Laguna Carén Academic Park Master Plan
The Laguna Carén Academic Park Project, advanced by The University of Chile, addresses the great global challenges that we, as a humanity, face that require interdisciplinary perspectives through the creation of a Science and Conservation Park.
University of Chile
2017 - Present
The Laguna Carén Academic Park Master Plan is a space accessible to public and private, national and international institutions with the vision of building the world of the new generations. To achieve this, the University of Chile provided a territorial platform for infrastructure and technology that promotes the development of research projects and innovations in sciences, humanities, arts, and technologies. Each of these contributes significantly to the understanding and solutions to global challenges, with an interdisciplinary, interregional, cross-sectoral, and international perspective.
The 1,033-hectare site is located within the Pudahuel commune, at the west end of Santiago, at a distance of 20 kilometers from the center. Its access to Route 68 provides a strategic location due to the presence of the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport.
Additionally, the property provides a vital biological significances from an environmental perspective, due to the rugged geomorphology, a product of the presence of two hills and the lagoon, which enriches the territory with its biodiversity and ecological value.
The proposal of the Laguna Carén Academic Park Master Plan is based on the identification of opportunities from both the metropolitan and local scales. At the metropolitan level, it is possible to observe the shortage of natural and protected areas in the Western sector, with the series of new urbanization and the growth of Gran Santiago toward the west. Regarding the local level, there stands a high ecological value, as well as the presence of wetlands and bodies of water, the rugged geomorphology, and the state of vulnerability and ecological degradation. These constitute an opportunity to remedy the current environmental situation, in conjunction with programmatically activating the land and protecting it from future degradation. Therefore, the proposal is structured as an academic project consisting of the construction of the Scientific Park, which can be broken down into Innovation Ecotones that compose the academic and scientific research led by the University of Chile and a Conservation Park Project that seeks to establish an environmental reserve area and public park.
Four strategies for intervention in the territory are proposed:
01. Preserve the ecological corridor composed of Cerro Amapola, Laguna, and Cerro La Puntilla and its surroundings in order to generate the optimal conditions for reforestation and preservation of biodiversity with the construction of native reforestation and geographical scale reading.
02. Connect through the comprehensive mobility system, taking advantage of existing and future infrastructure and an already consolidated vehicle footprints.
03. Concentrate Innovation Ecotones on the southern edge of the land for the development and hosting of the activities of the University of Chile.
04. Distribute innovation cells and generate programmatic diversity in relation to the conservation area and innovation ecotones.
The proposal includes a recreational park and a sports field to form a space where environmental, social, economic, and knowledge can converge and generate benefits and long-term resilience that helps to improve the urban conditions of the environment for both Pudahuel and the Metropolitan Region, which forges a new model of establishing a city while protecting the environment.
Additionally, the Cerro Amapola Urban Arboretum Park is a designated space of conservation and restoration, as it houses a collection of native species with great pedagogical value. It also serves as an attractive landscape, as tourists utilize the walking path around it and view the entire Mapocho Valley, Santiago, and the Arboretum with an extensive collection of native specifies from a summit viewpoint.
The south of the Park is an urbanized area that suffers from serious anthropic damage, conceived under principles of landscape ecology, facilitating innovation, knowledge development, and the activation of community programs within a natural environment.
Lastly, the proposal for the Park is divided into various stages depending on the type of intervention. The stages related to the Scientific Park - Innovation Ecotones - are focused, while the stages corresponding to the Conservation Park were defined.