The Project
Traffic jams and food security are two nightmares for the city of Cartagena. Cartagena, like most cities of the developing world, is facing the challenge of an unprecedented number of motorcycles and small biodiesel cars while hundreds of small scale and low income peasants – refugees from the countryside prevalent with narco trafficking and crime- arrive in the city looking for jobs.

The city of Cartagena is developing a new Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) to provide more efficient and massive transportation option. This new transportation system is planned to run through the densest urban areas and one of the critical phases is to cross through Bazurto, which is the food market for the City. Cartagena, like many other cities in the developing world, has not planned a food distribution system. Today the city faces a major challenge because of the simultaneous needs to develop the BRT system, rebuild and relocate Bazurto. This food market is where more than 80% of Cartagena’s citizens get their food. The mayor’s office is currently struggling with the incredible challenge of dealing with two very complex macro-projects, both of which intersect in the same public space and carry multiple different and powerful actors in tow

CoLab/DUSP/MIT and UTB designed the Cartagena Practicum 2009-2010 to support the Cartagena city on this intervention. The overall objective of the project was to collaborate with government officials, academics and students from Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar in Cartagena to study the current food supply system, identify key actors, relationships, conflicts and design policy recommendations.

This way, we studied the supply chain for four staple goods in the Bazuto Market: Plantain (fruits and vegetables), Fish (highly perishable products), Rice (grains), and Flip Flops (non-edible goods). Click on each product to read a summary on the findings and recommendations developed. For more detailed information, we invite you to continue exploring our webpage.

Photograph: Shoko Takemoto

All content is © 2010 by Cartagena Practicum. All rights reserved | Autofocus