Urban Transformation Program

Urban transformation has become one of the top priorities of Colombian cities for tackling their growing urban challenges. The SECO supported Urban Transformation Program aims at (re-)vitalizing the public space through innovative urban infrastructures in selected Colombian Cities in order to promote their economic development.

Country/region Period Budget
01.09.2018 - 30.06.2024
CHF  4’415’114

Throughout the Latin American continent, cities are growing rapidly. Urban development and the distribution of economic activities are in many cities far from sustainable. Sprawl, traffic congestion, waste pollution, water contamination and loss of vegetation diminish the potential for economic development and the quality of life. Latin-American and Colombian Cities are working hard to change the current models of urbanization, making cities economically more successful, more inclusive and sustainable. Urban transformation has become one of the cities' top priorities for solving their urban challenges.


The overall objective of the Program is to promote urban transformation in selected Colombian cities by designing innovative, energy efficient and multifunctional infrastructures, and thereby promoting economic growth in low income city districts. The Program will also build capacity in urban planning and promote the replication of these innovative designs at national level.

The Program consists of 3 components:

1.Supervision support to the construction of the "Fábrica de Cultura" in Barranquilla.

2.Design of 4 multifunctional buildings (prototypes) and supervision during tendering and construction.

3.Cooperation for capacity building, knowledge transfer and replication.

Medium-term outcomes

Land value around the prototype buildings built has raised

Capacities in urban planning at city level (public and private) and in implicated universities improved

Economic and social activities are activated in the surroundings of the buildings

Intermediate Outcomes:

Construction of the Fábrica de Cultura and prototype buildings as designed by the ETH

The Fabrica de Cultura initiates the process for the EDGE (or other) green building certification

The projects have been integrated in the urban development plans

Urban upgrade has been catalized and transformation, in the city districts where the buildings have been built, begins to take place

The designs of the prototype buildings are requested to be implemented in other cities

Capacity of local and national actors responsible for urban planning is strengthened

Awareness at city level of potential for land value capture built


Expected results:  

Design elaborated for all the prototypes

Supervision during construction of the Fabrica de Cultura and the prototypes provided

Governance mechanism for operation & maintenance of the buildings are proposed to the relevant authorities

Activities in the buildings are proposed to the relevant authorities

Dissemination strategy and materials developed and implemented

Continued education developed and provided to different stakeholders (academia, public and private sector)

Detailed strategy elaborated and implemented on how to institutionalize/replicate the prototypes

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’415’114 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    5’687’114
Project phases Phase 1 01.09.2018 - 30.06.2024   (Current phase)