La Perla

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Student: Gabriella Colon - Master Research Project - Spring 2012 - University of Florida



The final objective of this thesis is to help organize a basis of knowledge for the formulation of social programs that will complement proposed urban design interventions. With project I intend to present a program that will complement the slum of La Perla in hopes to maintain the historic community and improve the lifestyle of those who live there, hoping to provide an alternative to radical displacement through partial substitution and re-purposing of programmatic insertions.  Slum revitalization is an integrated approach that intends to enhance a downward trend within La Perla. These descending trends include infrastructure, crime, education, and economic issues. This idea of revitalization is not only about water, drainage and housing improvements. It is about regenerating the slum in terms of economic, social, institutional and community programs that are necessary to serve a quality lifestyle. The insertions of the five towers strive to involve residents of all ages, businesses within and exterior motives so that it activates the entire community.  The towers includes basic necessities such as water collection, clean water, and sanitation. Aside these basic necessities education and economy are also part of revitalization. In addition to these  provisions, the housing sector is this project is also key. Bringing secure homes and regulating properties is vital. In the end, revitalization efforts aim to create an active and dynamic community in which residents feel a sense of ownership, entitlement and desire to maintain a progressive lifestyle.

Reality is that relocation of current residents far from their homes and jobs to a satellite settlement does not solve the slum problem. The key is maintaining the residents, activating their quality of life and integrating them into the city grid. Strategies such as housing substitution and new infrastructure renovations are solutions that promote relief in the urban context without causing displacement, but rather a place where residents can own a piece of land, cultivate it and be employed within the area.