Building climate resilient communities through Water Sensitive public space design and activation: Public parks program in Bucaramanga, Colombia: .

Raul Alberto Marino Zamudio, Elkin Vargas Lopez, Ivan Acevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


More than one third of urban dwellers worldwide live in areas that can be considered informal settlements or slums (UN-Habitat, 2018). While there are many initiatives to address this urban challenge, the problem keeps growing and these areas become denser with lack of access to public space, transportation infrastructure and community facilities and vulnerable to climate change effects (Davis, 2006). This paper presents the process of informal settlements upgrading in Bucaramanga, Santander, based on the provision of new public parks integrating Green Infrastructure to support the social, environmental and economic uplift of vulnerable communities. The program included urban interventions of different scale and purpose, from small local pocket-size parks (called Retazos) to large urban interventions in areas with the lowest access to public space in the city (Rio de Oro Lineal Park, Parque de los Sueños and Patio Escolar Colegio Tecnologico). These interventions were developed following a community-based participatory design methodology inspired by the placemaking framework and resilient communities to climate change, supporting the recovery of the urban water cycle, and involving members of community and stakeholders in the design process from early stages of the revitalization strategy in the development and management of the new public infrastructure implemented at neighbourhood scale. The results show an effective activation of community interaction and appropriation of the new public spaces, and at the same time a significant improvement in quality of life, activation of local economies, and socioenvironmental performance of the selected areas
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages145
JournalLANDac Annual International Conference 2021 – “Land, Crisis and Resilience" Conference Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 6 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventLANDac Annual International Conference 2021: Land, Crisis and Resilience - Utrecht Unviersity , Utrecht , Netherlands
Duration: Jun 30 2021Jul 6 2022
Conference number: 11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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