home to the country’s seat of government (Fig.3-1). Changes in policy in 1988 allowed the city’s mayor to be freely elected rather than appointed, which led to a series of reforms within the city. Sweeping changes were achieved during 1995-2003 under the direction and leadership of mayors Mocuks and Peñalosa, who effectively helped to reduce the crime rate, improve traffic congestion, implement a new centralized public transportation system, and reclaim public open space for the citizens. (Berney, 2008) Today Bogotá is a vibrant and robust city, very different from the chaotic and unsafe place during the drug wars of the 1980’s (Berney, 2008). However, some key differences still exist between the north and south regions of the city. Figure 3-1. General map of Bogotá

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26 The north remains the wealthy, well organized, and clean with ample amounts of park and open space. In stark contrast, many areas in the south are still struggling to combat crime, poverty, and are severely lacking in public green space. Physical Structure Bogotá is a dynamic city, which continues to grow every day. It has areas that are very clearly organized on a grid pattern and others that have a more organic form. Architectural styles range from two storey simple buildings to skyscrapers of over 60 stories. One common element used throughout the city is the extensive use of red brick, due to the readily available clay in the region. Topography Bogotá, is situated on a plateau which lies in the floodplains of the central Andes of Colombia. At an elevation of over 8,500 feet the city enjoys relative year-round temperature stability, with two “wet” seasons and two “dry” seasons annually. The city is relatively very flat, bordered immediately to the east by range of tall mountains known as the “cierros orientales” or eastern mountains (Fig 3-2). The city was originally developed at the foot of these mountains and grew for over 400 years to the North, West, and South out into the floodplains. The rich soils support a host of agricultural industries even today. Figure 3-2. The eastern mountains marking the edge of Bogotá

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27 Hydrology The floodplain is host to four major rivers; the Torca, Salitre, Fucha, and Tunjuelo, each of which are a tributary of the Rio Bogotá (Fig. 3-3). The headwaters for each of these rivers are formed in the mountains to the East and South of the city, and are part of the city’s water supply system. The Rio Bogotá flows northward passing through the city, and eventually drops off the Savannah at the Tequendama Falls. It then follows a steep course, falling about 2,000 meters in 50 km, to join the Magdalena River which eventually flows into the Caribbean Ocean (Wikipedia, 2010). The Tunjuelo river system begins high in the mountains to the south of the city in the paramount of Sumapaz, flows through the middle basin in the lower mountain regions, and the lower basin sits in the floodplain of the savanna before joining the River Bogota to the West (Fig. 3-4). The River was originally partially navigable and had a varied landscape of Alder Trees, scrublands, deer, rabbits, and birds. Figure 3-3. The five major rivers of Bogotá; (Source: Aqueducto de Bogotá, 2007)

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28 During the first half of the 1900’s, it was a tourist destination for the upper class citizens of Bogota for picnicking, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and canoeing (Zambrano, 2003). Numerous wetlands also served as a resting place for migratory birds, and were home to water birds, fish, insects, amphibians, and reptiles (Osorio, 2007). As the city developed, in the first decade of the 1900’s, there was a crisis of public health with deaths from Typhoid and Cholera which led to the creation of the Administration of Hygiene and Health in Bogota. Initial studies showed that the rivers that supplied the city were already filled with garbage and was filled with large quantities of fecal microbes (Orsorio, 2007). As a result, the city began to chlorinate the water supply, which proved effective at sterilizing the water, but did not address the problem of water shortage in the following decades. In response to the water shortage, the tributaries of the River Tunjuelo were looked to as a potential source of clean, abundant water for the growing city’s needs. The first major alteration to the river Tunjuelo began in 1934 with the construction of the dam called “La Regadera” or the watering can. Studies conducted before the dam’s construction showed that the dam would create enough water supply to sustain the city’s water needs for decades to come, and

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29 the negative environmental impacts were disregarded for the benefit of the city’s needs. Most importantly, the dam severely impacted the water flows in the River Tunjuelo. As promising as the new dam was for water supply, it fell short only two years after its completion in 1938, and in 1940 residents were put on a partial rationing of water (Osorio, 2007). The major elements that affected the supply of water were the occurrence of El Nino in the 1940’s, coupled with the burgeoning population of the city. Today the hydrology of the river has been extensively changed from its original form and function, both from the dam, which still exists, and the urban stormwater runoff from the city. To compound the problem, huge open mining pits to the south of the city have now filled with water, creating an artificial series of lakes, full of pollution and sediment. In some areas the river meanders into some of these lakes, before going passing north into the city. The extensive sedimentation from the mines has caused the level of the river bed to rise significantly over the past half century, and artificial berms have been erected along many parts of the river in an attempt to control flooding. Urban Form Bogotá was originally developed and laid out according to the Laws of the Indes, following the Spanish formula of creating a central city square, and creating a grid system based upon the dimensions of the central square to theoretically expand the city in an organized and orderly system. Plaza Bolivar still stands today as the original centra l plaza flanked with government buildings, cathedral, and courthouse. This orderly system of expansion served the city

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30 Figure 3-5. Dichotomy of the cityÂ’s physical structure quite well until in1948 the city erupted into a violent and bloody civil war that left the core of the old city in chaos. Many residents immediately began to move and develop new areas outside the existing city. The more affluent population moved to the north of the city, maintaining good order, efficient planning, organization, and provision for public open space. Conversely, the poorer residents began to

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31 develop areas in the south of the city without such cohesive organization. The result was that the city was now dichotomous; with the upper class citizens living to the north and the lower classes or “Estradas” living to the south (Fig. 3-5). Social and Cultural Issues The physical dichotomy of the city also reflects the social disparity of many of Bogotá’s citizens as well. There is a very clear division of the “Have” and “Have Nots” in the city with many of t he richest citizens living away from the poverty and slums in the south of the city. Statistics published by the city in 2005 confirm that over 97% of residents in the locality of Ciudad Bolivar are living in poverty, as well as 81% of the residents of Kennedy (DAPD, 2005, pg.52). Not surprisingly, these two localities also had the highest number of homicides in the city both in 2002 and 2003 (DAPD, 2005, pg.25). It is interesting to note that both of these areas border the River Tunjuelo, and are part of the study area of this thesis project. Ciclovia Despite the enormous pressures created by the city’s inequality, the residents of Bogotá are united every week by a program is called “Cyclovia” which means bike path in English (Fig. 3-6). The unique quality of the program is that is closes off over 70 miles of streets and roads and opens them up specifically to bicyclists, Fi g ure 3-6. Residents p artici p atin g in the C y clovia

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32 skateboarders, pedestrians, and rollerbladers, effectively turning many of the city’s streets into a place where everyone can socialize, interact, and exercise. The program takes place every Sunday and national holiday from 7AM to 2PM, and is now a huge part of the culture of the city. Not only are the bike lanes open, but certain points along the routes also offer public exercise classes, such as Zumba, dancing, and aerobics. It provides a safe and encouraging environment for people get out and exercise. During field studies in Bogotá a huge turnout of people was observed every week in various parts of the city. Figure 3-7. Map of the Ciclovia (Source: http://www.inbogota.com/transporte/ciclovia.htm. Last accessed February 2010)

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33 Figure 3-8. Example of a Cicloruta in a road median The program began in the early 1980’s, but expanded over tenfold by the efforts of Gil Peñalosa who served as Parks Director in the 1990’s (Liveable Streets, 2009). “Where else can you get thousands and thousands of people doing physical activity? So then, the infrastructure is there, it’s free. The roads are already there, all you need to do is close them. You need operational costs to set it up, and then you can get this fantastic idea which is like a party where everybody attends; the rich and the poor and the young and the old, and everybody (Gil Peñalosa, Streetfilms, 2007) (Fig. 3-7).” In addition to the weekly Cyclovia, permanent Cyclorutas (bicycle routes) form a large network connecting many parts of the city (Fig. 3-8). These routes are equally important to the mobility and transportation of people as are the city’s streets and roads. Successful examples of this are the paved lanes present in

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34 many of the city’s medians. They form part of the green and grey infrastructure already existing in the city, and many people depend upon them to go daily from one area to another. Unfortunately, the network is much less developed within south Bogotá, especially within the study area. Street Vendors Perhaps the most notable difference noticed between the sidewalk culture of Bogotá as compared to Buenos Aires or New York is the huge amount of informal vendors on the sidewalks. As part of the weekly Cyclovia, the Carrera 7 (Septima) boulevard is shut down, and here not only do people walk and cycle along the center of the road, but thousands of unauthorized vendors line the street sidewalks laying out blankets to display their goods. They are known as vendedores ambulantes (ambulatory vendors), and these people have no social security, insurance, or secure employment and are often harassed by the police. Many offer secondhand goods and merchandise often collected from what others throw away. These ambulatory vendors are a part of the social fabric of the city, and should be taken into consideration rather than overlooked. Desplazados Another significant group of people that are commonly overlooked are the “Desplazados” (displaced persons). Figure 3-9. Desplazados in Nuevo Mizu

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35 Colombia has struggled with over 50 years of civil war and unrest, guerilla warfare, and the threat of violence. Forceful takings of land in the countryside by FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and paramilitaries has forced many people to move into the larger cities to escape the violence and seek opportunities. Studies by CODHES (Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento – Consulate for Human Rights and the Displaced) estimate that there are over 4.9 million displaced persons in Colombia as of 2009. However, the Colombian government only reports estimates of 3.3 million for the same time period, leaving a huge disparity between the numbers (IDMC, 2009). The response of many government agencies is one of dismissal and nonrecognition, reflected in the disparity of statistics published by the government versus other NGO’s (Non governmental Organizations) working in the area. Unfortunately many of these peoples are often homeless, seeking refuge in makeshift tents and shanties (Fig. 3-9). During the study period, a large group of desplazados had gathered together and took over the Parque Tercer Millenio, setting up a shantytown to make their presence known to the government. Local government estimated only 700, but the residents estimated almost 2000. For four months they stayed in the park, but were put into quarantine by the city’s government after fears of an outbreak of the AH1N1 virus (El Tiempo, July 19, 2009, Sec.2 Pg.1). The ultimate response of the government was to evacuate all the people, putting them on busses with a small remittance of money and sending them back to the town or region they originated from (Semana, August 3, 2009, online). While this group of people did eventually receive some assistance,

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36 many others are not so fortunate. Another group of desplazados were observed during field observation in the parque Nuevo Mizu, making temporary homes from tarps, bags, and sheets. Due to the ongoing violence and instability in the county, the issue of displaced persons is something that will continue to be an issue and must be considered when planning public spaces for the city. Land Use Along Corridor and Riparian Edges In the urban portion of the lower River basin, land use is varied from residential, industrial, commercial, and public land. The types of land use and their stormwater runoff contribute directly to the health of the river. GIS analysis was done to determine the patterns of land use and identify key areas of concern along the river basin in the study area. From the beginnings of development, the agricultural practices undertaken began to have a significant impact on the hydrology of the river. Between the end of the 1800Â’s and 1940, it is estimated that over 40 percent of native vegetation was destroyed and replaced with potato crops (Osorio, 2007). The result was that the capacity of the region to regulate water flows was greatly diminished. As the area began to industrialize and urbanize, the effects became much more pronounced. The mining operations near the river began to have a negative impact on the river and water quality, especially in regard to sedimentation that was being leached into the river in runoff from the mining pits. Fast forward over 50 years and the negative effects are still evident on the river today. Sedimentation remains one of the primary factors of pollution of the river, and very little mitigation has been done to address the problem.

