RESISTING THE GENERIC LANDSCAPE
Costa Rica is a small country that over the last years has attracted a vast quantity of foreign investments with the intent to develop big-scale projects—most of them being tourism. But the development has been unequal. Guanacaste province, experienced over the last years a never-seen-before growth rate. It´s social, economic, political and environmental contexts changed dramatically due to the rise in real estate markets and tourism industry that focused specifically on private developments along it´s coastline.
Traditionally an agricultural based society, Guanacaste holds the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest income per capita in the country, with more than 20% of its population living in extreme poverty.
The promised “economic benefits” from foreign assets barely benefit the communities where they are built, nor worry about interfering in an environment-friendly way. Capitalist enclaves boosted by neoliberal politics, and both the lack of infrastructure and a correct and sensible vision of an urban growth capacity have provoked important contrasts within the region’s landscape.
During 2010, the Landscape Urbanism Studio at Veritas University will focus on the proposal of a new regional development for Guanacaste. “Multidisciplinary by definition”, our studio will consistently emphasize in redefining traditional models of practice to bridge the gap between landscape, urbanism and architecture in order to positively reshape the territory. We will critically question local initiatives (private and public) and systematically develop readings of processes happening on the territory as main inputs to our design outcome.