6th Holcim Awards 2020/21

24 Holcim Awards Gold 2014 Latin America: Articulated Site – Water reservoirs as public park, Medellín, Colombia Global Holcim Awar s Silver 2021 A further environmental problem is water pollution. There are over 200 bodies of water in the Bogotá metropolitan region. Particularly significant is the Bogotá River, which flows through the west of the city. It is considered one of the most polluted rivers in South America, as it receives the trash and sewage from millions of residents as well as industrial waste from southern Bogotá. The mechanical sewage treatment plant is completely overwhelmed. Various sections of the river are classified as dead, without any oxygen. The catchment area of the river includes various wetlands. These have strongly shaped the area and play an important role for the entire region north of the Andes. Wetlands are also important for the planet as a whole. They probably bind about ten percent of all carbon deposits. Wetlands regulate water cycles, prevent flooding, retain sediments and nutrients, and act as water reservoirs. The historic city of Bogotá enjoys an exceptionally attractive location. The combination of high altitude and proximity to the equator results in a mild and pleasant climate all year round. Rain falls regularly, water flows abundantly, and the altitude range allows the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. The indigenous Muiscas people, who settled here thousands of years ago, called their settlement Bacatá, meaning “high field.” In 1538, the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded the city anew under the less original name Santa Fe. But the original name managed to stick and eventually became the official city name: Bogotá. Today, more than ten million people live here; hardly any other city in South America is growing faster. The urban population explosion has had serious consequences. There is not enough work for the newcomers, so poverty is prevalent, which in turn leads to a high crime rate. The city’s infrastructure is massively overburdened. The streets are notoriously congested, and smog is a constant problem. Because the city is located in a geographic basin, a cloud of haze from decades of misguided transportation policy hangs above it. “All in all, the design of the park was a very organic process” Sebastián Mejia “Nature just takes time” Edgar Mazo