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37 Sadly, another development in the river’s history happened in 1962 when the Aqueducto y Alcantarillaro de Bogotá (Aqueduct and Sanitary Water Department) began to implement a new master stormwater and sewer treatment plan. This effort started combining stormwater and raw sewage and then dumping them into the River Tunjuelo (along with several other rivers in the city), effectively turning them into an open sewer (Horsefield, 1968). Up until 1963, people in the newly developed neighborhood of San Benito had no public utilities. However, they were still able to pull “clean” water from the river for cooking and washing clothes (Zambrano, 2003, pg. 163). It wasn’t long before the contamination became so severe that people stopped using the river altogether. The 1980’s marked the first series of river studies that examined in-depth Figure 3-10. Pollution mixing into the River Tunjuelo

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38 its severe environmental degradation of the river. Several reports and monographs documented the sources and causes of pollution. According to one study, the industries that contributed most to the pollution of the river were meat processing plants, makers of cooking oil and margarine, textile industry, and leather treating and processing (Osorio, 2007). Perhaps the most shocking findings of these reports was that in 1982, 99% of leather processing factories were dumping their chemicals into the river. It estimated that there were over 100 kilos (220lbs) of chrome, zinc, and aluminum per week being dumped into the river in addition to unspecified amounts of sulfur, cyanide, acids, fats, and organic materials (Osorio, 2007). By this point, the river had been completely inundated by sedimentation and toxic chemicals and all of its original ecological functions were severely compromised if not altogether lost (Fig. 3-10). Pirated development has historically been part of the negative impact along the river. However, squatters along the riverÂ’s edge do not appear to negatively impact the study area. During my field visits, I observed the encroachment from development along the riverÂ’s edge, violating the 60 meter buffer of public land on either side of the river, which has led to the loss of habitat and floodplains along the river. Environmental Challenges The presence of leather processing fa ctories appears to continue as an ongoing problem. Very little is being done to control their pollution of the river. There is currently a set of voluntary regu lations that a number of processors have agreed to be part of to reduce their pollution. However, due to the highly

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39 Figure 3-11. Untreated mining pits in south Bogotá fragmented number of small processing companies and lack of enforcement, there still remains a huge portion that continues to pollute the river as verified by Andres Guhl (2009) during my investigation. What’s more, the mining companies are quite large and powerful, and it appears that they have not been forced to clean up their sedimentary practices. One of the major corporations is Cemex, a multi-national cement company based out of Mexico. Due to the affluence and lobbying power of these large corporations, they have also remained unregulated in this area (Fig. 3-11), Another consideration is the regular flooding that the river brings to the residents living nearby the river. Because many of these areas were developed illegally, many residents are at high risk of flooding during the rainy season, often putting several feet of polluted water into people’s homes along the river. The river poses not only safety risk but also serious health problems within the community. There are high reports of respiratory and gastric problems with residents living near the river (Osorio, 2007). The government has tried to educate residents about the inherent risks of

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40 living near the river; but many residents are so highly impoverished that they have no other option than to continue living in these dangerous areas. Another key issue that was discovered during the investigation was some opinions of why the river has remained unchanged. According to Fabio Zambrano (2009), “The people who make the decisions in Bogotá don’t see this part of the city and it doesn’t matter to them. The distribution of public green spaces is not very well spread. Parque El Tunal and nothing else. It’s very inequitable.” However this is not to say that the government has done nothing at all to address the river. The Role of Government The government of Bogotá has a unique position. It it is both a large metropolis and also the seat of the Federal Government. The primary care for water bodies falls under the jurisdiction of two major agencies, similar to the United States of America. The Aqueducto y Alcantarillaro de Bogotá acts as the water supply and quality agency, combined with a water management agency, who also handles sewage and stormwater. The second agency who would have direct input would be the Secretaria Ambiental (Secretary of the Environment). However, numerous other agencies are also involved in the oversight of water issues in the country as detailed in decreto 316 in the following section. Similar to what is found in the United States of America, the process of improving water quality is not a linear process. One piece of federal legislature that set the stage for water cleanup in the River Tunjuelo on June 2, 2002 was the Federal Decree 1729. The decree seeks to find a balance between the use

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41 of rivers as a renewable resource and conservation of the physical and biological structure of the rivers. It also seeks to plan the sustainable use of rivers and specific projects to conserve, preserve, and protect or prevent deterioration and restore the hydrology of Colombia’s rivers. It also sets up a commission to oversee the cleanup of rivers. The decree laid out a major process for accomplishing directives that include: diagnosis, creation of prospects, formulation of a specific plan of action, execution, follow up, and evaluation. Furthermore, the language seeks to define “zones” of ecological importance, and map the exact river course, paramount, sub paramount, spring heads, and aquifer recharge zones (Decreto 1729, 2002). Overall this appeared to be a step forward to improve water quality. The language appears to favor human use over the actual conservation and restoration of natural resources. Two years later on October 7, 2004 Decree 316 was enacted. It specifically targeted a clean-up the Rio Tunjuelo and adopting instruments for institutional coordination and participation in action for the River Tunjuelo. The measure sought to define the river as a macro urban project for the river for the medium and long-term. It also sought to create a plan of prevention and mitigation of risks in the river basin, adjacent neighborhoods, and the mining zone in the short-term. This appears to be the first active measure being taken by the government to restore the water quality of the Rio Tunjuelo. Some of the long-term goals include: A.) To create a structural impact and improve quality of life

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42 B.) To guarantee basic rights to a clean environment for the population living in the river basin C.) To create an inter-institutional arrangement to efficiently deal with the derived impacts D.) To create opportunities for involvement from the public sector E.) To generate holistic impacts that strongly favor the environmental recuperation, economic and social development of the river basin. F.) To promote the use of natural resources with criteria of sustainability and efficiency and of the adequate management of the generated impacts for the transformation of the territory (Decreto 316, 2004). Other measures included setting up an interdisciplinary team of members from different agencies to oversee the progress, steering, and oversight of the cleanup of the river. These members would include the Aqueducto of Bogotá, the Secretary of the Environment, Administration Department of District Planning, Department of Technical Administration of the Environment, Administration for the Department of the Defense of Public Space, Institute of Urban Development, Figure 3-12. POMCA Vision of the Restored River (Source: Orlando Campos, 2008)

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43 Emergency Prevention and Response, Secretary of Health, Lower Income Housing Authority, and the Executive Unit for Public Services. This model also sets up a plan for the prevention and mitigation of risks; and it appears that government is setting up the framework for the river cleanup. However, it remains to be proven that this legislation can be enforced. Several plans have been drafted that deals with both the long and short term improvements to the river. Primarily, the Aqueducto de Bogotá has made a significant effort to meet their shortterm goals for flood control in the lower basin of Tunjuelo. Their response has been to create new channels for the river to flow through which would bypass the Lago Pozo Azul in the mining district. Secondly, the plan would drain the existing stagnant lake and use the space as a potential reservoir to capture stormwater runoff in flood events. This project was one of the first steps towards controlling the inundations during storm events. Intermediate and long-term goals have been formulated by the Secretary of the Environment under a program called POMCA (Planning and Management of the River Tunjuelo Basin). This is a holistic effort to do environmental cleanup and restoration as well as improve economic and social aspects of the river (Fig. 3-12). Three new water treatment plants are planned to help reduce the immediate toxicity of the river. The Secretary of the Environment hired the Universidad Nacional (National University) working with Landscape Architect Orlando Campos to help with creating a new vision for the river. The plan includes restoring the river, stitching the river back into the community with the creation of gateways, creating

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44 a linear park system along the sides of the river, and adding nodes of cultural and social interest to the area. The ultimate goal is to create a new sustainable example for the community and for the city as a whole. However, according to the Secretary of the Environment, there is currently not enough funding to incorporate this plan. This thesis project will expand upon some of the basic ideas put forth in the POMCA study, and develop specific strategies for restoring the river. Observations Although it has only been five years since the legislation for the river clean-up was decreed, it appears several activities are needed to reach the ultimate goal at the regional scale. My visit to the river’s banks revealed that very little has changed since this legislation has passed. The river remains a toxic mess and there is little evidence of its clean up. Lack of regulation for the polluting industries, poor stormwater practi ces within this urban area, along with apathy from the community makes this a very complex situation. While Bogotá appears to be making some strides towards cleaning up their rivers and passing progressive legislation, those in charge need to take it to the next level and follow through with their directives. At the regional scale, it will take a multi-pronged approach to realize largescale cleanup and improvement of the river basin. One possible mechanism is to consider the designation of the river basin as an ecological corridor or greenway. Most of the land immediately adjacent to the river is currently held in public trust; and the cost to the government to change the zoning to “suelo protegido” or

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45 protected land may be minimal. Furthermore, the land should also be designated as a regional park. With the creation of the greenway as the spine, it can facilitate future implementation of green and blue infrastructure at smaller scales. This concept will be expanded upon in a later section of this thesis project. Secondly, mechanisms for stronger regulation of all industries along the river basin should be considered. Until the large-scale pollution stops, the river will continue to flow as a toxic soup. The introduction of incentives might be effective to goad industries into compliance. Existing legislation should be reevaluated and modified to address the flagrant violations. Thirdly, large-scale remediation of the pollution should be undertaken to cleanse the river system and restore or recreate the natural ecology. The project proposes a combination of treatment plants and bioremediation to remove the heavy metals, pollutants, and chemicals. However, the details of this combination would need to be part of a separate study to identify the specifics related to this undertaking. The continued cleansing of the river will be a longterm project, but one that is vital to restoring the health of the Rio Tunjuelo. Finally, the larger green space should seriously be considered as a way to create linkages and connectivity between the river and individual localities and neighborhoods. A strategy to use green infrastructure to integrate the river into the fabric of the city might improve the current situation. This concept will be explored in depth in a later chapter.

