‘Paseo del Mar Park’ is a unique opportunity, achieved through the efforts of the citizens of Valparaíso to oppose the privatization of its waterfront. Our proposal takes this initiative even further by integrating the current needs of the citizens of Valparaíso with spaces destined to consolidate the service economy in the city, in order to contribute to the desired balance between the port economy, tourism, and the citizens’ urgent need for public space.
The privileged location of the site allows to create a park facing the sea, recovering the lost relationship between the city and its coastal edge. However, the land has problems of connectivity with the city, being separated from downtown Valparaíso by a highway and a subway line that provide mobility to the larger Valparaíso-Viña del Mar metropolitan area. Hence, the first objective of Paseo del Mar is to reconnect the city with the sea, which is achieved through a series of urban stitching strategies.
The second objective of the project is to reactivate the existing warehouse and the surrounding neighborhood. Divided into three sections, the 400 meters of existing warehouse are loaded with a mix of uses both for the local community and tourism. While swimming pools, sports courts and playgrounds are mainly oriented to the use of people living in the city, the new Gourmet and Handicraft Market ‘La Baronesa’ is conceived not only to attract tourism, but also to stimulate the local economy of small producers. In conjunction with the specific programs that the park incorporates, we conceived a grand new overlook to reconnect the entire north façade of the warehouse at 12 meters above sea level, generating an exciting elevated promenade to approach the coastal edge and enjoy its views.
Finally, the third objective of the park is the ecological restoration of the Valparaiso coastline. A series of lush green spaces filled with Mediterranean species, as well as a wetland to treat the city’s runoff, will allow to reestablish the natural relationship between the sea and a coastal edge that until now has only been exploited by the port industry.