Urban planning & Blockchain. A case in Latin America : Colombia

In an earlier article, https://medium.com/@cityzeen/smart-cities-in-colombia-a-latin-america-example-about-governance-8a086c0a2324 I have commented on the smart city in Colombia, and I addressed the issue of Governance. Now I intend to explain how the lack of urban planning is an opportunity for coexistence, competitiveness and sustainable development.


The new census, leaves us a photo of the territory in which we have a country with more aging population, more women, and cities that have grown up to 100%, as in the case of municipalities near the big capitals, many of them without inclusive urban planning; that is to say, focused on the user, not at the service of political interests, according to the leaders in office.

Although the P.O.T (Urban Planning) http://www.minvivienda.gov.co/viceministerios/viceministerio-de-vivienda/espacio-urbano-y-territorial/plan-de-ordenamiento-territorial is the tool for the design and implementation of assets, as well as the optimization of urban infrastructure, there is still a lack of state-of-the-art technology that allows for better investment, includes companies and allows tax collection to be better. invested.

The Blockchain is a technology created to solve problems of intermediaries, privacy and trust, it is a higher evolution of cryptography, and in its vision it seeks to generate more decentralized business models. Colombia has a model contrary to this logic, so taxes have their same course. The new law 1962/2019 to decentralize the state goes towards that principle, which in some way empowers a new investment model (assets).

Urban planning is a technical function that aims to organize space for people, as well as decide on how their residents work, have fun and live. This function has generally been performed with little software and maps, but in reality it is very political (land value, own interests, political fees, mega-projects, diversion of resources). At the same time, for decades, works have been carried out where the lowest cost is the main criterion, sacrificing well-being, belonging, modularity, effectiveness and in the end ending with exorbitant costs and works turned into white elephants.

These two concepts lead us to rethink new models, so that the user is the main beneficiary, not just the contractor’s contract. To cite a more concrete example Villavicencio approved 2,000 hectares in the POT / 2015 but today only 20% have been used, to reach a million inhabitants, that plan is called “oil stains” because it only wants to be extended, but not He knows for whom. In 2017, the Mayor’s Office claimed to have 452,472 and the DNP projected 900,000, many decisions are based on the future value of the land, led by the builders, part of those hectares has seismic failures (low land cost).

In Manizales, a third of the municipality has Geo-technical failures, for decades without planning, the slopes have become a risk, which have already ended with tragedies. However, these populations are allowed to become subnormal neighborhoods, so that in the future when entering a POT they can be legalized. These examples are a weakness for decades, for lack of more technical equipment, as well as for political failures in which resources are diverted, works are not delivered, lack of collection, and without a project achievement, it is not built a city, which deprives national banks and foreign investment funds not to invest. https://www.procuraduria.gov.co/portal/investigacion-exalcalde-manizales-corpocaldas-irregularidades-pot-caldas.news

Of these intermediate cities, now with the Census two new trends appear, the dormitory cities, in the case of Cundinamarca: Tocancipá (63%), Madrid (77%), Cajicá (78%), Mosquera (103%) of population growth in 10 years, and those territories are developed only for housing, which contrasts with the national average of 12.5% ​​population growth with new challenges in mobility, security, education and housing (property), and if correlated with low wages, generates Future stress in infrastructure. Nationally, another 400 municipalities also grew in population at a rate greater than 70%.

Bogotá grew 2,637 hectares between 2005 and 2016, the 20 nearby municipalities grew 19,494 hectares. This meant that in just 11 years an area of ​​the Sabana equivalent to 51% of Bogotá was urbanized and that is where the Blockchain and the new planning models are combined, since centralization focuses on power, not on user. The future of urban planning is on the same path of the new law, decentralized, and with new financial models, which go against the well-known “type”, “tailor” documents or the serious problems faced by the Office of the Attorney General and the Comptroller ). It is very necessary that the first technological line of cities with planning in Colombia is security, high levels of crime, homicides, assaults, robberies, scams in investment and in the documents generate mistrust in the user, and lead to nobody want to respond to the census, or pay taxes. It is the first objective if we want a power country in 2035 security including courts and dysfunctional accusatory systems.

I share with Richard Florida the postulate that the nature of Capital, Innovation and the type of workers affect urban planning. Colombia, as the Latin American center of the fourth industrial revolution, needs to resolve its internal obstacles in public procurement, adapt its culture to the cultural proportion, and empower its residents, because in the end without tax there is no infrastructure.

One of the great brakes beyond that Colombia is a technology-consuming country, is in the inclusion of the user, and in generating a citizen culture of belonging. It is no use investing billions if you do not take the example of caring and learning to live in community, one of the principles of the Blockchain is consensus.

Urban planning requires cutting-edge technology, and its future depends on the involvement of each user, but if we want to attract investment we must act in a model of coexistence and tolerance towards the other, because the Government can articulate, but can not solve everything (Centralization).

It is with the daily actions, which may have world-class cities and tourist points, it is one of the countries with the greatest cultural, ethnic, geographical and species diversity in the world, everyone dreams of living in such a paradise. Why don’t we empower our territory, to boost those industries? Cities are the reflection of homes.

This can be replicate in many other countries around the world. Andrés Assmus

Founder & CEO at CityZeen Inc. I am immigrant, a nomad, always learning, building, co-creating.