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46 CHAPTER 4 LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS Context The city is broken down by localidades, or localities; each acting like a zone or sector within which individual barrios or neighborhoods exist (Fig. 4-1). Each locality has its own local seat of government called the Alcaldía Local which oversees activities, projects, and management of each locality. The five major localities surrounding the urban portion of the river are; Usme, Tunjuelito, Ciudad Bolivar, Kennedy, and Bosa. At this scale, the fabric of the communities and neighborhoods begin to become visible. In driving through these neighborhoods, I observed the differences between one locality and another. In some cases, the changes are abrupt and the contrast is quite apparent. For example, when crossing the River Tunjuelo from the locality of Tunjuelito into the locality of Ciudad Bolivar, it is immediately apparent that you are crossing from a poor area into an area of Figure 4-1. Bogotá’s localities and study area

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47 extreme poverty as reflected in the architecture, roads, and amount of garbage heaped alongside the roads (Fig. 4-2). Even within each locality, there remain differences between the individual neighborhoods and communities. For example within Tunuelito the character of public space in Nuevo Mizu is different from that of Isla Del Sol despite the fact that they are geographically adjacent. Much of this is tied into how and when these areas developed, as is explained in Zambrano’s book. Public spaces As mentioned previously, South Bogotá is characterized by a lack of green public spaces per capita. This is not to say that green spaces don’t exist, because in fact they do. However, their limited quantities and distribution make public green space inaccessible to many. Within the city, park spaces are divided into different categories depending on the size of the park. Divisions of parks within Bogotá include Regional, Metropolitan, Zonal, Neighborhood, and Vestpocket parks (Table 4-3). Each type of park falls under the jurisdiction and maintenance of different sectors of government, depending on size. My understanding of South Bogotá is that there are several metropolitan parks, and some vest pocket parks, but relatively few zonal or neighborhood Figure 4-2. Garbage heaped along roadside

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48 parks for residents. At this scale, ne ighborhood parks are very important to the wellbeing of a community. Over one million people live within close proximity to the River Tunjuelo in Bogotá, yet most of these people avoid the river due to the inherent problems associated with it. The three major green spaces in South Bogotá include two parks and one cemetery; The Jardines del Apogeo (Gardens of the Ascension Cemetery), Parque Timiza (a large park in Kennedy), and Parque El Tunal (a large park in Tunjuelo) (Fig. 4-4). Interestingly enough, all three parks are immediately adjacent to the river Tunjuelo. By creating a greenway along the river’s edge, these three separate parks could then become part of a larger green network, connected by the river. Furthermore, more residents would have immediate access to this green infrastructure, rather than having to take a bus to another locality to get to the parks. This concept will be explored in depth in a subsequent chapter. Type Size Use Regional Very Large – Can be partially outside the city Ecological, natural systems – Active and Passive Recreation Metropolitan Larger than 10 Hectares Active/Passive recreation and/or ecological function Zonal 1-10 Hectares Use for multiple neighborhoods/zones Primarily active recreation Neighborhood 1,000 – 10,000 Sq. Meters Active and Passive Recreation Community events Vestpocket Less than 1,000 Sq. Meters For neighborhood use, children’s playgrounds Table 4-3. Types of public parks in Bogotá (Source: Re-created from IDRD, 2008)

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49 Parque El Tunal in Tunjuelito was built in 1968 in anticipation of the visit of the pope to the sector. However, in subsequent years, the park was not maintained and fell out of repair for many years (Zambrano, 2004, pg. 194). However, by the late 1990’s, efforts to restore the park came into effect. The park occupies over 56 hectares, and is largely programmed with active sports recreation. The addition of a public library in 1998 won design awards, and has helped to reinvigorate the public space around the park. However, site visits to the park revealed that the space is seriously lacking in Figure 4-5. Open expanses typical of ParqueElTunal Figure 4-4. Existing parks in south Bogotá

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50 mature vegetation, and is quite desolate (Fig. 4-5). Conversations with locals confirmed that the park is primaril y used on the weekends and during special events, but remains underused during most of the time. While active sports might be part of a successful program, the over-emphasis on this may be part of why the park remains vacant so much of the time. To the north in the locality of Kennedy, park Timiza sits close to the river Tunjuelo with over 10 hectares of public space. In comparison to Parque El Tunal, this park enjoys mature vegetation, a four acre lake, and a mixture of both active and passive recreation. A site visit on Sunday revealed that the park was full of people enjoying the Cyclovia, and was host to an exercise station with live Zumba dance being actively enjoyed by park-goers in the main plaza. This park is much better maintained and appeared to be well used by residents. Although it was much smaller than park El Tunal, it would appear that the mixture of programs, mature vegetation, subdivision of spaces, and the lakefront made for a more successful park design for South Bogotá (Fig 4-6). About two kilometers to the East, the Jardines del Apogeo (Gardens of the Ascension) sits adjacent to the bus terminal Portal del Sur. The cemetery is open to the public, and sits immediately adjacent to the river Tunjuelo. However, a site Figure 4-6. Viiew of the lake at Parque Timiza

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51 visit revealed that this public space is somewhat underused relative to the busy urban setting surrounding it (Fig. 4-7). Many cemeteries in Europe have a great heritage of being used as public parks for passive recreation. This additional public green space provides another opportunity to plug into the larger greenway proposed by this thesis project. Research done by Landscape Architect Orlando Campos for the POMCA project confirmed that these large park spaces are by themselves inadequate for the entire population of South Bogotá. “The diagnosis determined… that the two metropolitan parks supply, for their size, infrastructure and services for the requirements at this scale, but on the other hand, the network of smaller parks at the neighborhood scale are insufficient. The worst cases are in Cuidad Bolivar and Bosa, where the city grew so tightly [and quickly], that it did not leave room for recreation areas (Campos, 2009, p.30).” Thus, a very good case has been made that a larger network of public spaces at the neighborhood scale are needed for this area. Land Use Land use at the neighborhood scale reveals that Bogotá’s residents are accustomed to a very mixed model of land use. Here, what the US would call Figure 4-7. Jardines del Apogeo as public green space

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52 mixed-use development is the norm as many people run businesses out of their homes. Groceries are often purchased in smaller, individually owned markets, and specialization is quite common. For example, people may go to the vegetable grocer for their produce, butcher shop for their meat and cheese, and bakery for bread. This finer-grained system is uniquely embedded into the community and sense of place in Bogotá. Larger chain grocery stores such as Carulla (similar to Albertson’s or Publix) do exist, but are not as common in the poorer areas of South Bogotá. Therefore, any proposed redevelopment and revitalization of spaces must take into account the informal nature of land use in this sector. When looking at the individual land uses by zones, there is a large concentration of commercial and manufactu ring uses alongside residential. The neighborhood of San Benito to this day contains one of the largest concentrations of leather processing business on the region. Other large-scale industries, warehouses, and manufacturing are concentrated in the barrios of Guadalupe, Isla del Sol, Delicias, Atlanta, and Muzu as confirmed by site visits to the area. These industrial areas are indeed part of the urban mix of this area, and provide employment for many residents. To the south, a large military base abuts the mining zone, creating a large zone all of its own, separated from Figure 4-8. Open mining pits and the military base beyond

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53 the general populace by walls and fences. These areas are off limits to the public, yet cover an immense area surrounding the river, and the mining continues to be one of the largest polluters in the region (Fig. 4-8). A visit to the area confirmed that it is an off limits zone, as I was denied entry to both the military base and the mining pits. Because this project deals with the rehabilitation of the river, the role of industry must be considered as part of the solution, as they have historically been part of the problem. It will be at the neighborhood scale that these issues can be addressed, as the industries are part of the livelihood and well-being of the community. Existing Infrastructure The urban fabric in South Bogotá consists largely of a gray network of roads and sidewalks, and many unused and abandoned spaces in-between the active spaces. Many areas still lack proper pavement or sidewalk development (Fig. 4-9). Social spaces are often derived from whatever spaces are immediately available for use. Do to the piecemeal manner in which these areas were developed, there remains a lot of disconnect between individual areas. One concept that will be explored in the subsequent chapter will be how to stitch these areas together, and connect them to the larger greenway. Figure 4-9. Typical streetscape in Ciudad Bolivar

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54 Another unique feature in Bogotá is the numerous large undeveloped tracts of land within the urban area of the city. These parcels remain undeveloped and for the most part privately held. However, in consideration of the future growth and regeneration of the area, they must be considered as potentially part of a holistic solution. If developed properly, they could help to provide housing, spaces for new “green” industries to expand, and manage urban stormwater runoff. Additionally, m any of these sites are located adjacent or in close proximity to the river, making it prime for incorporation into the largescale program put forth in this thesis project. One very successful part of the infrastructure in this area is the Ciclorutas. These bike paths wind through some select areas of the city and provide an alternate route of transportation for many. However, there are only a very few handful of these bike routes in the south of the city as compared to a more extensive network in the north. One objective of this thesis project is to expand upon the existing network and incorporate more CicloRutas into the proposed urban greenway (Fig. 4-10). The major form of public transportation in Bogotá is the Transmillenio bus system (Fig. 4-11). While already mentioned in the previous section, it is important to emphasize its significance to the individual communities. In these poorer sections of town, most people cannot afford a personal vehicle or to take a Taxi. Therefore, their dependence on public transit is essential to their survival. Although there are many stops along these neighborhoods, there are two major hubs within the study area; Portal del Sur and Portal del Tunal.

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55 Fi g ure 4-10. Existin g Ciclorutas within the stud y area Fi g ure 4-11. Transmilenio servicewithin the stud y area

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56 Interestingly enough, both of these existing stations are located adjacent to the river. Therefore, by adding major circulation along the river’s edge, it will also increase connectivity for transport to other parts of the city for residents. Observations City-building is a very complex and intricate task; and even the best efforts can fall short of creating a sense of community. It is difficult to imagine that one could possibly design or mandate and entire ecosystem restoration and creation of entire new communities. Instead, a successful approach might be one that sets into motion the “large moves” of cr eating this green infrastructure, making sure it is tied into the community, and provides for long-term management of the project. Additionally, opportunities for informal land uses, non-traditional housing, and subsidies for small businesses along the river corridor should be part of the strategy. In keeping with James Corner’s view of landscape urbanism, “This attempts to create an environment that is not so much an object that has been “designed” as it is an ecology of various systems and elements that set in motion a diverse network of interaction. Landscape urbanism is here both instigator and accelerator, working across vast surfaces of potential. This approach, at once simple and conventional affords residents a range of programmatic configurations as seasons, needs, and desires change. The thrust of this work is less toward formal resolution and more toward public processes of design and future appropriation. Concerned with a working surface over time, this is a kind

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57 of urbanism that anticipates change, open-endedness, and negotiation(Corner, 2006, p.31).” In keeping with this idea, this thesis proposes using the open space of the greenway as the primary bu ilding block for the redevelopment of these urban spaces near the river. With a basic understanding of the background, community spaces, and infrastructure of this region of the city, specific strategies will be explored for implementing green and blue infrastructure at the neighborhood scale. The key idea is how to use the greenway to link together these individual communities, and how to successful link the communities to the greenway.

