Andrea Baena

Department of Architecture

SPACES OF ARRIVAL. Swamp as a terrain of contestation in Cartagena, Colombia

This project delves into the aqueous terrain where the arrival of people and water coalesce, in the shifting landscape of the Virgen Swamp. This water-people relationship is dialectical; urban occupation triggers the swamp to resist with floods, erosion and contamination. Arrival neighborhoods at this border face a situation of simultaneous uncertain citizenship and ecologic vulnerability.

There-shaping of the border between water and land has occurred in the form of spontaneous occupation by immigrants and striated interventions led by the city and private stakeholders in an attempt to solve water-land frictions. This thesis questions the idea of the swamp as a space of unchecked development or hard divisions.

In response to the transient nature of the urban arrival threshold, an integrated development plan brings together different stakeholders, proposing place-making strategies for a space of displacement. The proposed network of spaces catalyzes community reinforcement and livelihood.

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