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Alpha Urbano, the era of biophilic urbanism: investigating through the territories of the Andean coast

Machala, Ecuador

Type: Urban Plan
Client: Private
Size: 70 hectares
Status: Schematic Design

The project's locus, once purely rural and agricultural land, now suffers the pressure of urban growth and zoning changes due to city sprawl. This condition makes necessary the reconsideration of urban planning and design in the confluential grounds of urban-rural settings by acknowledging three types of conflicting landscapes:

Sensitive ecologies at risk
-Sensitive ecologies such as mangroves, estuaries and diverse coastal and tropical forests have been at risk of contamination and degradation due to the increasing demand for agro industry and monoculture.

The farm as the predominant landscape in the hinterland
-Banana, shrimp, and palm farms become the predominant landscape in the rural context but due to the pressures of urbanization keep expanding outward damaging ecologically important landscapes.

Urban expansion and sprawl
-Urban expansion and anthropic sprawl with a lack of cohesive planning generates informality with a lack of urban definition and cohesive density at the edge of the cities.

Acknowledging the conflicting landscapes arising from urban expansion in second tier cities in Ecuador, the project uses the following landscape and urban strategies.

1.El Oro: A post fossil fuel city is designed to be a replicable project. It takes in account the necessity for morphological orden at the border or cities.

2.Urban Polyculture and land recovery are the premises for future urbanization, sprawl and risk mitigation.

3.A layered design methodology where each urban sistem is design to work in conjunction with the rest of the systems, creating a highly integrated city.

4.High density and mixed use that includes all the urban services making the city completely pedestrian, universally accessible and highly inclusive.

5.A transformation and expansion of the latin American urban grid or spanish ¨Damero¨ type block to include policulture, open public space and flood mitigation landscape.

6.Parametricism as a way to generate urban morphology variability following eco principles and urban parameters.

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