Bogotá is kickstarting the construction of 3,000 new residences and other development in an attempt to revitalize its lively, business-heavy central district. A small corner of the Puente Arnanda neighborhood, known as Triángulo de Bavaria, will become dedicated to housing and see the introduction of more public space, according to a plan from Mayor Enrique Peñalosa.
The area is currently dominated by industrial activity, with some 80% of the buildings being warehouses, production plants, or other commercial structures. Of the 3,000 planned residences in a development initiative that covers 20 hectares, the mayor’s office said that 584 of them are a priority project.
More two hectares of the area, a small triangular area emerging from the intersection of Avenida Las Americas and Avenida NQS, will go to parks and malls, while nearly three hectares will become public spaces. At least three hectares will become roadways (or be the the site where existing roads are improved).
The area is both active and popular, as it sits nearby both the massive Corferias conference and exhibition grounds and the renowned Paloquemao food market that fills tables in the capital everywhere from humble kitchens to five-star restaurants.
“We will benefit about 10,000 people by developing residential areas in the city center and thus preventing more citizens from moving to sectors outside of the capital,” said Peñalosa.
Peñalosa has noted the difficulty of combatting the economic forces that are pushing more and more people to the outskirts of the Bogotá. Congestion, lack of transportation, housing prices, cost of living, and other factors are leading many to move up north or to the west of the capital where life is more affordable but fewer jobs exist. Peñalosa says that once people leave, it is harder to help them because social, training, and other initiatives that he can enact within the city limits don’t stretch beyond Bogotá’s borders.
So this project is a part of Enrique Peñalosa’s larger plan to bring more development to the capital and encourage the human capital to stay. Now in office for around a year, he ran on a campaign to encourage development and improve transportation infrastructure in a city of more than eight million that is plagued by constant traffic congestion.
Last month, Peñalosa announced his plan to break ground an elevated metro and expand the current Transmilenio bus system. The mega-project is budgeted to cost $4.77 billion USD and be completed by 2022.
Last week, the mayor also got final approval from the city council to sell a 20% stake in the city-controlled utility Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB). In an upcoming sale of the lucrative and highly profitable company, the mayor is seeking to bring in some $1.3 billion USD that he then plans to use to fund eight transportation projects. Citizens, employee funds, and the pension funds will have the first option to buy a portion of the shares.