Emilio Borella: Building A Platform To Help Bogota Residents Rebuild Their City

Emilio Borella: Building A Platform To Help Bogota Residents Rebuild Their City

Real-estate developer and philanthropist on producing a collective vision for the city of Bogota with the My Ideal City project.

  • 7 april 2013

The My Ideal City project’s only sponsor is the international real estate development company BD Promotores Colombia based in Spain with a Colombian presence and over 20 years of experience in this field. Emilio Borella is philanthropist and the director of the company. He leads the BD Bacatá project, a building that has become a symbol of My Ideal City and also the joining force of all Colombians as a pillar of national pride and world recognition. spoke to Emilio about imagining a collective vision for the city of Bogota.

What drew you to this project?

The opportunity to provide citizens with a platform where they may express their ideas, with the support of experts in all matters of their interest or concern. New technologies seem to be the way to provide a guiding thread for communication among all agents living in and developing a city, residents, businesses, public entities, etc.

Which would you think is the main goal behind the financing of this project?

We have four specific goals:

1. ECONOMIC: Give VIABILITY to a project by means of many NON-INSTITUTIONAL investors taking part in the business and ownership of a mix-use complex in an iconic building in Bogotá as a paradigm of large urban developments on a worldwide level. Can you imagine, in retrospective, the power of being a partner/owner of the Rockefeller Center in New York?

2. SOCIAL: Development of private investment projects like ours help improve the RESIDENTS’ QUALITY OF LIFE through the creation of jobs and better income conditions in an area of great improvement potential.

3. POLITICAL: Private investment and projects such as ours REINFORCE THE BET OF PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS on city development. The “Downtown Revival Plan” and the new mayor’s strategic plan insist on the construction of buildings and infrastructure as a driver for downtown development and the starting point for the new POT (Spanish acronym for Land Zoning Plan).

4. ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPING: Road, architectural and landscaping improvements made through infrastructure revival INCREASE CITIZENS’ WELFARE AND COMFORT and at the same time lead the city into the future. The solid private investment boom in the area, like our project or housing or office unit projects in neighboring locations, goes alongside institutional projects, Tadeo University with its campus as an example, or public investment in road, architectural and landscaping infrastructure, such as the Third Millennium Park or the Transmilenio hub and the related improvements on Carreras 7 and 10, or the pedestrianization of Carrera 7.

Why is this project important for the people in Bogota?

It is important for the city’s downtown reclamation and revival for all citizens and visitors of Bogota, in many ways such as the following:

– Reinforcing the university epicenter, the largest university cluster in the country with 35 universities (Andes, Externado, Tadeo, Rosario, Salle, etc.) and their associated services.

– Reinforcing the cultural epicenter: Gold Museum, Botero Museum, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theater, the Cathedral, great 20-century buildings (Avianca, Ministry of Interior, Comptroller General’s office, etc.), the Candelaria historical center (as important as the walled Cartagena de Indias downtown area), etc.

– Reinforcing the political and judicial epicenter: Palace of Nariño, Government, City Hall, Ministries, Tax Administration, courts, etc.

– Private institutional epicenter: Banco de la Republica, Banco Agrario, El Tiempo, BANCOLOMBIA, Banco de Bogota.

– Business epicenter: San Victorino, Carrera 7 for pedestrians only, La Candelaria, etc.

How is daily urban life going to improve in the city?

The hybrid between public investment with the “Downtown Revival Plan” and private investment with BD Bacatá, the Bicentennial Tower, Block 5 or the Tadeo University campus, to mention some examples, is already improving it, and this is reflected in the following:

– Roads: Road infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, Transmilenio lanes) improvement, and implementation of the SITP (Spanish acronym for Public Transportation Integrated System), all resulting in better public transportation and better access in and out of the city’s downtown.

– Sanitation, Security and Control: More hours and capacity of the waste collection system, more traffic lights, better parking garages, expansion of metropolitan police Immediate Attention Centers (CAIs for their Spanish acronym) with more human and technical security resources (surveillance video cameras, for example), pedestrianization of two major downtown avenues such as Jiménez Avenue and Carrera 7, with an increase of security systems and attention services, among others.

– Tourism and leisure: More cultural options with the opening of movie theaters, playhouses and the expansion of museums, more retail offer, more and better hotel offer (restoration and lodging) with hotel and restaurant openings or renovations.

How do you see think crowd-planned projects can influence the development of cities in the future?

Globalization understood as extending access to information through New Information and Communication Technologies, focusing on real-time access, from any device and from any location, to press, information and banking transactions, work on the cloud between people in different countries and with different working hours, just to mention some examples, has made it possible to put citizens as the engine for decision making related to any activity.

Today citizens have their opinion and massively vote without counting on any type of public or private institution. This possibility of real-time communication, without the need to be called, in which one’s opinion is taken into account and may have consequences in political vote, has a colossal strength before public institutions.

Every day, fact by fact, the crowd’s opinion and activities associated to the “crowd” notion (opinion and activity in social networks) are more important in the cultural, social, political and economic spheres of countries. Development of city models is already a part of the citizens’ opinion process.

Thanks Emilio!

Over the next 6 months, we want to start a conversation around what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Stay tuned each week to and for new ideas around the future of the city.


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Arts & Culture Today

The Next Great Art Movement Will Come At The Swipe Of A Finger

An improved app, optimized digital display and monthly art discovery service round out Electric Objects' renewed commitment to democratizing the art world

Retail Today

A TV Streaming Service Is Designed Just For Kids

Toca TV is a new platform offering thousands of original and curated children's videos for a monthly subscription fee


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Today

Bus Stop Transformed Into A Fitness Station For Commuters

Sports drink company Lucozade live-streamed an athletic trainer working out at a stop in Manchester to encourage travelers to get moving

Related Expert

Rafi Haladjian

Consumer Electronics, Healthcare

Mobile Today

Samsung Is Using AR To Help Beachgoers Stay Safe

Pocket Patrol utilizes a phone's camera to promote beach safety and educate people about hidden hazards

Design & Architecture Today

500 Plastic Chairs Used To Create A Recyclable Pavilion

Design agency CODA built a grandoise art piece from simple lawn furniture

Retail Today

Exchange Your Old Razors For New Ones At This Bartershop

The subscription-based shaving company lets customers trade their unwanted razors for Harry's brand steel at a temporary New York pop-up


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Marketing Experts: Millennials And The Power Of Cool

'Good Is The New Cool' Authors Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones share their 7 principles for branding with a social impact

PSFK Labs Today

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Food Today

A Brewer Has Created The Most Expensive Chips To Snack On

St. Eriks Brewery created crisps made from rare mushrooms to go with its artisan beer, donating all proceeds to charity

Travel Today

Melbourne Hotel Lets Guests Stay In Their Own Chrome Airstream Trailers

Notel is a luxury rooftop with six guest rooms made from vintage 1970s mobile homes

Infants Today

Battery Powered Cradle Will Rock Itself

NoomiNoomi is a clever device that makes it easier to put babies to sleep

Sustainability Today

Swedish Citizens Get A Tax Break For Repairing Old Goods

A sustainability initiative encourages people to fix, rather than replace, broken objects

Fitness & Sport Today

How Precision Data Can Make Anyone A Better Performer

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytic tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Home Today

You Can Now Buy Furniture From A Daytime TV Show

Home furnishing online retailer Wayfair is partnering with Lifetime to create a shoppable life improvement television program

Social Media Today

Instagram Tool Prevents People From Harming Themselves

A new anonymous reporting option on the social media platform hopes to provide better emotional support for users

No search results found.