jueves, 30 de setiembre de 2010

The Costa Verde in the 21 st Century. Interview with Manuel Zubiate.*

More than a decade passed before the most ambitious coastal project visualised in recent years bécame a reality. Drawings and scale models designed in the 1990s were found literaly covered in dust by the new profesional who recently began reviving the project. These professionals, using their ample experience, rigorous study and the appropriate criteria have committed themselves to bringing to life one of the most important public spaces in Lima: the Costa Verde.

Manuel Zubiate, architect-incharge and oficial spokerman, gives us his insights into the Project.

How did this Project first begin? 

In 1994, a master plan for the regeneration of the Costa Verde was conceveid but not with the hoped-for results. Some work was initiated various zoning defects. As a result my profesional services together with the services of Raúl Flores were called on in order to create the “Nueva Visión de la Costa Verde” (“New Vision for the Costa Verde”).

What state is the Project currently in? 

Currently the project is designed and the new guidelines for the project have been oficially approved. Now we are developing the concept to include new rules for those who are planning to invest in the project Costa Verde.

Which is the main purpouese of this project? 

The main purpouse is to position Lima as a coastal city; an all-year round city and not only for the summer. Secontly, we want the Costa Verde to be a heterogeneuos space, for all the Limenian public. For that reason we plan to include not only recreational activities but also housing. Thirdly, we want it to be harmonious with the environment, with green cliffs, quality beaches and clean bathing waters.

How do we put the ‘verde’ (green) into the Costa Verde? 

It costs a lot of Money and demands a lot of maintenance but demands it’s undoubtedly necessary. Having vegetation on the cliff will serve two purposes: firts, it’s visually pleasant and has significant enviromental benefits; and secontly the vegetation will help protect people by reducing Stone falls caused by wind and salinity. In order for this project to be implemented it will require collaboration between public and prívate interests.

Will the coastal geography be affected? 

There is plenty of space in the Costa Verde and so won’t be necessary to flatten hills. Private investors will be in charge of urban rehabilitation and the construction of beach boardwalks and public facilities. All construction will take place on the cliffside and will occupy 15% of the total Cliff surface. The idea is that each district of the Costa Verde will be in charge of the consessions in its area, though always respecting the urban regulations laido ut in the over-all plan.

What will be the total investment required to execute the Project? 

The movement of the road and the construction of the boardwalk, services and public spaces will cost approximately US$40 million. Apart fron that there is the cost of the rest of the necesary construction. Therefore in total we estimate and investment of $300 million will be required. We believe that the first stage of the work could be completed within a period of 3 years.

What do prívate companies and the population in general think of the Project? 

The survey carried out in Lima as to what should be done to the Costa Verde received excellent results, though it’s worth noting that many of the participants adamantly rejected the construction of casinos and nightclubs. Simultaneously, we approached the private sector and found that they have a great interest in participating in the project.

How will you formalize and modernize the public transport in the area? 

We are planning a special enviromentally-friendly transport system taht will use either gas or electricity. It will be designed to appeal to tourist and those on vocation. It would be a great idea to have “Mirabuses”. At the same time we are also planning to build cable-cars all the way along the Costa Verde.

The Costa Verde is about 15 kilometres long. 

*Entrevista publicada en Opportunities. British Peruvian Chamber Commerce (Jan-March 2007), año 10, vol. 36, pp. 22-23.

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