Oasis Of Innovation And Development by David Ramirez Alfonso & Maria Paula Velez

The IDB UrbanLab is a university competition aimed at finding creative solutions and innovative ideas for urban problems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), hand in hand with students, university professors and young professionals. It aims to serve as a seedbed and incubator of young talent in urban issues through a network of work with universities, closing the gap between young people and the labor market, as well as promoting a participatory space that puts into discussion the paradigms of the discipline.

Architects: David Ramirez / Maria Paula Velez
Location: Guaymallén, Argentina
Status: Competition

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through its Division of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Province of Mendoza, the Municipality of Guaymallén, seeks the development of an integral, innovative and sustainable urban project in Mendoza , Argentina for the properties of patrimonial character of the General Belgrano Railroad and its zone destined to the “Park Joaquín Lavado QUINO” in the Department of Guaymallén.

The IDB, committed to supporting cities to face the challenges of the global dynamics, created in 2011, a technical assistance program that seeks to help intermediate cities in LAC in the identification, prioritization and structuring of projects from a multidisciplinary approach that integrates environmental sustainability and climate change, integral urban development, fiscal sustainability and governability. To strengthen this experience, the Bank decided to create in 2016 the Housing and Urban Development Division (HUD), with the intention of extending the full benefits of urbanization to all urban residents of the region and deepen the solutions necessary to continue improving lives.

The province of Mendoza, represented by Governor Alfredo Cornejo, is located in the center west of the Argentine Republic, at the foot of Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak of the Andes mountain range. It has more than 1,740,000 inhabitants and is the seventh largest province in the country, occupying 5.35% of the total area of ​​the same. Mendoza is one of the provinces with greater relative development of Argentina and is known for its human capital, infrastructure, natural resources and the commitment of the provincial government to the sustainable development. With a strategic geopolitical location within the Central Bioceanic Corridor, Mendoza has a diversified productive matrix that concentrates the main activities of western Argentina. In political-administrative is divided into 18 departments.

Project strategies

Innovation: The park development center (GOID) seeks the interaction of the community through digital platforms such as applications, social networks, wireless interactions to develop new areas of research and transformation within the park that encourages not only inclusion, but also allows people make part of a sustainable future through new technologies and their ability to operate and be part of a new competitive global economy.

Sustainability: Strengthen urban infrastructure through operations that improve the management of high-value, eco-systemic, biological and heritage resources to promote the sector as a center of development and landmark of the city in sustainability issues. The research center seeks to contribute to the renewal and purification of the air along with the reduction of climate change effects that affect global cities today, through responsible and sustainable development, not only in its construction, but also in its operation, the project seeks to be a promoter of renewable energies that transform the consumption policies of the population.

Social economy: Design a development center that promotes the consolidation of the resident population as a work force for innovation and research through training processes to develop activities within the park. Activities focused on the economic strengthening of the region in the agro-industrial and cultural sectors for the activation of the province as an emerging urban settlement that contributes to decentralize the Argentine capital.

Urban Connectivity: The new development center for innovation and culture allows to sew the urban layout and make the sector a focus of economic development not only for its immediate context, but for the province. The continuity of the road map for its regional connectivity together with the development of high quality pedestrian spaces allows the interaction of different users in its interior, promoting a city model focused on pedestrian life and social activity as a center of urban development.

David Ramirez / Maria Velez

David Ramirez and Maria Velez met at Pontifical Xaverian University in Colombia for their Architecture Bachelor degree and collaborated together on various projects ever since. They have cofounded an experimental urban thinking society in which they promote the research and development of topics of urban interest through competitions, conferences and publications. After graduation, David worked for Duda Paine Architects in the USA and later moved to CBRE international as an urban analyst. Maria joined LIN Arkitektur in Berlin (Germany) and is currently a candidate for a master’s degree in Sustainable Architecture.

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