Medellin: “el hueco” as a public space
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Significant deterioration of public space in contemporary Latin American cities raises a question about reasons of massive social polarization and segregation. Apart from constant desire from the Municipal level to improve and enlarge public domain, quality of regulative- planned spaces did not manage to assemble all social actors. At the same time, as a product of structural changes in economy, self- generated and spontaneous public spaces appear at unusual locations, being not recognized as a collectively accessible sphere. This paper tries to see “El Hueco”, bazaar- like space in the centre of Medellin, /Colombia, as an interesting public arena and naturally formed public space where commercial activities represent a background for vibrant exchange interface for all urban inhabitants. By using the methodology of Milton Santos, urban space of “El Hueco” is analyzed as a complex process. Then, a set of interventions is proposed, the so- called “software” solutions, in order to preserve “El Hueco” as an authentic generic space. In addition, this paper concludes by asking for moderation processes between City Authorities, local entrepreneurs, informal sector and customers, so that innovation- based development and cost- reduction infrastructure are stimulated.
- Gestión y Ambiente