Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Global Walking Tour: San Jose
26 August 2018
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SAN JOSÉ – On August 26th the CTBUH Costa Rica Chapter and the Rutas Naturbanas Project, together with the Living Building Challenge San Jos
é Collaborative and Embassy of Canada, held their first annual walking tour of Downtown San José.

As with the rest of the tours around the world, the theme of 2018, "Walking on Water" guided the San José walk, which began at the Aranjuez Multisports Park. The walk started in the Otoya Neighborhood, which is located along the south bank of the Río Torres, but mainly traversed sidewalks and hardscapes, simultaneously offering to participants the conventional experience of walking on city streets, while explaining how the Rutas Naturbanas project will integrate the city and its water bodies. The tour was led by CTBUH Costa Rica Country Chair Victor Montero (Victor Montero Arquitectos) and Federico Cartin, President of Rutas Naturbanas.

(Top)The San José Global Walking Tour participants gather at the Aranjuez Multisports Park near the bank of the Río Torres; (Bottom)Tour participants listen as Federico Cartin, President, Rutas Naturbanas describes how the project will integrate San José with its water bodies.

Participants first encountered the Tournon Neighborhood, right where a new building started a few months ago (that will house the supervisors of the Central Bank of Costa Rica), which is located along the north bank of the Torres River.

Members of allied organizations such as Fundecor, Kracol, the Central Bank of Costa Rica, as well as Origen ISR, Carazo Arquitectura, REGENBE, IECA Internacional and others, shared with the group the critical differences between walking through the city hardscape and the park along the banks of the Torres River. The temperature, the sound of the birds and river, the greenery and the sense of peace that these spaces offer, are all assets to the urban environment, said Cartin, who is leading a project to restore San José’s urban rivers.

The San José Walking Tour participants traversed the bank of the Río Torres, envisioning how connected natural walkways could enable pedestrians and cyclists to more easily explore the same area.

After this, participants walked along the north bank of the river for almost one kilometer, until reaching once again the starting point, the Aranjuez Multisports Park. The project Rutas Naturbanas will connect natural walkways with some features and attractions, like the Spirogyra Butterflies Garden, to allow pedestrians and bikes to traverse different portions of the urban grid through green corridors.

Back at the Aranjuez Multisports Park, participants enjoyed a picnic amidst the natural tropical surroundings. At this point, Rutas Naturbanas shared and explained the vision and goals they will achieve with this project.

Map of the San José Metro area, featuring the first kilometer of the Rutas Naturbanas project, which was the segment featured as the San José Walking Tour.

Proposed raised walkways along the banks of the urban Torres River (top left, top right, and bottom left); It is possible to find delicate butterflies along the urban walkways (bottom right).

The CTBUH Costa Rica Chapter would like to acknowledge the following companies and organizations for their support, making this first local Walking Tour a huge success: Rutas Naturbanas, Origen Ingenieria Sismorresistente, Carazo Arquitectura, Victor Montero Arquitectos, Regenerative Built Environment Institute (REGENBE), Río Urbano, Embassy of Canada, Fundecor, Krakol and the Living Building Challenge Costa Rica Collaborative.

The San José Walking Tour group poses together at the end of kilometer-long walk.