Costa Rica: Transformation & Revival of a City Through Densification & Tropical Urban Spaces

Rodrigo Carazo
President - Design Director
Carazo Architecture, San José

Most of the urban development in the next 50 years will happen in tropical cities; we, therefore, have the challenge to reinvent how these cities are developed and how humans can interact with them. San Jose, Costa Rica, is a case of such a city. Due to poor planning which has led to urban sprawl, as well as a reduction of the quality of life, the city is at a turning point. With more and more people migrating from suburban to urban environments to, for the first time, embrace life in a vertical city, unique opportunities have emerged for transformation.

The presentation proposed new ways, through case studies, that new mixed-used developments can incorporate natural green and public spaces to form a continuous network throughout a city. Using city landscapes abandoned due to poor planning and urban sprawl, this proposal calls for the creation of biological urban corridors that integrate with dense, mixed-use developments and allow city dwellers to connect with various parts of the city. This results in a model that transforms an inoperable horizontal city into a successfully dense and connected vertical city.