Architecture Proposal Creates Recycling Infrastructure From The Ground-Up [My Ideal City]

Architecture Proposal Creates Recycling Infrastructure From The Ground-Up [My Ideal City]

Student proposal for Bogota examines recycling as a platform for citizen engagement and urban improvement.

  • 5 may 2013

In a series of projects envisioning a sustainable future for the city of Bogota, Colombia, a group of graduate architecture students at the University of Pennsylvania are looking at new ways to revitalize urban spaces. In relation to a trend that has labeled as Recycled Resource Systems, this proposal calls for building a new city-wide recycling infrastructure and increase Bogata’s recyclables to 30%.

bogota recycling 2

As the fastest growing Latin American city, Bogota recycles only 5% of the 2.3 million tons of waste produced annually. The 18,000 informal recicladores constitute the base and most essential work force of the recycling business within the city but are generally poor and excluded from mainstream urban life, employment opportunities, and decision making processes.

bogota-recycling 3

For this concept, a sustainable framework of four components would be established that include; education, collection, repurpose, and artist residence that organize these workers into a cooperative by forming alliances between actors within the public sector, the private sector, the small-scale non-recognized private sector, and local community organizations. The frameworks aim is to increase Bogota’s recyclables to 30%, ranking it 8th behind countries like Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden in terms of collected recyclable content.

bogota recycling 4

The project would stress community outreach about through education as well as an artists project which would utilize recycled materials from the streets of Bogota in order to make works of art. In this way, it demonstrates the value of renewable resources as well as brings city residents together under the cause of recycling and urban improvement.

Whether converting the kinetic energy from foot traffic into electricity or recycling grey water for other residential uses, these closed-loop recycled resource systems help deliver greater efficiencies that lower resource consumption and cut back on costs.


Q. What local resources should be better recycled and reused?

Submit your answer now at the MyIdealCity site – or tweet your suggestion using #MyIdealCity and #GreenScaping


Over the next 6 months, PSFK and a team of experts imagining the future of a city will be asking you what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Tweet us your ideas and view all the submissions at the MyIdealCity site.


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