One general strategy on the 24 de Mayo Boulevard
One local strategy on a main node
Quebrada 24 de Mayo
The Ravine system and Quito’s urban fabric
The physical elimination of a geographic element has subsequently led to obvious infrastructural criticalities in the city’s hydrogeological malfunctioning. More than 80% of the quebradas in Quito have been buried or filled; this generates risks of flooding and landslides. The first drainage system in Quito began construction in 1905, with the water discharge network placed in the ravines until their filling. In the beginning of the 20th century, the widespread conception of ravines was that they served only as evacuation systems for used wastewater, rainwater and trash. Environmental issues, such as the reduction of natural drainage these actions entail(Hazen&Sawyer 2011), were not reflected upon then. Hazen and Sawyer’s report on EPMAPS, together with other relevant documents, confirm that the sewage system, even if partially fixed, continues to be the same than in 1900 and still works as initially conceived: through a combined form. This means both rainwater and wastewater (disposal water from human activity) run through the same pipes (Hazen&Sawyer 2011)
Yaku Water Museum Area
Casa del Alabado Area
Trebol Node Area
The need to establish a relationship with the memory of places highlights the need for a paradigm shift in urban development choices. It is precisely the condition of fragility that allows opining up innovative scenarios of regeneration in which the presence of the quebradas system is not a marginal reality, but a fundamental component of the transformative project on the city. The fragility of this system guides the architectural project towards new integrated strategies. Its revealing repercussions also demonstrate that ravines are not isolated and fragmented elements, but are part of a system able to establish a relation between the urban space, as a whole, and the surrounding Andean landscape. In this sense the natural context, now considered as something separated from the city, like a background, will be reintroduced inside the urban fabric with an environmental role. This new blue-green infrastructure system will be able to face the morpho-climatic risk detected. This innovative change overturns the current concept by ensuring that such fragments inserted in the complex system of the quebradas take protagonist role in the future rethinking of Quito.
This new urban system not as something fixed but as open to changes over This is the result of a system based on a dynamic interaction between the original geo- morphological traces and the ones related to the city in expansion.