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58 CHAPTER 5 THE STREET SCALE: ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES Streets and Open Space This chapter of the thesis is an exploration of the streets and small urban spaces within the study area. Issues re lated to the current infrastructure and user needs are studied, and case studies are presented to compare and contrast the situation on the ground. The work seeks to build a framework for subsequent strategies for linking streets at the human scale to the larger proposed greenway. User Needs At the street scale, human scale and user needs in these communities come into view. During my efforts to collect data for primary research, specific questions related to the people and potential users of this project were posed. Some of these questions were: What kind of environment exists for pedestrians and bicyclists at the street scale, and how does the lack of green spaces affect quality of life for residents? Many of the roads and streets that form the cityÂ’s public spaces are in disrepair, and appear somewhat chaotic to outsiders as observed during the field studies (Fig. 5-1). In many places, the sidewalks are not continuously paved, crosswalks are non-existent, and major roads sever neighborhoods rather than acting as unifying spaces. Most strikingly apparent is the sheer lack of vegetation in this part of the Figure 5-1. Road and sidewalk conditions in Ciudad Bolivar

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59 city. Trees are almost non-existent along the average sidewalk, as well as shrubs and other vegetation. Usually, the only green spaces that exist are large patches of undeveloped land; fenced off to the public, overgrown with weeds, and most often decorated with piles of garbage dumped upon them. Public spaces are often formed from leftover or undeveloped areas within the city and many of the small plazas or vestpocket parks are in disrepair. The resulting situation for pedestrians and bicyclists is hazardous and chaotic. In 2003, there were 151 deaths attributed to auto accidents within the study area, many of which pedestrian (DAPD, 2004, p. 25). On most major highways in Bogotá, there are estrellas negras or “black stars” on the pavement marking where pedestrians have been killed (Fig. 5-2). These stars are part of a public awareness campaign by the Fondo de Prevencion Vial (Fund for Highway [Accident] Prevention) to educate people of the risks associated with vehicles. Despite the city’s efforts to educate people on the dangers of crossing major highways, there are unfortunately many people still killed every year. For the study area, I believe that a better system of safe pedestrian and bicycle pathways would help to reduce the risks to users. Public Sidewalks One major part of the city life that I observed in almost every part of Bogotá was the activity and life of the city’s streets and sidewalks. This street life Figure 5-2. An “Estrella Negra” on one of Bogotá’s roads

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60 includes; mothers with children, workers delivering goods, street vendors on every corner, cafes, and street perform ances truly something for everyone. Jane Jacobs states, “Under the seeming diso rder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence of intricacy of sidewalk use, bring with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance… an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole.” (Jacobs, 1961, pg.50) This “ballet” she describes is one that was observed daily in the two and half months spent walking the streets of north Bogotá. However, the ballet within south Bogotá tells a different story, and the cohesion seems to break down. The pavement of the sidewalks is not always continuous, the dancers seem a bit unsure of their steps, and there are no clearly defined pedestrian and vehicle zones (Fig. 5-3). As an outsider, I felt unsafe walking the streets in the south alone during my visits, and had often been warned by locals to be extremely cautious when visiting this area due to the statistically high levels of accidents, crime, and violence previously mentioned. Figure 5-3. Unpaved sidewalks in Ciudad Bolivar

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61 In addition to precarious sidewalk, the lack of street trees, benches, bollards, street lights, and other basic streetscape elements is visibly apparent when visiting many of these areas. This is not to say that the entire south sector of Bogotá is devoid of these trappings, but it is much easier to find areas without them in the south than in the north based on visits to the area. The result is a streetscape that is unpleasant to traverse, lacking a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles, and visually appears unsafe and unstable. The next section of the thesis will begin to outline some strategies for improving the quality of these streetscapes, and increasing the safety for pedestrians. Bicycle Paths Bogotá is known internationally for their progressive network of bicycle paths (Cyclorutas) and the weekly Cyclovia mentioned in the previous section. However, the cyclorutas are not nearly as extensive in the southern half of the city. According to the current map shown, only three cyclorutas significantly cross this study area with over 2.5 million people. Compared to the large network of roads and highways, opportunities for cyclists to safely traverse this part of the city are very few. Because vehicle ownership is statistically much lower in the study area, many residents rely on public transportation, bicycles, and walking to get around the city. Therefore, a network of bicycle routes should be given even higher priority in this area where so many people rely on the

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62 bicycle as a means of transportation (Fig. 5-4). Fi g ure 5-5. Residents en j o y the urban forest in Par q ue Timiza Fi g ure 5-4, Existin g Ciclorutas within the stud y area

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63 Aside from the transportation issue, providing opportunities for safe access to nature, especially locomotion in nature have proven physical and psychological benefits as well (Kaplan, 2002). Kaplan’s research points to direct benefits in having green spaces within the urban environment (Fig. 5-5). The research suggests that access to nature can help people in urban situations overcome economic and social disadvantage, foster a better sense of community, and help people become more effective in managing life issues. (Kaplan, 2002, pp. 8-9) All of these issues are relevant to the residents within the study area, who suffer from a severe lack of natural settings within the urban megalopolis. Urban Water Systems The existing infrastructure for water within the study area varies from informal drainage into the streams and rivers to piped curb and gutter approaches. In most cases, the water is channelized to remove the water as quickly as possible away from the streets, sidewalks, and buildings. However, flooding in the savanna of Bogotá remains a serious problem during the rainy seasons. Many stream riverbeds have been replaced with concrete channels to direct the flows of water. As a result, much of the drippings from cars, pet excrement, and other chemicals from the city are dumped directly into the rivers and streams of the city without treatment. The local government’s approach to dealing with urban water systems has generally been one of “out of sight, out of mind”. Problems only arise when the system can’t keep up with the amount of water or when, as in the case of the Rio Tunjuelo, the contamination gets out of control. Such an engineered response

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64 has been questioned in recent years as the disciplines of landscape architecture, urban ecology, and urban design have offered an alternate solution. Instead of hiding and ignoring our water systems, why not link them directly into our streetscapes, making them a visible amenity allowing the water to be treated for healthier water systems? Rather than being a part of the problem, the opportunity now exists to turn our streetscapes into something that helps to capture, cleanse, and infiltrate urban stormwater. Case Studies Innovative projects that incorporate living water systems into the urban environment have been done over the past decade by Herbert Drieseitl, William Wenk and Associates, SWA group and the DSW group. While each situation is unique, I believe that many of the c oncepts presented in the subsequent case studies can be applied to Bogotá. Kronsberg in Hanover, Germany – Herbert Drieseitl This project was undertaken as part of the World Expo 2000, and was part of the development of an urban district of 130 hectares. Rather than piping stormwater away, it created a series of stormwater retention gardens that serve as a central park space for residents while cleansing water runoff. The plan Figures 5-6. (above) Diagram of water treatment. and 5-7. (below) Section of project (Source: Drieseitl, 2006)

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65 creates an amenity out of what would otherwise have been piped away and disregarded. The scale of the project is uniquely urban, but allows residents some green spaces for recreation and connection with nature (Fig. 5-8). “The idea was that not a drop of rainwater that fell on roofs, roads, and squares would be taken into the sewerage system (Drieseitl, 2005, p. 82)(Figs. 5-6 & 5-7).” The retention areas are separated into chambers, which allow the water to slow down and soak into the ground (Fig. 5-9). During heavy flooding, the chambers overflow to the next and next, and the system uses a mixture of natural and piped systems to convey the water. By capturing and dispersing the water into detention areas, most of the water is able to soak into the ground rather than being piped into another water body untreated. Using some of the methods and ideas used in this project, a similar approach to dealing with stormwater might be very successful in Bogotá. Figure 5-9. Stormwater Retention Areas Source: (Drieseitl, 2006) Figure 5-8. Master plan of stormwater treatment areas and adjacent development. (Source: Drieseitl, 2006)

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66 Figure 5-11. Plan of community amphitheater (Source: Landscape Architecture, April 2009)Estes Park, Colorado; Riverfront Restoration Project –Project by Design Studios West of Denver and Heath Construction This project located in Estes Park, Colorado tells the story of a town that had turned its back on the river, and after decades of abuse, was able to restore the river’s function and create a powerful economic engine for the area (Fig. 510). In response to a major flood event in 1982, the city decided that something needed to be done with the river. Through what started as a series of streetscape projects, the vision and plan for the river was able to eventually create a promenade and series of public spaces to reconnect people to the river (Fig. 5-11). Not only did the residents benefit from having what was once a hazard into an amenity, local business were able to cash in as well, creating additional tax revenues that more than self-funded the project. By involving the community in the design process, DSW was able to actively engage the public and secure their support for the project. Most impressively, the city’s investment of $20million recaptured them over $50m illion in revenues from the project. (DSW website, 2010) After a process of 25 years, the project has received Figure 5-10. Rendering of the riverside (Source:Landscape Architecture, April 2009)

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67 numerous awards, been featured in Landscape Architecture magazine, and been hailed as a great success for this community (Fig. 5-12). Observations As demonstrated in the previous two case studies, there are alternative options for incorporating stormwater and river systems into the urban environment. These two projects illustrate the possibilities for natural systems to coexist in harmony with high density land use. When dealing with the street scale, user groups and needs must be considered in order to formulate a successful program. While it would be impossible to assume that a design program can solve all of a community’s problems, research and case studies have shown that the role of nature and the environment can have positive effects on urban populations. I believe that Bogotá has a fantastic opportunity to deal with both green and blue infrastructure in a manner that could both improve the quality of life for residents and better deal with cleansing and reducing stormwater runoff. With a better understanding of the issues faced at the street level, I will set forth some new ideas for Bogotá and strategies for the streets in this part of the city. Figure 5-12. View of the riverside. (Source: Landscape Architecture, April 2009)

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68 CHAPTER 6 REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY As discussed in chapter two, there are many factors affecting the Rio Tunjuelo today. Urban stormwater runoff, alteration of the river’s natural function and ecology, and industrial pollution remain on the top of the list of contributors to the problem. The river remains disconnected from the city that surrounds it, and regular flooding remains a threat to its citizens. At the regional scale, this project provides that some new policies and strategic planning can create an urban greenway surrounding the river as a basis to reconnect the river to the city. Analysis This portion of the analysis examines the existing urban situation to gain an understanding of the structure and function of the river. An aerial photo of south Bogotá reveal the dense urban situation around the lower basin of the river. In the lower portion of the image, the river is visible passing through the area of mining and artificial lakes. The tributary of Quebrada de Chiguaza joins the river on the right and Quebrada de Limas on the left. In the northwest corner we see where the Rio Tunjuelo meets the Rio Bogotá (Fig. 6-1). Figure 6-1. The River Tunjuelo within the study area. Source: Google Maps, 2010)

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69 Based upon a land use analysis, patterns of use and development along the river corridor were revealed. In figure 6-2, I identify in purple the concentrations of industrial lands along the belt. The mining areas are also designated in purple, concentrated along the southwest part of the map. The large green area in the southeast corner of the map relates to the ecological Parque Entre Nubes (Park Among the Clouds). This ecological park covers over 626 hectares of land and is a district park under the supervision of the city of Bogotá. The park is home to many unique types of flora and fauna, sitting between several surrounding ecotones. Currently, the park faces encroachment from illegal development, and from 1989 to 1989, the park went from having 1400 hectares to only 626. (Secretaria Ambiental, 2006) As such, the park faces continued pressure for Figure 6-2. Land use within the study area.

