Creating and improving public space, solving issues related to water and generating electricity from tidal flows were topics presented by the five projects at the media briefing to conclude the LafargeHolcim Awards prize hand-over ceremony for Latin America, held in Costa Rica.
Edward Schwarz, General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, explained the objectives of the Awards competition to raise awareness and promote sustainability in the built environment. Taking a holistic view of sustainability foregrounds issues related to social inclusion and equity; especially in the context of underprivileged neighborhoods, he said. “The prize winning projects highlight the need for safe and freely-accessible drinking water, and the importance and impact of public space.”
The LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 Gold winning project in Mexico City brings both topics together by offering public amenities in combination with an integrated water retention and treatment complex, as Loreta Castro Reguera and Manuel Perló showed. Sol Camacho presented the Silver Award winning mixed-use civic hub in the largest favela of São Paulo, which brings sustainable architecture and sustainable financing together. In addition, the Bronze Award winning project is located in an informal settlement in Rio de Janeiro. Eva Pfannes showed how the wastewater will no longer pollute natural waterways, but will be treated using constructed wetlands as an effective and proven treatment to clean wastewater.
“Ciudad Dulce” (“Sweet City”) is the vision of the Costa Rican town of Curridabat. The strategy of ecologically and socially reimagining the city aims to strengthen biodiversity, encourage productivity, enable coexistence, build habitat and optimize infrastructure, explained Erick Calderón, co-author of the LafargeHolcim Awards Acknowledgement prize winning project.
Three students of the National University of Cordoba in Argentina introduced their idea of creating a tidal energy landscape to generate electric energy and a large-scale recreational area on the Argentinian coast at Punta Loyola. The winning project of the LafargeHolcim Awards Next Generation category 2017 Latin America showcases the determination of young professionals to trigger positive impacts on the quality of life using creative and high innovative ways.