Noted urban planners envision better San José

May 15, 2009

Three urban planning experts visited Costa Rica last week and recommended a new plan for San José.

Hal Moggridge, Kathryn Moore and Peter Bosselman, internationally recognized planners, spent five days in San José analyzing maps and photos of the capital city. The designers determined, among several observations, that San José must make better use of the rivers that run through the city and the mountains that surround it.

“They thought that we have been wrong in considering rivers a problem instead of a value,” said Manrique Vindas, vice rector of research at the University of Costa Rica. Vindas said the experts recommended planning buildings that “showcase the rivers and allow for the enjoyment of the fantastic scenery.”

Bosselman, an urban planner from the University of California in Berkeley, drew attention to the city´s transportation problems. He said authorities need to focus their efforts on improving the public transportation system instead of building more streets and highways to solve traffic problems.

He recommended a more integrated city plan.

“The metropolitan area is structured in an east-west pattern but there is no north-south connection,” Bosselman noted in a press release. “This combination would take advantage of the mountainous landscape that surrounds the central valley and the rivers that cut through it.”

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