Skype session 1 Paraguay-Belgium

Dear all,

the movies of first Skype session between Paraguay and Belgium can be found with these links:

Thanks to all of you.

Interdiciplinary Talk _03


We started analyzing the current situation of the water sources located in the Metropolitan Area. Being one of the biggest current issues in the Country, we researched the Patiño aquifer, the Ypacarai Lake’s basin and the other important river’s basins in the area which are in urgent need of intervention.

As a third world country, many of the cities around the capital lack a state controlled sewage system, forcing the citizens of the area to use cesspools, which are one the biggest pollutants of water in the area.

Fortunately, we were able to contact the SEAM (public Environment Department) where we were able to access graphs and investigations which helped us through the masterplan.


Analysing the ecosystems identified in the area of study, we observed different natural existing situations and its relation with cities (such as wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, natural landscaping amid cities) starting with he semi agricultured zones to the most urbanized areas.

We considered, fifteen squared meters of green area per person (required by the World Health Organization), we propose to seize the existing vegetation in the city and identify those areas which are problematic or inappropriate situations throughout the metropolitan area, in order to create solutions like  metropolitan parks, recreation, movement, sports, leisure, etc.

As mentiones earlier, we integrated our two problems : water contamination and lack of public green spaces, proposing green areas as a way to solve the deficit problem consumption / recharge of Patiño aquifer, by locating the recharge zones in the area and permeabilize the surface in order to facilitate the water penetration.


This classification reflects the character that each park will have, considering its potential according to where they are located.

The idea is to enhance the natural resources of each site, creating a green belt that will filter into the city, with the premise of protecting the edges of streams with tree planting, recovery of surface water courses, identifying points Patiño aquifer recharge for proper infiltration, wetlands protection, and other factors.

Urban parks are limited due to their location, semi-urban parks have larger áreas and are proposed combining activitites with a direct relation of the citizens in the área of influence.

Rural parks however, are much larger, serve a more diverse population, and would benefit from agrosostenibles crops as productive and educational activity.

In all cases, there are three basic concepts of planning, habitat (landscape infrastructure), programs (activation of public space) and mobility (sustainable connectivity).


Mobility Project

We started analyzing the existing main avenues and routes inside the Metropolitan Area. We realized that there are certain intersections that need urgent intervention to try and solve the serious traffic problems. Through an intense study of the actual vial system, we decided to propose new routes and avenues to decrease the amount of traffic that the actual avenues have to put up with every day.

The city of San Lorenzo has become a major mobility problem for the Metropolitan Area. Located at the center of it, it receives the weight of the traffic of 5 important ways that get you in and out of the capital (showed in blue), causing the collapse of the enormous vial system.

To reduce the impact in the center of the city, we propose new traffic ways (marked in orange) that will be prepared to receive BRT and automobile traffic. The BRT bus will only stop at a terminal projected in one of the main green areas of the city.

Public transportation for the inside of the city includes a bus that will transit on the yellow lanes marked in the plan, and will make round ways to try and reach all the important points.

Trips around the Metropolitan Area

To get to know the different conflict points of the Metropolitan area, we did some recognition trips. First from the top of the tallest building of Asuncion called “Icono”, where we had an overview of our city and of what is around it. Then we travel along the Ypacarai basin, which is a very polluted hydric course. Finally, we went by boat across the Paraguay river, to see the city from the other side.

Interdisciplinary Talk_02

Our second guest speaker was Dr. Antonio L. Cubilla.
Doctor in Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Asuncion (UNA). Specialist in Pathological Anatomy (American Board of Pathology, USA). Former Research Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, Cornell University. Member of the National Council for Science and Technology of Paraguay (CONACYT).

Within his active participation in Medicine and Education in the country, Antonio is a distinguished voice in the public discussion about the need of a stronger scientific curriculum in the basic and advanced educational institutions in Paraguay.  The intention of the talk was to engage the students in the discussion of methodologies of research and practice within a different field, using Thomas Khun ideas as a background for the interdisciplinary talk.





The approach of this analysis of the Asunción’s metropolitan area intends to illustrate graphically the principal development axes, understanding “Axes” like a line defined by two space meeting points around which it is possible to arrange shapes and spaces.

