Nomada! Solve the Right Problem: Urban Inclusivity by Elkin Alejandro Cruz Castro

Nomada! Solve the Right Problem: Urban Inclusivity


Elkin Alejandro Cruz Castro


Universidad Nacional de Colombia

1 — This design is oriented towards urban communities that constitute cities as the Latin-American ones, regarding neighbourhood scale and peripheries. A wide diversity of people live there: women, men, LGBTI, young and elderly people; all of them with particular physical, emotional and intellectual characteristics. Arnulfo, María, Andrés, Francesca and Brigitte are some examples.

2 — Urban peripheries, by lacking some activities, cause a daily mobilization of a myriad of people towards study, work, cultural and other services zones. This is a difficult situation for users with or without disabilities. Neighbourhoods are spaces with human value, where activities that do not ease the human development and which infrastructure has more barriers than other spaces for the development of people in their different conditions exist, limiting them from having, what Lefebvre (1967) calls, their “right to the city”.

3 — The cities’ development has established unsustainable and excluding dynamics, with “excessive and long displacements in private motor vehicles” (Mardonez, Luque & Izaskun, 2020). We are heirs of urban models that are under ideals as the raised ones in the CIAM and the Futurama exhibition – GM, which has the private vehicle as the centre, which is anachronistic. Megacities that are fragmented, scattered, of concentrated services and marginal peripheries devoid of services and activities appear. This causes a crowded and excluding mass transport system that does not provide dignity and where the mobility of the pedestrian, of people with different physical, emotional and thinking characteristics, is left behind, avoiding them to enjoy the city. Likewise, Latin-American inhabitants, and because of a excluding social condition, resort to informal activities like commerce in public space.

4 — Vision:

  1. To bring the activities that sometimes the urban periphery lacks of: education and culture; productivity, community commerce and entrepreneurship; sustainability and food safety: and primary care and health prevention, for instance, during the covid-19 juncture.
  2. Infrastructure intended to automobiles, such as parking lots and roads, useless from the habitability point of view, is a potential area for an urban model that considers the enjoyment and the ownership of citizenship (tactical urbanism).
  3. The implementation of inclusive urban models, such as the 15-minutes-city, the compact city and the polycentric city, must be approached transversally, including community initiatives, where the value of our built environment is found: the people. Thus, a neighbourliness sense is foster.
  4. Mobility of activities inside the neighbours, based on a schedule, is proposed. In this way, the massive displacement of people is avoided: “the best mobility is that that is not done” (Moreno, 2020). The proposed system is conceived as buildings that are mobile, modular, flexible and adaptable to the surroundings and needs.

5 — The proposal is based on a multidisciplinary and critical perspective, involving urban design, architecture and industrial design. The problem of mobility is approached as a phenomenon from the urban model resolved from object systems that transform and make our environment more flexible according to the needs of the communities, their complexities and their level of appropriation and integration into the environment.

Architect and Industrial Designer from Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2012 and 2016) with an interest in investigating problems that involve the city, space, products, services and experience design in urban, cultural and building scenarios; thus establishing a strategic and prospective vision in relation with our built environment. I have experience in the planning and development of projects with a cultural profile, business models and architecture with an integral vision in the value proposal, such as housing, restaurants, urban and cultural facilities. I consider it urgent to rethink the way mobility and urban models are thought, since they are decisive in the direction of our future from the point of view of the wellbeing and sustainability of our habitat.