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70 further development and mining activities. The Sectary of the Environment wants to see the continued protection of the park, and the preservation of its unique characteristics. As such, the park would provide a very strong connection for the creation of an urban greenway that stretches from the high mountains through the city and into the agricultural areas to the west of Bogotá. Creation of a Greenway Along the Rio Tunjuelo, a minimum buffer of 60 meters (196 feet) is designated on either side of the river (Guhl, 2009). However, in many areas, there has been some serious developmental encroachment on either side as observed during field visits. This presents an opportunity to create a large greenway along the length of the Rio Tunjuelo that acts as an ecological corridor through the city. Additional analysis of existing land use within the city reveals that there is indeed a large amount of land that is public land, state-owned land, protected land, existing parks, or urban land not developed immediately adjacent to the river corridor (Figure 6-2). Using these lands as criteria for selection, the city could then create a cross-city greenway centered on the Rio Tunjuelo. Given the amount of available land to the city, it would appear to be quite feasible. The designation of the river corridor as a protected urban greenway could have a tremendous impact upon the currently degraded river system. The restoration of the river could potentially make it harder for industries to continue their pollution. The re-creation of the river’s ecology would create new habitat for animals and

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71 insects. Additionally, a large-scale project would capture public interest and create local civic pride. Connecting the Greenway to the City Another positive benefit for adding a new greenway would be to provide connectivity to existing green infrastructure within the city. By identifying other existing parks adjacent to the river, the new proposed greenway would link existing sites to create a much larger network, similar to Back Bay Fens in Boston (Fig 6-3). The creation of this larger greenway could serve as the basis for future creation of larger network within south Bogotá (Fig. 6-4). The connectivity offered by the Ciclorutas (Fig 6-6) could be readily available. This new connection with existi ng infrastructure could serve as both a greenway and a major pedestrian and bicyclist route within the city. This begins to create a network centered on the river and connecting into the city. By adding vegetation and improving the spaces immediately adjacent to the existing Ciclorutas and Ciclovias, a green network begins to develop. The next step would be to consider expanding the Cicloruta system to offer better coverage within south Bogotá. One method for achieving this would be to connect existing paths along green boulevards along major roads within the study area (Fig 6-7). This expanded network could tie the greenway into the city, linking it to the surrounding neighborhoods and localities. Furthermore, it would offer the residents easier access to the greenway, and lay the groundwork for more green spaces at the street level (Fig. 6-8).

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72 Figure 6-3. Potential green spaces (Above). 6-4. Proposed greenway (Below).

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73 Figure 6-5. Existing Ciclovia and Ciclorutas (Above). 6-6. Proposed network (Below).

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74 Figure 6-7. Proposed Ciclorutas (Above). 6-8. Proposed green network (Below).

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75 Regulation of Industry The mining industry has for the past half-century taken advantage of the soils rich in clay and gravel naturally abundant in south Bogotá. However, their strip mining practices have left a less than desirable situation for the surrounding environment. The most direct negative impact seen are the high levels of sedimentation being mixed into the river. In terms of absolute pollution, the mining industry is the first stop in the pollution of the river as the river makes its way from the middle basin into the lower basin. Current mining practices involve the removal and extraction of the materials then the pits are abandoned and allowed to fill up with stormwater, creating an artificial lake. No visible efforts have been made to reclaim the land for any other usable purpose, nor has any vegetation been replanted to restore the previous ecology as verified from aerial photos. The Rio Tunjuelo meanders in and out of several of these lakes, adding to the sedimentation in the river. Based upon field observations and aerial photos, there appears to be no evidence for the mitigation of stormwater runoff with high concentrations of sediment from mining areas into the river. This provides context to consider recommendations for two major policy changes in local (and federal) government to address the situation. The first will deal with ongoing practices related to the mining operations and the second will deal with the long-term treatment of the mines. This could include measures to regulate the current mining practices to reduce the impact upon the river as the mining is happening. The introduction of a protective buffer and its maintenance

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76 on either side of the stream, planted with vegetation, and further protected with a silt-fence could help reduce negative impacts. It could also help to reduce the amount of sedimentation being washed into the river during rain events. Stormwater management should be dealt with on-site, with proper retention areas to capture and treat stormwater. Because each site is unique, a professional familiar with techniques and processes related to mining reclamation should be consulted for each area. My key recommendation proposes tougher regulations and ways to enforce them. This has the potential to change the manner in which the mining companies are doing their operations. Halting polluting practices by mining companies are critical to restoring the river. Secondly, I propose that a long-term strategy be developed that deals with the reclamation of the land after the mines are exhausted. Great volumes of information exist on methods and techniques available to reclaim surface mines as documented by Dr. Jon Bryan Burley (2007). If left abandoned, strip mines located in south Bogotá have the liability of becoming derelict sites and a perpetual source of contamination to the river. However, the opportunity exists to reclaim the land for ecological and recreational purposes as proposed by Orlando Campos, Landscape Architect in his POMCA proposal (Fig. 6-9). The author agrees with his proposal, but would add that modification to and tougher regulation of existing practices should be implemented to achieve a successful restoration of the river. While it may not be realistic to assume that the mining companies would be willing to pay for the complete ecological restoration of the

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77 sites, they should, at a minimum, be made to adopt non-polluting practices and contribute to leaving more behind than an ecological disaster. In keeping with tougher regulations, the leather processing industry is also to blame for the severe contamination of the river. Stop two of the pollution train lies in the district of San Benito, with the highest concentration of leather processors discussed in the previous chapt er. One of the challenges reported by Andres Guhl is the fragmentation of the industry. “There was an initiative to try to create an equificient [eco-friendly] facility for processing the leather goods. The mayor’s office developed an area that brought in a whole bunch of leather and tanneries and places of this sort, but they still left a large amount of places still along the river. They are forcing these people (within the initiative) to become equificient and pay a little bit more in production costs but still the others, the others that are not within this initiative, are still polluting. There are still many industries pouring industrial oil and things of that sort directly into the river (Guhl, 2009).” Based upon this observation and site visits to the river, it is clear that Figure 6-9. Vision of reclaimed mining pits (Source: Campos, 2009)

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78 more must be done to regulate and enforce standards for disposal of industrial chemicals in this area. In this situation, a “stick and carrot” approach might prove effective. In addition to tougher standards, fines for non-compliance could be the “stick” portion. Tax breaks or even subsidies (t he “carrot”) for businesses that can show they are not polluting could incentivize business into doing the right thing. Finally, the city government should provide centralized collection service for toxic waste for businesses. The reason many dump their chemicals into the river might simply be that there is no other convenient place to dispose of their waste. By providing accessible collection stations for oil, gas, or other chemicals, the city may be able to prevent additional waste from going into the river. Incentives for Business One incentive is the creation of a new greenway using adjacent undeveloped land along the. This may present an opportunity for the city to stimulate economic growth in this area while promoting “green”, non-polluting businesses. One example of this might be to offer tax incentives to ecologically friendly businesses. Additionally, further analysis of undeveloped parcels within the study area could suggest specific areas for the development of economic development zones. Because many of Bogotá’s businesses are individually owned, and are home-based, these business models must also be included in the consideration of economic development. Some specific ideas for the creation of new community and economic opportunities will be explored in the following chapter.

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79 Summary of Strategies To summarize, at the regional/metropolitan scale, a combination of planning and policy are recommended to incorporate the following changes: Creation of a cross-city greenway By designating the Rio Tunjuelo as an ecological corridor and creating protections for the floodplains, adjacent parks, and public lands, a central backbone for the development of a green network in south Bogotá would be created. This could be relatively inexpensive to designate, as described in the previous section. Furthermore, this could be based directly upon existing legislation from Decree 316, where there is already support for the recuperation of the river. The key difference is that the greenway would be physically tied to existing ecological resources of Parque Entre Nubes, and would officially designate the river corridor as a protecte d zone. Based upon these protections, it would let industries know that the city is serious about cleaning up the river and make it easier to enforce regulations aimed at stopping the pollution. While a complete restoration of the river and the development of the greenway may take decades to accomplish. This large, sweeping move would be a good first step in changing the river. Link the Greenway to the City By utilizing the existing infrastructure of public transport and the ciclorutas, an opportunity exists to stitch the greenway into the city and create a network of public green spaces in south Bogotá. The city should expand the network of the ciclovias to promote connectivity and create green streets and boulevards that

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80 join the larger system. Some specific ideas for creating green streets are presented in Chapter 7. Specific Policies While regulation is considered problematic to some businesses, it has been very effective in changing the policies and practices of industries to prevent pollution in other parts of the world. Some major policies addressed include the following: 1.) The creation of standards for the operation of mining industries operating in south Bogotá 2.) Regulations for the reclamation of exhausted strip mines. 3.) Regulations for leather processing industries and disposal of chemicals 4.) Standards and regulations for the post-mining condition 5.) Incentives for the development of green industries Conclusions The city must start by designating the lower basin of the river as an urban greenway. Then, steps must be taken to link this greenway at the large scale to the surrounding city. Until the sources of pollution are stopped, the river cannot be restored. The adoption of these policies and plans at the large scale could then set the stage for the subsequent strategies proposed in the following chapters and provide the opportunity to reconnect the river at smaller scales of concern.

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81 CHAPTER 7 STRATEGIES FOR LOCALITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS Localities and Neighborhoods Each locality in south Bogotá is unique, but each of the five localities within the study share a common connection; the Rio Tunjuelo. With the adoption of a unifying greenway discussed in the previous chapter, the question then becomes how can these communities become connected and vested into this project? One of the major problems discussed in chapter 3 was the disconnection of these communities from the river. This section presents some specific ideas and strategies for reconnecting the river to the surrounding communities and businesses. Linking the communities to the greenway Due to the size of the study area which covers over 12 miles (20km) of the lower river basin, creating an illustrative master plan for the entire river system would not be feasible for the purposes of this project. Instead, this chapter of the project explores connectivity principles that could be applied to many sites along the river corridor. One example of this connectivity will look at a neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu in the Locality of Tunjuelito (Fig. 7-1). This neighborhood was developed in Figure 7-1. Streetscape in Nuevo Mizu

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82 the 1970Â’s with the urbanization and development of that period. The land was created by filling in a lake to create building lots, and the first residents had no public utilities to depend on (Zambano, 2004, Pg. 178). The lake served as an overflow area for the Rio Tunjuelo, but because it was filled in, the neighborhood is now in a flood risk zone. Along the south border of the barrio is a drainage ditch, made completely of concrete (Fig 7-2). The ditch serves to drain that neighborhood and two adjoining others. Perpendicular to the ditch is an open green area used for soccer, and is adjacent to a school. Another concrete ditc h runs up into the middle street of the neighborhood. These concrete ditches have the potential to become open green and blue amenities for the neighborhood instead of an eyesore and hazard. Furthermore, they could serve as part of the stormwater treatment from neighborhoods before dumping this runoff directly into the River Tunjuelo. Based on this, the individual streets could be part of a network for detaining and reducing stormwater before it reaches the channel. The channel itself should be restored to a more natural state, with meandering banks and Figure 7-2 Concrete Channel in Nuevo Mizu