Within this concept we can watch  it’s existance in different ways. For example, we can see vial axes, characterized by  beeing extenses comunications lines that communicate cities and countries. We can also find water axes, wich are great ways to exchange and supply all kind of products among Paraguayan cities and other Nations.  We can find transport axes too, in wich there are different types and among them emerges the concept of node. The node is composed by  the Asunción’s bus terminal, the Silvio Petirossi International Airport and the different great bus stops in the metropolitan area. There are also electric axes, wich leave a pretty aggressive print in the scenery and wich can be observed from aerial views.

The Asuncion metropolitan area and their connections with the urban sprawl




In the Central Department converge the country’s principals trunk routes, wich terminals are located in Asunción.The Mcal. López (Year 1944) Route I and Mcal. Estigarribia (Year 1962) Route II links it directly through its branches with the South and the East area and with Argentina and Brasil.The Transchaco (beggining of the 50s)  Route IX  and the bridge over the Paraguayan river links it with the Occidental region.


Therefore we conclude that the “Axes” are very important in the city formation and in it’s territorial expansion, in the provision of the cities and above all in the residents quality of life, in a good or in a bad way, taking transportation to those areas, or contaminating the water and the air.



Our research involved an analysis of the city of Asuncion and the growth that this city won the Central department and the area around it. We wonder what were the actual boundaries of Metro, the perceived limits by its residents, political boundaries / administrative role and plays the natural system (Water + Topographic) within the territory of occupation of urban growth.

After a walk and photographic survey, we find that the political and administrative boundaries are mere formalities, although in some cases respond to natural boundaries, such streams, these are not covered in the way that deals with the soil, or the how routes are plotted. Urban sprawl result of decades of unplanned growth, throws us today urban sprawl that has no hint of stoping.


We conclude that the Asunción metropolitan area, today has consolidated the stain more cities, as Luque, Capiata, Itaugua. Besides often a limit in sight but goes unnoticed, is the Ypacarai Basin, that includes other departments beside Central Department.


We studied the city based on the lots. First we saw the process of city formation through the years, and then we focus on some cases for further analysis.


We have studied the city from the subdividing of the squares, trying to know how the city grows according to this. In this case we took 3 examples of cities to show how the history, the shape, the topography can affect the urban organization, the density and the model of the city. In Lambare’s case we took the firts neigthbourhoods, that has settle in 1964, to show the regular form, and how they try to respect the organic municipal law that says that the lands need to have al least 360 m2, creating in this way a dispersed model of city, with only 112 people by ha.
In aregua’s case we took the downtown to show how the franciscans impose the outline of the city, with the church in the center and the squares all around, in an ortogonal way, in this case the lands are not very regular for the topography that characterized aregua and the shape of the city.
In villa elisa’s case we took a neighbourhood that have a tipe of land that was before a rural land, and they are divided in a diferent way, more longitudinal than the other ones.
Other analysis..

The research initiated as a group is intended to identify CENTRALITIES inside the Metropolitan Area of Asuncion, understanding them as locations where different uses and functions are concentrated, and that are useful to discover the way in which the city is articulated.
In order to accomplish this, the method applied is based on recognizing important centers within the analyzed area through different layers that are established from use: commerce centers, education centers, leisure centers, and others.
Once determined the centers we combined the layers to analyze and identify zones where use is intense, and therefore can be considered Urban Centralities.
Information contained in each layer will be updated.

Como grupo, el análisis realizado se enfoca en identificar las CENTRALIDADES del Área Metropolitana de Asunción, entendidas estas como lugares donde se concentran usos y funciones, y que ayudan a descubrir la manera en la que se articula la ciudad.
Para ello, la metodología utilizada se basa en reconocer centros importantes dentro del área de análisis a través de diferentes capas que se establecen a partir del uso: centros de comercio, centros de educación, centros de ocio, entre otros.
Una vez determinados los centros a partir de cada uso, se superponen todas las capas analizadas para identificar zonas donde los usos son intensos, y por lo tanto pueden considerarse Centralidades Urbanas.
Obs: La información contenida en cada capa se ira actualizando.


Group 01_ Cadastre

As the group in charge of “cadastre,” our first challenge was creating a file of Asuncion’s Metropolitan area, which takes much more than just putting AutoCAD files together.

As a developing country, our nation does not possess the adequate organization to facilitate this type of information, meaning we were forced to physically approach each of the 36 municipalities involved.

