Santa Fe, Argentina: Parque del Norte (North Park)

Comprehensive redevelopment of a burgeoning former periphery, anchored by a new, world-class city park

Provincial capital of a key industrial, economic and agricultural area, Santa Fe is a metropolitan region of over 650,000 residents. As a strategically located port city it links modern trade across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, while its nearly 450-year history gives it significant cultural heritage. Boasting 3 universities and another 14 scientific and technical institutes, Santa Fe is a center of politics, innovation, and entrepreneurism in Argentina today.

Project Background

A priority of Santa Fe is the revitalization of 80 hectares of land currently occupied by the city’s former landfill, a botanical garden, and other damaged green spaces, with the resulting “Parque del Norte” to be an exemplar of public space management and environmental and socio-economic sustainability. The park will be the anchor for the wider development of the Northern region of the city, once a peripheral area now poised for substantial population growth. Santa Fe is seeking to attract large-scale public-private real estate investments to build houses and new neighborhoods, complimented by updated regulations on urban growth and substantial new public works.

Project Resilience Value and Impact

The Parque del Norte developments will be a substantial asset for the approximately 100,000 people living in the northern region of the city, as well as the over one million people across the metro region. It will construct needed new housing, and result in the urban renewal of a substantial region of the city.

The park itself will include new recreational spaces, cultural and sports facilities, an upgraded botanical garden, a School of Labor and a District Governance Center, pedestrian corridors and extensive blue-green infrastructure. It will be also serve as a reservoir during rainy season, making it an important flood mitigation asset. Integrated into the design of the park will be systems for zero waste and circular resource use, clean and independent energy production, in situ water collection and potabilization, ecosystem management for wildlife and biodiversity, and opportunities for climate mitigation and urban agriculture systems.

Successful experimentation and implementation around all of these topics will allow Santa Fe to be a pioneer for the design of resilient 21st century green space around the world. The various owners and operators of the land in the Northern zone will also require Santa Fe to innovate new institutional management models, which may hold lessons for global cities.

Project Status and Opportunity

As of mid-2018, the city is in the early days of design and scoping for the project. They are seeking funding and technical assistance from the Argentinian national government and the World Bank to conduct the required regulatory studies, environmental, service, and impact assessments, and economic development scenario modelling, as well as for determining the best management models for the site.

Once the planning is completed, the city will seek financing via public-private partnership models to undertake the construction of the park’s basic infrastructure, including electricity, gas, and street lighting, pavement, walkways, and parking, drinking water, sewers and storm drains, and the blue-green infrastructure required for flood management and the recuperation of degraded green spaces. Santa Fe will then seek additional pathways for the construction of the planned social infrastructure facilities of the park. The wider investment opportunity if found in the burgeoning neighborhoods surrounding the park will foster, with the cityconsidering a variety of potential avenues for funding, including: a land value capture opportunity from the improved real estate values, funding some of the upgrades from property or utility user fees, creating a bid for the overall development by an external actor, adapting regulations (building code, business enablement, etc.) or creating other incentives for the needed construction and economic activities. Santa Fe is also planning to offer certain parcels of land for free to developers in exchange for their making the investment in constructing the needed new real estate.

The planning and construction of the full developments surrounding the Parque del Norte, including housing and infrastructure, is anticipated to cost over US$125 million, with around US$7M for planning and US$118M for execution.

For more information or to get involved: 
Andrea Valsagna, Chief Resilience Officer |