San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New Map to Bring ‘Intelligent Design’ to Greater San José

San José planning officials will be able to draw blueprints based on a new bird’seye view.

Members of Costa Rica’s National Geographic Institute and the Regional and Urban Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Area (PRUGAM) on Monday presented a series of new cartographic maps of the San José greater metropolitan area designed to help engineers and architects improve their urban designs.

The 139 new drawings represent the completion of four years of work. In 2005, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) took photos of the metro area and submitted them to BLOM, a Spanish geospatial company, which drafted the plans.

The new completely digitalized drawings are an upgrade from the 1992 city plans, and they detail new land areas in and around the capital.

Because of the digitalization of the drawings and the new areas that are incorporated, urban modifications will be much easier, said Eduardo Brenes, director of PRUGAM.

“We can see now, in a better way, how to plan the city,” he said. “The new maps show a lot more detail than we’ve ever had before.” The aerial plans show new details about city limits, green areas, highways and rural areas.

“It will allow us a better use of the ground,” Brenes said. “Now, if the (Public Works and) Transport Ministry wants to build a highway, they can see what infrastructure exists and what might be in the way.”

Brenes noted that the new plans also will help in decisions about which areas should be developed and which should be protected. The idea, he said, is to build an “intelligent, integral design.”

–Mike McDonald


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