Understanding change : public space constructin in Bogota, Colombia, the Plaza de San Victorino



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Bogotá is a city that has seen rapid change in the recent years. By the 1990’s the city’s public space was in crisis and its elements were being used in inappropriate ways; some were even been illegally privatized. Inside the city’s multiple ills, a politically driven set of changes began to happen. By the turn of the millennium an urban renaissance of the city originated. Multiple public spaces, libraries, schools, and new transportation systems were built and implemented by different city Mayors. At present, after the initial thrill and polemics developed during the construction of the new public spaces, some of the major changes have settled. This situation makes it a good moment to develop an analysis of the performance of these public spaces today, in order to understand how they have evolved along with Bogotano’s during these years. The Plaza de San Victorino located in the downtown area of the city was one of the major renovation projects that the city underwent around the year 2000. Its analysis is representative of the evolution of Bogota’s public spaces during these years. This MDS makes an assessment from the point of view of the users of the Plaza de San Victorino. By making a Post-occupancy evaluation of this recently constructed public space using participant observations, mappings and surveys, this MDS generates a set of design recommendations for the Plaza and a design proposal for its improvement.