Guayaquil Masterplan, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Perkins Eastman

The City of Guayaquil, Ecuador, plans to move its airport Jos de Olmedo, to a location 30km outside the current city limits, by 2024. Since the existing airport was built in the 1960’s Guayaquil has experienced explosive growth engulfing the airport, so that it now sits in the geographic center of the city. The plan to move the airport leaves a 240Ha void at the site. This is the opportunity for the city to plan a new city center that can rejuvenate and reestablish important connections to the surroundings, thereby creating a catalyst for a sustainable future for the city and its people. Currently Guayaquil suffers from many of typical challenges of an unplanned city which currently faces problems at every level, from social, economic and environmental. It is a city of gated communities that are only connected by cars, people take second place to the automobile; this is the opportunity for real change.     
 
By studying and analyzing the current city and highlighting its deficiencies and its opportunities we developed a unique strategy to create an accessible well connected city center with accessible and diverse modes of public transportation including (bike, walk, bus, train), that reconnect to the network of places within the city. Its design alleviates the traffic problems but allowing through traffic, without the need for freeways. It is designed as a series of interconnected communities that are self-sustaining. It provides a series of unique open spaces and destinations that will both energize and help establish a character to the new city center.
 
The design transforms the airport site into an open flexible framework of three distinct, walkable, mixed-use, live-work districts, each centered on one or more unique places that will appeal to everyone of all ages, citizens, tourists, businesspeople and children. The districts are connected by the central boulevard, the “Estero Central”. A broad urban promenade, with a linear park with a canal along its spine; shaded by large indigenous canopy trees. It is a place to stroll or bike, with small cafes and sitting areas placed throughout along its length. An internal bus system runs along the boulevard serving the neighborhoods and districts reducing the need for automobiles. Taking advantage of the fascinating and unique diversity of both flora and fauna in Guayaquil, the project proposes to create a central park that works as the “green heart” of the city. Extending from this heart throughout the plan green “roots” thread creating a network of pedestrian friendly routes connecting to the green fringes and river.
 
This design promotes the maximum number of connections to the surroundings both natural and urban, it repairs the void that the airport leaves behind, in order to create real value for the city and its citizens. It creates a network of accessible destinations for all Guayaquileños and visitors. It is a new city center that will reinvigorate the city, reconnecting it to its natural surroundings so that it is sustainable resilient and a positive catalyst for the future of Guayaquil.

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