16 December 2022

[Technical cooperation Buenos Aires] Third field mission in Buenos Aires around the theme of nature in the city

The technical cooperation teams working since 2021 (CODATU, AFD and the City of Buenos Aires) met on October 17 in the Argentinian capital for a one-week mission which coincided with the holding of the summit of mayors members of the C40 network. Field visits and work meetings have taken place to ensure the follow-up of studies financed within the framework of cooperation, and a participatory workshop has been organized to share international experiences around the renaturation of public spaces.

Visit of the linear park project in Honorio Pueyrredon Street (Buenos Aires). Credits: CODATU

How to integrate more nature into the city?

The “Public Space and Urban Hygiene” Department of the city of Buenos Aires produced a green plan in 2020 which notably plans to achieve an area of 3m2 of green space per inhabitant. 33 out of the 48 neighborhoods in Buenos Aires currently have a lower level. This general objective is concretely put into practice within the development program called “ Calles verdes ” (green streets). These projects implemented in the 48 neighborhoods of Buenos Aires consist of the development of sections of streets to incorporate vegetation, reduce the number of parking spaces and facilitate travel by active modes (walking, cycling). The delegation present during the mission in Buenos Aires visited the sites of several projects of this program, including one of the most emblematic, that of Honorio Pueyrredon Street in the Caballito district.

Technical cooperation supports the City of Buenos Aires in this process through the organization in early 2023 of an event that combines transitional urbanism and nature in the city in a strategic location yet to be defined. This event will include an un-waterproofing activity and an awareness workshop on the benefits of nature in the city. In addition, on October 18, CODATU led a workshop on climate issues in urban areas, and the levers for action at the municipal level to deal with them. The workshop allowed the sharing of experiences of public actors from Buenos Aires, Bogotá and Ile de France and to cover a wide range of scales of action ranging from metropolitan planning strategies (green corridors, protected areas) low-cost, high-impact development projects at the neighborhood or street level.

Better understand the mobility of residents of working-class neighborhoods

At the request of the Department of Transport and Public Works, mobility surveys in three working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires were financed within the framework of cooperation. They were carried out from June to September 2022 by an Argentinian company, and the results were presented during the October mission.

These surveys provide keys to reading the daily mobility behavior of the inhabitants of these working-class neighborhoods. Historically, the latter have had more difficulty getting around than those in the formal city, so it was relevant to identify the causes in more detail. The presentation of the results enabled the civil servants of the various services of the City of Buenos Aires to share with the consultant their comments on the methodology, on the difficulties encountered in carrying out the surveys in the neighborhoods and on any adjustments to be made with a view to the second phase of surveys which will take place in 4 other working-class neighborhoods in 2023. The results of these surveys will help prioritize future actions and projects in working-class neighborhoods as well as on the city-wide transport network.

Launch of the co-design study for public spaces in the Barrio 20 working-class district

The start-up mission for one of the studies financed under technical cooperation took place in the presence of the consultant selected to carry out the service. It is a consortium made up of GRET and two Argentine partner companies, Ribera BA and Plus Urbano. This study aims to produce detailed preliminary projects for ten public spaces in Barrio 20, in a process of consultation with the inhabitants and in accordance with the social, climatic and mobility issues of the district. The beneficiary of this study is the City Housing Institute (IVC), a department of the City of Buenos Aires that works specifically in working-class neighborhoods.

Visit of Barrio 20 by the team in charge of the “public spaces” study. Credits: Javier Soto – City of Buenos Aires

Work meetings also took place during the week in order to define the next cooperation activities: a study trip to Bogota and Medellin, a participatory workshop on the socio-urban impacts of the extension of the Belgrano Sur train line to Buenos Aires, as well as a forum for discussing sustainable mobility issues and projects and improving public spaces.