El Mercado Publico de Barranquilla: Encontrando Soluciones

With only a few weeks to go before the program starts, Manuel Moreno reflects upon the task at hand. Manuel Moreno is dean of the Uni Norte Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Design.

One of the most difficult exercises when looking for answers to a particular problem is to first try and understand that problem. This is not always easy, in the same way that discoveries can reflect stark and grim realities that we previously chose to ignore. The reality of a situation can sometimes be savage. Nevertheless, nothing enriches a project more than being realistic when facing a problem, while trying to avoid external aspects that prevent us from seeing the scene before us clearly. In this way, the summer school has been an invaluable experience. We have had to develop ideas to address one of the most problematic areas of the city: the Central Market.

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Photo courtesy of Timothy Bouldry (timothybouldry.com)

The potential the market offers is unique, even though its sheer presence does it no justice, and it has been sidelined and taken on unhealthy and unsafe connotations. It will be very interesting to hear the ideas students and professors of both Uni Norte and ETH Zurich come up with. They have been influenced by an enriching cultural and methodological exchange, which ensures they are highly motivated and possess the correct tools to generate innovative answers.

This year’s summer school builds on the experience of last year’s program, which also focused on the Historic Centre and raised similar themes. The new collaboration between these two academic institutions is an interesting exchange of wisdom and methods, in which learning is mutual and meaningful. Moreover, we all hope this multicultural and multidisciplinary exchange will continue in the coming years. Uni Norte, with its school of Urbanism, Architecture & Design, and its new Centre for Urban & Regional Studies (Urbanum) is fulfilling its role and engagement towards our city and region. This is shown notably in our current involvement in the revitalization of the Historic Centre.

We are certain that little by little, these ideas will pave the way for Barranquilla’s pressing development. For the time being at least, we hope the exercise has managed to push forward initiatives that will be carried out in the near future. We deserve a Central Market that properly serves a city as economically and socially dynamic as Barranquilla.

Manuel Moreno Slagter

Decano, Escuela de Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Diseño, Universidad del Norte

Download the Spanish version here:  Editorial_M.Moreno

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