City and Regional Planning

Cartagena 2040

Fall 2015 Studio

Rethinking the role of tourism in a dynamic and growing city

Cartagena 2040: Rethinking the Role of Tourism in a Dynamic and Growing City is a plan put forth by ten graduate students in the City & Regional Planning program at the University of Pennsylvania. This plan was created through the Resilient Waterfronts studio in the fall semester of 2015 with the guidance of Ferdinando Micale, a principal at Wallace, Roberts, and Todd, a design firm in Philadelphia. The goal of the studio was to create a plan which looked comprehensively at the potential solutions and challenges faced by Cartagena, Colombia as a waterfront city, due to climate change. Cartagena is projected to see an eight inch sea level rise by 2040, increasing to three feet by 2100. The city is also projected to see rising temperatures, increasing erosion, and changing precipitation patterns that are likely to cause both droughts and floods. The proposal is intended to build upon existing initiatives within the city and to put forth new ideas and potential solutions to create a more resilient Cartagena. Though all of the climate related risks facing the city are of importance, as a waterfront studio, this plan primarily focuses on the impact of sea level rise. The studio worked in collaboration with the Planning Department in Cartagena as well as a number of individuals, including Viviana Mourra and Diego Bermudez. Viviana Mourra was especially essential in helping the studio to understand the intricacies and nuances involving the establishment and development of the informal settlements within Cartagena, particularly those residing in the district of La Boquilla.

The Cartagena studio began by undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the existing conditions in the city which included the history of development, regional growth, housing, informal settlements, demographics, economy, and environmental assets and risks. In October of 2015, the studio travelled to Cartagena to meet with government officials, organizations, and the private sector as well as to tour relevant areas of the city. Further analysis and the inspiration for site designs was gathered during this site visit. Upon returning to the University of Pennsylvania, the students created two alternative solutions to CartagenVVa’s risk of sea level rise and its resultant effects. These alternatives were to protect against sea level rise or to retreat landward. Ultimately, the Cartagena 2040 final plan proposals and site designs are a mixture of these two alternative futures.