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83 weirs or rocks to slow down the stormwater, allowing it to infiltrate the ground before rushing into the Rio Tunjuelo. This potential network is illustrated in the following diagrams (Figs. 7-3, 7-4, & 7-5). Figure 7-3. The neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu and the River Tunjuelo

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84 Ecological Restoration and Wetlands One key measure to be addressed in the design is the ecological restoration and creation of wetland areas. With the intense urbanization Figure 7-4. Existing Green and Blue Infrastructure (Above) Figure 7-5. Proposed Green and Blue Infrastructure (Below)

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85 discussed in previous chapters, the Rio Tunjuelo has not only lost most of its original ecology and habitat, but has also lost much of its ability to handle stormwater during flood events. Research by Campbell and Ogden states, “There has been a corresponding increas e in constructed wetlands and their potential to provide an effective, low-cost, natural method of removing pollutants from both wastewater and stormwater (Campbell & Ogden, 1999, pg. v).” As such, these proven benefits can be used both to treat stormwater runoff from adjacent urban areas, provide buffer areas to handle surges of water during flood events, as well as treat the existing polluted river conditions. Extensive research by Alexandra Garzon with the Aqueducto de Bogotá specializes in exactly these types of wetlands restorations within the city (Fig. 76). The precedent for wetlands restorations and created wetlands is already in place, and can be applied to the larger framework of the greenway (Fig. 7-7). Fi g ure 7-6. Wetlands restoration in Bo g otá ( Source: Garzon, 2007 )

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86 Figure 7-9. Example of promenade including a cicloruta and pedestrian pathway along the Rio Salitre in north Bogotá Promenade / Cyclorutas An integral part of the entire green network would be the creation of linear Ciclorutas and pedestrian paths parallel to the river (Fig. 7-7). Furthermore, pedestrian bridges at key locations could help to link communities formerly separated by the river. These pathways could also serve to dramatically increase the connectivity between the limited ciclovias in south Bogotá as well as linking to hubs for public transport. The creation of such a promenade would also help to reinforce the larger network of green infrastructure and offer better access for residents to public green spaces. Figure 7-7. Example of promenade including a Cicloruta and pedestrian pathway along the Rio Salitre in in north Bogotá

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87 Community Nodes At intervals along the greenway, it will become important to create community “nodes” to stimulate activity and get people back to the river (Fig. 7-10). These places are an important part of Bogotá’s social network and create opportunities for informal markets, vendors, and socialization. These nodes can be as simple as creating plazas at intersections, or mo re extensively by offering opportunities for small business or entrepreneurs to set up shop. If people begin to take ownership in their communities, they will be more likely to promote a healthy and safe environment. Figure 7-8. Community nodes along the greenway

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88 Recreation Opportunities Opportunities for active recreation are needed in every community. During site visits most often seen were people participating in active sports and recreation. One very important part of the suggested strategy is the creation (and rejuvenation) of acti ve recreation spaces (Fig. 7-8). Opportunities for the incorporation of facilities for tennis, volleyball, soccer, and basketball should be included (Fig. 7-9). Recreation centers along many parts of the new greenway would also act as another type of community node. This also provides for a mixture of active and passive recreation options. Figure 7-10. Illustration of a hypothetical recreational area and its relationship to the river Figure 7-9 Residents enjoy an afternoon at Parque Timiza

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89 Security & Maintenance One major consideration for these new parks will be the ongoing maintenance, upkeep, and security needed to sustain a healthy environment. One recommendation is to get community groups such as churches, schools, and other social groups to “adopt a park” to take responsibility to periodically clean and maintain sections of the greenway. By getting people actively involved and taking ownership of the public spaces, there is a much better chance that the parks will be cleaner and safer all around. Regarding security, Jane Jacobs’ concep t of “Eyes on the street (Jacobs, 1961, pg. 56)” is very important to this project. By creating active community spaces and nodes near the river, a vi able and well-connected network for pedestrians and bicyclists, and encouraging the development of businesses near the river, there is a much better chance for ensuring a safe environment for everyone. In addition to citizen participation, the city should also commit the services of their police and non-combat military to also regularly patrol the parks and cyclorutas. These personnel are readily seen in other public areas of the city, especially in the north. Finally, the adopted design should always permit space for ambulances and fire trucks to service areas of the greenway and parks in case of emergencies. Vacant Parcels Bogotá uniquely has many large undeveloped parcels of land within the metropolitan boundaries. Often these spaces act as a dumping ground for refuse

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90 and are fenced off from the public (Fig. 7-10). These available space have potential to be developed in a manner that will work in harmony with the proposed green corridor. Some specific ideas include the creation of new types of “green” industry for Bogotá, and the development of a variety of housing including provisions for low-income and displaced citizens. Some specific ideas for what can be done with some of these parcels adjacent to the river are explored here. Figure 7-11. A vacant parcel covered in refuse in the industrial area of Atlanta.

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91 Recycling Center As previously stated, Bogotá has no centralized recycling system. Most of the city’s physical waste is hauled off to the landfill Doña Juana, south of Bogotá. The landfill is projected to have only 6 years left until reaching capacity (El Tiempo, May 2009). Currently, it is estimated that Bogotá produces 8,500 tons of solid waste every day, and one third of that is material that could be recycled, such as glass, cardboard, and metals (Tareaescolar, 2010). This does not take into account the organic materials that could also potentially be sorted and composted for fertilizer. One progressive system that Bogotá has employed is the reclamation of methane gasses from the landfill for use in supporting the city’s energy needs. However, their efficiency could be greatly improved if a central recycling system could be employed. Bogotá has borrowed several urban design components from Curitiba, Brazil, such as the Transmilenio bus system and Pico y Placa. For recycling, there is another unique system from Curitiba that could be applied to Bogotá as well. There are, “79 exchange centers that the municipality of Curitiba has established in communities where the streets are too narrow or too bumpy for large garbage trucks to circulate. Instead, people can carry their trash to biweekly collection sites and trade four pounds of garbage for one pound of vegetables. Mostly they bring plastic, paper and cardboard. At another site, run by the community council, more valuable aluminum cans are collected in return for money, and at yet another, organic material is traded for bus tokens (Lubow, 2007, pg.3).” This brilliant system could easily be applied to Bogotá, if only a

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92 centralized recycling processing center co uld be established. There is already the social structure of “Recicladores” or persons who sort through the garbage for food or items of value to resell on the streets on the weekend markets. These individuals generally are living “hand to mouth”, and have no centralized organization. However, there is the National Association of Recyclers ( www.anr.org.co ) dedicated to “The establishment, recognition, and dignification of Recicladores (ANR, 2009).” By using the existing social structure the potential to create a new economic engine for the community, a new centralized recycling center for Bogotá is recommended. If the majority of the city’s garbage were processed and sorted, a very large percentage could be separated for reuse (Fig. 7-11). Uniquely tied to this will be the opportunities for employment for underprivileged individuals in collecting and sorting the recyclables. An additional opportunity is created for users to resell the still-viable products collected from the waste. Overall, this proposal could create a solution for several social and physical problems within south Bogotá. Figure 7-12. Diagram of a recycling processing center

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93 New Housing Ciudad Bolivar has some of the highest poverty rates in Bogotá. Many underprivileged persons are living in less than ideal conditions. Likewise, there is currently no specific housing program for desplazados. Providing some subsidized housing for them could provide measured success in getting some of these people out of tents and shacks. While subsidized housing may not be a permanent solution for these people, it could serve as a halfway point for many people to get on their feet, get established, and receive some job training or get employment in something that they are qualified for, such as farming or sorting recycling. The idea is to have a structure that will provide a mixture of housing options for middle and lower-income housing all mixed together. Community nodes and spaces for small business should also be provided to allow for a blending within the community. Urban Farming and Market Another strategy that could be employed in this area is to produce agriculture in currently unused plots of land. Many of the desplazados have a background in farming, and their skill sets would lend favorably to working in a productive agricultural area. Organic material from the recycling center could be composted and used to grow fruits and vegetables. Bogotá’s soils are generally very rich with clay and sediment deposits, and most of the area of Ciudad Bolivar was active agricultural land during the turn of the century. Not only would this provide a green industry for the area, but the produce could be traded to the recicladores in exchange for recyclable materials. Additional produce could be

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94 sold at a central market space, alongside other goods salvaged from the recycling operations (Fig. 7-15). In this model, a synergy is created between the people who live in the housing, work in the fields, and work in the recycling operations. Profits from the recycling could be used to subsidize the housing and agriculture, and provide a living for thousands of individuals in this area. Summary of Strategies At this scale, some new ideas for creating economic industry and sustainable living are explored. The emphasis here is to create opportunities for Figure 7-13. Example of a street market in Bogotá

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95 community development and creating economic engines that can help improve environmental quality in the river basin at the community scale. . By developing the infrastructure to process recycling for the city, opportunities for urban agriculture, and mixed housing types, it lays the foundation for creating a larger framework connected to the urban greenway. The project takes land that is currently not being used and develops some new opportunities for community development. While any of these elements could be used at other places along the river, this model provides some additional ideas for how these spaces could be implemented and developed at the neighborhood and locality scale (Fig. 7-16). The main points here are the creation of the following: 1.) Spaces for Stormwater and Wetlands – Use nature to cleanse 2.) Places for Ecological Education – Community Education 3.) Community Nodes along the Greenway – Build Neighboring 4.) Promenade and Ciclorutas – Connectivity and Safety 5.) Space for Recreation – Improve and Expand 6.) Security and Maintenance – Involve the community, eyes on the street 7.) New Housing – Mixed incomes and types 8.) Centralized Recycling Program – Create Employment 9.) Urban Agriculture – Feed the community

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96 Figure 7-14. Example of a successful neighborhood park in Kennedy

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97 CHAPTER 8 BRINGING GREEN AND BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE TO THE STREETS This final chapter looks at some specific strategies for retrofitting green and blue infrastructure into south Bogotá’s streets. The focus is on creating better environments at the human and pedestrian scale. This will be done through street improvements, utilization of underused and undeveloped urban patches, and the adoption of urban agriculture within the study area. Creating Green and Blue Streets As discussed in Chapter 4, the street conditions in south Bogotá are hazardous, uncoordinated, disjointed, and visually unsightly. Because of the nature in which these areas were developed, no cohesive master plan for streetscapes and sidewalks has yet been implemented. To better understand what the average streetscape is like for a pedestrian, refer to the following photographs taken at different places throughout the study area (Figs. 81,2,3,4,5). These serve as the bas is for the subsequent recommendations. Figure 8-1. Unpaved sidewalk acting as store frontage in Ciudad Bolivar

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98 Fi g ure 8-2. Ha p hazard sidewalk conditions in Tun j uelito Figure 8-3. Bus stop in Ciudad Bolivar with no sidewalk or bus shelter

