Guidelines for the Structuring Planning in Managua (Nicaragua)

This document is the result of the collaboration with a Spanish consultancy firm as manager of the work ordered for the Interamerican Development Bank. After the 1956 earthquake, Managua’s central area was almost completely demolished, and reconstruction never took place. Thus, a great urban void was created in which there are only ruins and weeds. The city appears to be fragmented. Where “community gates” coexisted near shopping centres, there is a high concentration of single-family homes for the upper-middle class, and as office and hotel buildings begin to appear there are more large areas of self-built homes, on lands of doubtful property ownership and illegal plotting. With an emerging urbanization, there are peripheral industrial areas dedicated to maquila manufacturing and large market areas that are often unsafe.

The main impediment to proceeding was related to land property and geological problems in the area. Several seismic faults, located on lands occupied by buildings, along with the presence of floodable areas, keep the city in a constant state of risk. All of this is compounded by the lack of adequate cartography.

The project presented numerous problems which required identifying the main obstacles and presenting guidelines that would allow directing urban planning through structuring proposals which excluded risk areas and included rehousing proposals. The forecast of new buildable land, solutions to infrastructure provisions and public service problems for a considerable population, created a workforce demand in the capital.