After 2 weeks of fighting with the municipality’s bureaucratic system, we finally had access to the “state cadastre” or “catastro de hacienda,” as we call it. This state cadaster only has the city’s outline, including streets, blocks and lot’s; lacking two important things: topography and hydrography of the area. Luckily, through a state-military institution called the Geographic Military Service, we found both of these items, as well as the existent vial infrastructure, allowing us to finalize our task of joining all the basic information needed for this project.

Interdisciplinary Talk _01

Our first guest Speaker was Fabricio Vázquez:
Teacher and Researcher from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National University of Asunción (UNA), Department of Rural Economy. PhD. in  Geographical Economy from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail-France, and Master in Territorial Development.

His research themes are Planning, Land Development and Regional Economies.
The idea behind the talk was to give the students a wider view of the territory and how these in turn affect the whole system of cities.

 First book on the subject of Territory and Population in Paraguay:
Vázquez, F.: (2007) Paraguay: Territorio y población



To start the Mapping process we shared with the students content that could expand the issue of visualizing information, specially related to Urban issues, and a review of books that could help them understand the context of metropolitan Asunción.

1-The Works: Anatomy of a City (Kate Ascher)
2-The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure (Kelly Shannon – Marcel Smets)
3-City Rules (Emily Talen)
4-Sao Paulo Metropole (Meyer-Grostein-Biderman)
5-Encuentro con la ciudad Escondida (Causarano-Bosio-Duarte-Spiridonoff)
6-Dinámicas Metropolitanas en Asunción, CDE, Encarnación. 

1-BBC – Britain From Above
2-Manuel Lima (Visual Complexity) (TED)
3-Carlo Ratti: Architecture that senses and responds (TED)
4-David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization (TED)
5-Carolyn Steel: How food shapes our cities (TED)

Web Sites:
-Senseable City
-Atlas Ambiental de Buenos Aires

Urban Regeneration Strategies

The semester started the 6th of August. We joined with the 8th Semester so as to have a sufficient number of students, since a group of 6 students are currently doing an exchange year in other Universities. Our 8th Semester teachers are: Arch. Pablo Ruggero and Arch. Lukas Fuster . We also have students from other universities in this semester, which are going to participate in the Pilot Project. Our current groups divided by assignment are:

1. Cadastre (Catastro):
-Maria Paz Gill (9th)
-Maria Bertha Peroni (9th)
-Ignacio Lloret (8th)

2. Axis (Ejes):
-Fernanda Garicoche (9th)
-Vanina Consani (9th)
-Ariel Samaniego (9th)
-Laura Martínez (8th)
-Jorge del Puerto (8th)
-Tomás García de Zúñiga (8th)

3. Lots (Lotes)
-Laura Barboza (9th)
-Johanna Boettner (9th)
-Adrian Alvarenga (8th)

4.Centralities (Centralidades)
-Betania Ayala (9th)
-Martin Alvarez (9th)
-Lucas Olivero (8th) (Exchange Student from Cordoba – Argentina)
-Fernanda Alurralde (8th) (Exchange Student from Sucre-Bolivia)

5.Limits (Limites)
-Sergio Ybarra (9th)
-Fernando Duarte (9th)
-Maria Irigoitia (9th)
-Melisa Bender (8th) (Exchange Student from Santa Fé – Argentina)



Dear Students,
welcome to the design Studio and to the ALFA III ADU2020 Project.
We invite you to know more about the ADU project on the official website, pressing on the Logo, and to take a look on the Brief, Calendar and Tasks. The File button will be our tool to share internal studio information. The Add New Post button will be our tool to upload tasks and works in different stages. (see calendar).
Wishing the best for all, let’s start working!.
Estimados estudiantes,

Bienvenidos al Proyecto Piloto de ALFA III ADU_2020, que es parte de la Comunidad Europea (Europeaid) y de 18 instituciones de Educación Superior de Latino-América y Europa. Trabajaremos en paralelo con talleres de otros 17 paises más y cada estudio tendrá paises-pareja de trabajo.
Los invitamos a saber más sobre el proyecto ADU, También a explorar el blog y echar un vistazo en el calendario, Programa y Tareas. El botón “file” será nuestra herramienta para compartir información. El botón “Add new post” será nuestra herramienta para subir las tareas y sus trabajos en diferentes etapas del curso. (ver calendario para saber cuando hay tareas comentadas).

Deseando lo mejor para todos, entonces que comience el trabajo!.