The 18.1 kilometer stretch of the Medellin River represents a fascinating agglomeration of communities, socioeconomic diversity, and zoning variation throughout. What remains constant is the river and the need to activate the river’s endless potential as a resource to the citizens, business community and burgeoning international tourist destination.
At the core of this design is the need to remove the barriers that keep the river isolated. These barriers are both physical–the train and roadway system–and psychological–the river has had a negative connotation within the community for many decades. Our design breaks down physical barriers by bridging over or capping transportation thoroughfares. Psychological strategies begin with getting people accustomed to experiencing water once again. Throughout the 18.1 kilometers we have distributed several public swimming pools either immediately adjacent to or “inserted” into the Medellin River. Over time, as the river continues to be cleaned by the city, these pools could begin to utilize fresh water from the river and integrate man-made recreation into natural landscape.
Upon establishing the water as a positive place of gathering, we also envision programmatic elements that are complimentary with water adjacencies and further allow the river to be fully activated by people. Along the full length of intervention, our programmatic vision suggests activities that are best served for each respective Tramo by relating to the existing zoning and neighborhoods adjacent to the tramos.
The ultimate goal is to bring people to the river to engage with it, and ultimately turn it into a positive and proud attribute for all Paisas.