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99 Fi g ure 8-5. Dirt sidewalk in Ciudad Bolivar Figure 8-4. Sidewalk in Kennedy, with no street trees and minimal vegetation

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100 As seen in these pictures, street trees, benches, and stormwater treatment is practically non-existent in most of the streets. Sidewalks are not always paved, and in some places are not even available to pedestrians. Designated bicycle paths or lanes are likewise lacking from this configuration. Based upon these needs, some conceptua l street improvements are developed in this section. Urban Agriculture There has been a recent movement in the United States towards a renaissance of growing fruits and vegetables locally, in public spaces and in urban environments (Fig. 8-6). One leading researcher in the area is Darrin Nordahl, whose book Public Produce outlines strategies for bringing agriculture into the urban setting. He advocates, “Fresh produce grown on public land, and thus available to all members of the public – for gathering or gleaning, for purchase or for trade (Nordahl, 2009, Pg.4).” The author argues that bringing agriculture into the urban setting creates the potential for better health, nutrition, and well-being for citizens. The social, economic, nutritional, and ecological benefits of urban agriculture are wideranging. Instead of bringing aesthetic Figure 8-6. Urban garden in curbside bulb-out in Gainesville, Florida

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101 ornamental plants into south Bogotá, why not simply “green” the neighborhoods and communities with edible agriculture? While this may sound like an unrealistic suggestion, Bogotá has already begun a pilot project aimed at doing just that. In 2006, approximately 6,300 family participants took part in Agricultura Urbana; a pilot program in Cuidad Bolivar aimed at involving communities in growing their own food. The program was assisted primarily by the efforts of the Botanical Garden of Bogotá, the Mayor’s office, and the Presidency of the Republic. Participants were invited to participate in urban agriculture, and given some basic education and materials to get started (Fig. 8-7). The results were very encouraging, showing that of the groups initially involved with the study, 84% started their own urban agricultural cultivation (UA Informe, 2006). Participants grew corn, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, medicinal herbs, and more than 25 other species (Eltiempo, 2007, pg.1). It is reported that over 60 varieties of garden vegetables, grains, potatoes, cereals, herbs, and special fruits can be cultivated in the savannah of Bogotá Figure 8-7. A family participating in Urban Agriculture (Source: UA Bogotá). Accessed March, 2010 http://www.humboldt.org.co/jardinesdecolombia/agricultura _urbana/galeria.htm

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102 (Agricultura Urbana, 2010). However, one of the biggest challenges reported by participants was lack of space (UA Informe, 2006). One of the recommendations of this project is retrofitting urban green spaces within the city, but more specifically to make more areas available for urban agriculture. The following section will illustrate how existing streets can be converted into areas that can be used for urban agriculture, utilizing stormwater runoff for irrigation. A New Vision for the Streets Based upon the need for better urban green spaces and the potential for including stormwater management and urban agriculture within the city streets, some design suggestions for a typical urban street in south Bogotá were developed. Based upon site visits and aeri al projections, average dimensions of two-way road right of ways, including sidewalks is approximately 35 feet (10.68 meters). In most areas, the sidewalks are minimal (5-7 feet), and paved asphalt take up the majority of the right of way. The design proposes a narrowing of the car lanes, and inclusion of in-ground planting beds that would serve to capture and slow down stormwater runoff, allowing it to percolate into the ground while also providing a space for urban agriculture. The model borrows from Portland, Oregon’s Green Streets but applies it specifically to south Bogotá. In the case of Portland, they utilize a depressed swale between streets and sidewalks to capture stormwater runoff, slow it down, and use it for irrigation for plants. Cutouts in the curbs allow stormwater to flow into the depressions, and when one fills up, it overflows into the adjacent chamber. If all of the chambers fill up, then the water is released to the stormwater drainage system. However, much of the

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103 Figure 8-8. (Above) Curb Cut-Out in Portland, Oregon (Source: Portland Online) Accessed March, 2010 http://www.portlandonlin e.com/Bes/index.cfm?a= 123776&c=45386 Figure 8-9. (Right) Diagram of curbside plantings and water retention (Source: PCWSP) Accessed March, 2010. http://www.portlandonlin e.com water is allowed to percolate into the

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104 water is allowed to percolate into the ground and is absorbed by the plant materials (Figs. 8-8,9). While the application in Portland is primarily for ornamental plants, the potential exists for urban agriculture as well. In south Bogotá, it would not be feasible to plant millions of dollars of ornamental plants that would require upkeep and maintenance for the sake of aesthetic quality. What is instead proposed is the inclusion of fruit trees as street trees, and planting beds provided for residents to cultivate their own foods. If the Mayor’s office would only provide the space, the seeds, and community education, the pilot program proves that people in the study are would be open to such an endeavor. The following series of illustrations depicts the existing and proposed conditions in residential and mixed-use streets in Bogotá. The retrofitting of green and blue infrastructure at the street scale provides a unique opportunity for the residents of south Bogotá to enjoy more access to nature and better nutrition. In an area that is so devoid of greenery, why not make the landscape into something productive for the people? If implemented, this plan has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people (Figs 8-10,11,12). Such a plan would need the full support and backing of the mayor’s office, the government of the local municipalities, and the participation of various cultural and social groups. However, the potential for success could create a unique opportunity for Bogotá to become a shining example of sustainability and ecologically conscious city planning.

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105 Figure 8-10. Existing typical street (upper); Figure 8-11 Incorporating curb cutouts for fruit trees and vegetable gardening (lower).

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106 Summary of Strategies In this section, this project has looked at the needs of the users at the street and pedestrian scale. By reclaiming underdeveloped and unused portions of the urban fabric, a more fine-grained network of green and blue infrastructure can be developed for south Bogotá. One promising possibility is the incorporation of urban agriculture within the individual streets and neighborhoods by utilizing spaces that are currently not being used. From a policy perspective, the city should designate many streets and public areas for the integration of green and blue infrastructure, and specifically for urban agriculture. Such designations could be made from land that is already publicly available and would not cost very much to implement. A continuation and expansion of the Agricultura Urbana project would also help to educate residents on the benefits and opportunities presented by utilizing their own streets as productive landscapes. From a design standpoint, a rethinking of public space and stormwater management is required. In many cases, stormwater that is currently being piped underground to the river could be daylighted and incorporated into the landscape, as illustrated by Portland case study. By linking green and blue streets within neighborhoods to the community parks and ultimately to the Rio Tunjuelo, the potential exists for the creation a large network of interconnected public green spaces across multiple scales. The final product would be a city that has reconnected itself to the river, and reinvented its public spaces for south Bogotá.

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107 CHAPTER 9 CONCLUSIONS This project has investigated ways for reconnecting the Rio Tunjuelo to the city of Bogotá across three different scales; from regional to neighborhood and streets. A combination of planning and policy was employed to create a new vision to address specific issues and develop strategies. At the regional/metropolitan level, the physical, cultural, and political context was investigated. At this scale, I analyzed the history of development, industrial pollution, flooding, lack of green space, desplazados, and government policy. Based on this analysis, I identified issues and opportunities that created the basis for blue and green infrastructure strategies. A new greenway network was proposed. In addition to the creation of a greenway along the river, specific policies aimed at regulating industry and changing operations for the largest polluters were outlined. The creation of the greenway and the cleanup of the river is the first step towards building a new network of public spaces in south Bogotá. In order to link this greenway at the larger scale, the project proposed using some of the existing infrastructure of the Transmilenio and the Ciclorutas as a basis for creating connections. At the neighborhood scale, the project looked at different types of public space, land use, and social issues. The importance for more access to nature is highlighted and explored as well. Building upon this framework, ideas for linking neighborhoods and communities to the larger greenway were explored using the neighborhood of Nuevo Mizu.

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108 Other methods of linking these communities to the greenway and river were also explored, including the creation of constructed wetlands, a central promenade for the river, community nodes, and points for recreation. Other strategies included a new centralized recycling hub as a means of creating a new green industry for Bogotá and employment opportunities. Also included was the creation of a new community housing utilizing undeveloped parcels within the city. Finally, the idea of urban agriculture is also presented as a method to develop productive landscapes within the urban boundary. These ideas can be further developed and applied to other points along the larger greenway. At the street scale, I looked at issues and opportunities relating to the quality of public spaces. The project illustrated the existing conditions encountered by pedestrians and bicyclists at the ground level. The idea of urban agriculture was explored specific to this area, and presented as an alternative option for streets and small unused spaces within the city. Finally, I illustrated how existing barren streets could be transformed into green and blue streets, including productive urban agriculture. These new green and blue streets exemplify a new vision for south Bogotá. My research demonstrates a method for studying the Rio Tunjuelo across three different scales. It has examined the issues surrounding the river and has suggested some potential strategies for cleaning up the river and reconnecting it to the surrounding communities. One of the insights gained from working with the river was the importance of developi ng cities to acknowledge the impacts of urbanization on natural systems. In the case of the Rio Tunjuelo, I believe that

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109 Bogotá has the opportunity to restore the river, create an extensive network of green spaces, and improve the quality of public space for the people of south Bogotá. My thesis has taken a general look at many of the issues across the three different scales, and has created an opportunity for future research within each scale. The next step towards realizing this vision would require a much more intensive examination of the issues and formulation of projects and plans with the assistance of various other disciplines. The next step would require the assistance of government and the people of Bogotá to take definitive action and implement this new vision for the river. The future of the Rio Tunjuelo is full of possibilities to bring health, vitality, hope, and a better quality of life for the people of south Bogotá. The ultimate dream is for the people to finally reconnect and live in harmony with the forgotten river (Fig. 9-1). Figure 9-1. Children playing soccer in a community park

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110 REFERENCES Acosta, D. (2009, July 19). Todo un parque en ‘cuarentena’. El Tiempo. Bogotá, Colombia. p. C2,2. Agricultura Urbana, proyecto para cultivar sus propios alimentos en Bogotá. (2007, December 14). Eltiempo.com. Accessed on March 19, 2010 from http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-3859518 Agricultura Urbana: Producimos Alimentos Sanos en Casa. (2007). Agricultura Urbana Website. Accessed 03/10/2010 from http://www.humboldt.org.co/jardinesdecolombia/agricultura_urbana/ Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá. (2004, October). Decreto 316. Bogota, Colombia: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá. Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá D.C., Secretaría General. (2002). Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial de Bogotá (POT) [Online Resource]. . Bogotá, Colombia Amato, P. W. (1969). Population densities, land values, and socioeconomic class in Bogotá, Colombia. Land Economics, 45 (1), 66-73. Bélanger, P. (2009). Landscape As Infrastructure. Landscape Journal, 28(1), 7995. doi:10.3368/lj.28.1.79

