Bermúdez Arquitectos

Island City 

Collaborative research on gated communities

Daniela Sanjinés, David Kostenwien, Ramón Bermúdez



It is a fact: Bogotá is rapidly colonizing the agricultural valleys of its surrounding highlands in absence of a clear urban project, resulting in the irreversible conurbation of a dozen of urban settlements in the region. This is the story of a Latin American city that has been shaped without a stable urban or territorial strategy, and without a (graphic) representation that could define such a project.

However, behind the city´s form of growth we can clearly discern an expansion model that is not based on urban or spatial criteria, but on economic precepts, obeying to the inherent logic of capital and real-estate development. A sort of hidden manifest (as it hasn´t been described in graphic form) is defining the shape of a future Greater Bogotá. A real-estate market that responds to the demands of a population that is driven, on the one hand, by a perception of insecurity and distrust, and by the desire to be part of an exclusive and excluded space on the other.

In a city that has traditionally expanded through residential neighborhoods, a significant part of the current urban regulations, the luring profits of the real-estate business, a lifestyle based on the private and the exaltation of security, the gated community is enthroned as the basic cell of urban growth.