Peru’s ambitious project to create a sustainable city in a desert area

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Peru's ambitious project to create a sustainable city in a desert area


An area of ​​residences that houses at least 115 thousand inhabitants, a forest area of ​​2 thousand hectares and the largest hospital in Peru.


In this area without settlements, the construction of the new city is planned


© Government of Peru
In this area without settlements, the construction of the new city is planned


This is all part of what encompasses the “Ciudad Bicentenario” (“Bicentennial City”), a project that is planned to be developed in a desert area north of Lima.

As announced by the Peruvian government in September, it is estimated that US $ 3 billion (R $ 16 billion) will be invested in the initiative, between public and private resources and cooperation agencies.

Peru will celebrate 200 years since the declaration of its independence and this project is one of the main ones that the government of President Martín Vizcarra announced, although it is estimated that the construction of the city will be completed just a few years later.

The project

The Bicentennial City will be four times larger than the Los Olivos neighborhood, one of the best known in Lima.

It will be located in an area called Ancón, which, in addition to its proximity to the Peruvian capital, is close to a port that can relieve the intense traffic that occurs in the traditional anchorage of Callao.


Bicentennial City Project prepared by the Government of Peru


© Government of Peru
Bicentennial City Project prepared by the Government of Peru


The Peruvian Ministry of Environment says the city will be a “pioneering model for sustainable territorial management” in the country.

“A city that incorporates productive and logistical dynamics under a sustainable model that faces the challenges of climate change”, says Environment Minister Kirla Echegaray.

She affirms that this urban development plan will be installed in the last space of free settlements of public property and of a large scale that remains in Lima.

The disorderly growth of the Peruvian capital has been one of the problems of the city and its inhabitants for several years.

Difficulties

However, this ambitious project is not without questions and concerns regarding its development.

That’s what political analyst and public management expert Karen López Tello says in an interview with BBC News Mundo, the BBC’s Spanish-language service.

It lists possible difficulties related to the management of economic resources, the connection between different institutions and also the political climate, as President Vizcarra has less than a year in office.

“This requires a great effort of multisectoral and multilevel coordination that must also be sustained over time and by more than one government”, says the analyst, who is president of the civil association Propuesta País.


The Peruvian project predicts that the hills surrounding the urbanization area will not be affected


© Government of Peru
The Peruvian project predicts that the hills surrounding the urbanization area will not be affected


López Tello adds that at least seven ministries and different levels of local government will have to work closely together for the plan to be successful.

For this reason, it indicates that there must be central government bodies for constant monitoring of the project’s progress.

“To give technical, budgetary and political priority. Otherwise, the efforts that are initiated in this government will be stuck in the lack of execution, lack of budget and a lot of corruption and inefficiency”, he says.

Different opinion surveys put poor management of public resources as the main problem in Peru.

Despite the difficulties observed, López Tello considers the initiative to be timely, innovative and challenging.

The new cities

Different countries have chosen to build new cities on the periphery or in the metropolitan areas of their largest cities to solve their housing or urbanization problems.

However, the Peruvian government emphasizes that its project differs from those developed, for example, in the Middle East, as it will not be invasive with the landscape or with the ecosystems present.

And so it was determined that there will be no buildings on the hills that surround the land where the future city will be created.


Lima's growth has been an issue of concern to authorities for years


© Getty Images
Lima’s growth has been an issue of concern to authorities for years


Lima is one of several Latin American capitals that have problems with illegal settlements, lack of access to basic services in remote neighborhoods and unplanned expansion

The population growth of the city and its surroundings has been a constant concern since the 1960s and is related to internal migration from other regions of the country.

For this reason, the urban architect Aldo Facho Dede, stressed that the Bicentennial City is “a complete alternative to strengthen and materialize the urban planning model that has been tried to be applied in the country”.

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