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111 Benedict, M & McMahon, E. (2006). Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes to Communities. Washington, DC: Island Press. Berney, R. E. (2008). The Pedagogical City: How Bogotá, Colombia, is Reshaping the Role of Public Space. (P.H. D., University of California, Berkley). Blanco, A. (2009, June 16). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Burley, J. (2001). Environmental Design for Reclaiming Surface Mines. Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press. Campos Reyes, O. (2009) Un Espacio De Río Para El Sur De Bogotá: El Tunjuelo. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Campos Reyes, O. (2009, July 27). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Ciclovia. (n.d.). in Streets Wiki [Online Resource]. Retrieved February 2, 2010 from http://www.livablestreets.com/streetswiki/ciclovia Cohen, J. (2008). Calming Traffic on Bogotá's Killing Streets. Science, 319 , 742743. Corner, J. (2006). Terra Flexus. In C. Waldheim, The Landscape Urbanism Reader (pp.21-35). New York, New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Del Castillo Daza, J.C. (2003). Bogotá: El Tránsito a la Cuidad Moderna 1920 1950 . Bogota, Colombia: Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

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112 Departamento Administrativo de Medio Ambiente (DAMA). (1997, October). Determinantes Ambientales del Ordenamiento. Estructura Ecológica Principal [Online Resource].. Bogotá, Colombia Departamento Administrativo de Planeación Distrital (DAPD). (2002). Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial de Bogotá. Bogotá: Documento Técnico de Soporte . Bogotá, Colombia: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá.Donovan, M. G. (2002). Space wars in bogotá: The recovery of public space and its impact on street vendors. Massacusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/1721.1/16811 Dreiseitl, H & Grau, D. (2005). New Waterscapes. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser. Echeverry, J. C., Ibáñez, A. M., Moya, A., Hillón, L. C., Cárdenas, M., & GómezLobo, A. (2005). The economics of TransMilenio, a mass transit system for bogotá [with comments]. Economía, 5 (2), 151-196. Eckerson, C. (2007, December 1). Streetfilms Ciclovia: Bogotá, Colombia [Video File]. Retrived on 02/02/2010 from http://www.streetfilms.org/ciclovia/ El destino de los desplazados del Tercer Milenio. (2009, August 3). Semana.com [Online Article]. Accessed February 4, 2010 from http://www.semana.com/noticias-problemas-sociales/destino-desplazadosdel-tercer-milenio/126980.aspx Garzon, A. (2009, July 21). [Personal communication]. Interview by author.

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113 Gerencia Tunjuelo. (2008). Describiendo la Cuenca del río Tunjuelo [Online Resource]. . Bogotá, Colombia. Gilbert, A., & United Nations University. (1996). The mega-city in latin america . Tokyo ; New York: United Nations University Press. Girling, C & Kellett, R. (2005). Skinny Streets & Green Neighborhoods. Washington, DC: Island Press. Gobierno De Colombia, El Ministerio del Medio Ambiente. (2002). Decreto 172902 (MMA Publication, August 2002). Bogota, Colombia: Ministerio del Medio Ambiente Guhl, A. (2009, June 26). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Hernández Rodríguez, C. E., Le Corbusier, & Sert, J. L. (2004). Las ideas modernas del plan para bogotá en 1950 : El trabajo de le corbusier, wiener y sert (1.th ed.). Bogotá: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá; Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo. Horsefield, D. R. (1968). Master wastewater collection and treatment plan for bogotá, colombia. Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation), 40 (8, Part I), 1443-1458. Jacobs, J. (1961). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York, New York: Random House, Inc.

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114 Mohan, R. (1986). Work, wages, and welfare in a developing, metropolis : Consequences of growth in bogotá, colombia . Washington, D.C.: World Bank. Nordhal, D. (2009). Public Produce. Washington, D.C.: Island Press Observatorio de Cultura Urbano, & Zambrano Pantoja, F. (2003). Tres parques de bogotá : Nacional, el tunal, simón bolívar (1.th ed.). Bogotá : Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá: Instituto Distrital Cultura y Turismo; Instituto Distrital Recreación y Deporte. Osorio, J. (2007). El Rio Tunjuelito en La Historia de Bogotá . Bogotá, Colombia: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá, Instituto Distrital Cultura y Turismo, & Instituto Distrital Recreación y Deporte. Ospina, L. (2009, July 16). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Salazar, H. (2008, September 30). ¿Cuántos desplazados en Colombia?. BBC World News [Online Article]. Retrieved September 18, 2009 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/latin_america/newsid_7645000/7645341.stm Samper Gnecco, G. (2003). Germán samper : La evolución de la vivienda . Bogotá, Colombia: Escala. Secretaria Distrital de Ambiente. (2009). Plan de Ordenación y Manejo de la Cuenca del Río Tunjuelo [PowerPoint slides]. Bogotá, Colombia: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá.

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115 Sefair, J. (2009, July 6). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Sorvig, K. (2009, April). Return on Investment. Landscape Architecture , 99(4), pp.32-41. Valenzuela, E. (2009, July 9). [Personal communication]. Interview by author. Wohl, E. (2004) Disconnected Rivers; Linking Rivers to Landscapes . New Haven/London: Yale University Press Zambrano Pantoja, F. (2004). Historia de La Localidad de Tunjuelito . Bogotá, Colombia: Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá, Alcaldía Local de Tunjuelito, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Zambrano Pantoja, F. (2009, June 26). [Personal communication]. Interview by author.

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116 LIST OF INTERVIEWS AND QUESTIONS All interviews were conducted in Spanish, with English translations of questions listed below. Interview with Andres Blanco, professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Florida. Meet in Bogotá on June 16, 2009. Informal interview. Discussed general conditions in south Bogotá, departments involved with the river, contacts and persons to interview. Interview with Orlando Campos, landscape architect and professor at the Universidad Nacional on July 27, 2009. How is the profession of landscape architecture in Colombia? What influence does landscape architecture have in the projects of Bogotá? POMCA; what is the vision/plan to realize it? What is the relationship between the Aqueducto, Secretaria Ambiental, and IDRD? Who manages the ultimate project? In your plan, how do you deal with the contamination? How do you deal with; security? access for the disabled? Attitudes towards the river? How do you treat the integration between communities and the river? How do you deal with the inequality between the quantity and quality of public spaces in south of the city? In your opinion, what are the other problems with the river? Other ideas or questions? Interwiew with Alexandra Garzon, biologist and wetlands restoration specialist for the Aqueducto de Bogotá. Interview conducted July 21, 2009. What is the role of the Aqueducto in the River Tunjuelo? What is the vision for the river?

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117 What plans or projects exist to clean the water? What about treatment plants? What can be done to control the flooding in this area? What do you think about using construc ted wetlands as one mechanism to clean the river? What is the current project in the southeast of Park Timiza? What plans does the aqueduct have to control the sewage that is being put into the system? Where could I obtain data for hydrologic levels of the river, and levels of contamination? Interview with Andres Guhl, professor of ecological development at the Universidad de Los Andes. Interview conducted on June 26, 2009. Given the obvious degradation of the River Tunjuelo, what can be done to reverse the effects of urbanization in this sector? What are some of the effects of La Regadera y Vitelma today? What are some of the native flora and fauna of the Tunjuelo middle basin? What are the chances of effectively stopping or reducing pollution from the mines and the leather processing industries today? Does the concept of urban conservation exist in Bogotá and in what form? What can be done with new development to minimize the impact on the remaining ecosystem? Policy and implementation? What is your opinion of the project that I am proposing? What are the biggest challenges, in your opinion? Do you think it would be better to channelize the river or attempt to restore the natural form? What groups or agencies might be interested in seeing such a project?

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118 What would be the positive public impacts of such a project, and would they be sustainable for the next 10, 50, 100 years? Do you know of any current projects planned or in construction affecting the river? Can you recommend any additional sources of information to better understand the hydrology and ecosystems of the river? Is there anyone else in this university who might have experience with urban design or planning whom I should contact? Interview with Liliana Ospina, master planner with the Instituto de Deporte y Recreacion of Bogotá. Interview conducted on July 16, 2009. What vision does the department have for the parks in the area around the River Tunjuelo? Are the plans or projects that exist in this area? Who manages them? In your opinion, are there different needs in the south than the north of the city in terms of the types of parks and uses? What programs and/or activities are the most successful with the public? What types of active recreation do you manage? What types of passive recreation do you manage? In your opinion, what kinds of sports and activities should I include in my project? What are “Caminatas recreoecolog icas para niños” (recreational ecological walks for children) and how do they function? Are there other educational sports programs? How could my project incorporate other parks and programs in this area of the city? What types of serves are required for public parks, such as bathrooms, vending, water fountains, etc.? How is access for disabled persons provided in parks?

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119 What rules or regulations exist for the safety and health of the public, and where could I find these? How does the city respond when there is a conflict between illegal vendors using the use of public spaces? What other institutions or groups participate in the activities of the sports and recreation? Churches, Schools, etc. Any other ideas or questions? Interview with Jorge Sefair, industrial engineer at the Universidad de Los Andes. Interview conducted on July 6, 2009. What is the current status of public lands, protected lands, and urbanized lands not developed? What would need to be done to put all lands in my area of study into permanent conservation? What areas are at the highest risk of development? What areas have the highest risk of flooding? Where could I find information on flood data? What do you think of using constructed wetlands as a tool for cleaning the river? Are there other engineering solutions that I should consider to control the quality and quantity of the river? Do you know of any current projects planned or in construction affecting the river? What do you think of the project that I’m proposing? Do you have any additional questions or suggestions about my project? Interview with Elizabeth Valenzuela, biologist for the for the Secretaria Ambiental de Bogotá (Secretary of the Environment). Interview conducted on July 9, 2009 author. What is the process to create new parks in Bogotá?

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120 What projects or processes exist to clean up the river today? What is the vision of the administration of the city for the river? Is it possible that my project can coincide with the existing plans? In your opinion, what can be done to clean the river? What can be done to change attitudes towards the river? What types of chemicals are contaminating the river, and how can the contamination be eliminated? Do you know of any health problems that exist as a result of the contamination? In your opinion, what is the biggest environmental problem in this zone? Do you have any contacts with pers ons in the sports and recreation planning department? How is the city’s garbage and recycling treated in the city? What do you think of creating a new central recycling program in the south [Bogotá]? Are there other sources of information that exist to assist my investigation? Other ideas, suggestions, or questions? Interview with Fabio Zambrano Pantoja, historian and professor at the Universidad Nacional. Interview conducted June 26, 2009. What are the biggest problems facing the residents of Tunjuelito today? What is the relationship between park El Tunal and the community? How is the quality and quantity of public space in the south of the city? Tell me a little bit about the history of the river’s use and how it has changed with the urbanization of the city In your opinion, what is the general attitude towards the river today?

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121 What is the possibility of changing attitudes and uses of the river and create a new park? What institutions exist, such as the Santender school and the m ilitary base, and what roles do they have in the community? What industries are most important in Tunjuelo and Ciudad Bolivar? How do they contribute to the contamination of the river? In your opinion, what can be done to better the relationship between the river and this sector? What is the relationship between Ciudad Bolivar and Tunjuelito? Do you know any good sources of information about Ciudad Bolivar? Any other ideas, suggestions, or questions about my research? Where can I purchase copies of your books?