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The project is an urban beachfront in the middle of what was once an informal settlement. It includes bathrooms, vending kiosks, an observatory, and an artificial beach (with sand). The funny thing is that the fenced in area includes houses bordering the project (look carefully at the map). These houses have some commercial spaces in them, although they are mostly residential. I say funny, because the residents somewhat get locked in when the “beach” is closed at night. OK, I am exaggerating, there are guards present and a small pedestrian entrance in the fence, that gets open to accommodate the residents lifestyle- most of them being fisherman, specifically focusing on crab (in the photographs, you can see the boats on the shore). Once again, although the Playita in itself is a well-designed project, it is a “manicure job”, and only really used during the weekends (where about 200 people visit- most of them being from outside the area), and is quite disconnected from the context and structure of the structure of the surrounding area (the type of employment and skills of the residents for example).

1-Approach

2- 360 at the SE corner

3- Observatory

Elevation of installations looking N (from right to left: bathrooms, food court/kiosks, park, offices)

Although the Playita was planned for a larger area, encompassing an adjacent sector called the “collective of Miami Beach”, the project was stopped in the middle. The residents of Miami Beach recently got water and sewage (they already have electricity),yet the streets are barely asphalted and there is bad lighting (which apparently has allowed vandalism to take place at night). After talking to some of the residents of the Miami Beach cooperative, there seemed to be some resentment as to why it was only the collective next door who got the attention…

Conditons beyond the fence- view from Observatory looking W

4- Street view

5-Elevation showing the condition and stages of the housing

6- In regenerated area: transition into gated spaces

Returning the fences, I want to point out that these parks are not the only spaces being fenced in the city. The wealthier residents of Guayaquil have left the city to a separate area called Sanborondón. Developments in Sanborondón consist of mostly shopping malls and gated “citadelas” (small cities- that can range form 15 to 200 houses or perhaps even more houses (high-rises seem to an exception) including amenities such as gyms, tennis courts, soccer courts, swimming pools, etc). Sanborondón is fed by a one main street, or highway since it consists of 8 lanes total+ median. Needless to say, there is a large dependence on the automobile (people actually don’t like to walk if they have the means not to do so- not even if the shopping mall is one block away). Sanborondón reflects Teresa Caldeira description of “City of Walls”.

Sanborondón, entrances to citadelas

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