Summer '14

Avenues in the Tropics Summer School

Urban Scenarios for Carrera 50

Visiting Workshop

  • June 25 - July 11
  • Barranquilla, Colombia
  • Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg & Prof. Hubert Klumpner
    Alice Hertzog, Lea Ruefenacht

    Dr. Pius Krütli, Transdisciplinarity Lab, D-USYS
    Jimeno A. Fonseca, Prof. Dr. Arno Schlüter’s SUAT
    Estefania Tapias, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmitt’s Chair of Information Architecture
    Javier Ortigosa, Dr. Menendez's Traffic Engineering research group, IVT, D-BAUG
    Prof. Fabian Amaya, Universidad del Norte
  • Collaborators: Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Financiera de Desarrollo Territorial (FINDETER), Municipality of Barranquilla, Martha Thorne, IE University, Strategic Partner


Mid-sized cities in Latin America are growing at unprecedented rates. The next decade will be decisive in terms of demographic and economic growth, creating a time window to respond to unprecedented demands on resources, such as land, water and energy.

Are these boomtowns doomed to follow the fate of megacities or will they successfully avoid the pitfalls of rapid urban development? This program is part of a three-year ambitious collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank & Findeter’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative and the Swiss Ministry for Economic Cooperation (SECO). It will influence decision makers and engage with real issues.

ETH is teaming up with the leading Universidad del Norte in Colombia to focus on Barranquilla, a rapidly growing city of 1.2 million inhabitants on the Atlantic coast of Colombia. Following a period of decline, vast sums of foreign investment are now flowing into this port city, with the potential to reverse current inequalities and spark more sustainable development.

This summer school will function as an inter-disciplinary think-tank, exploring the requisites for sustainable urban development in Barranquilla through the lens of architecture, engineering, and environmental sciences. You will be challenged to work in an intensive cross-cultural setting and develop solutions in a complex, real-life context with local practitioners and stakeholders. The summer school will provide alternative urban scenarios that over come real-life obstacles.