Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan
ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award
Analysis and Planning
San Juan, Puerto Rico, United States
Client: Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña
The Jury stated it's a "resiliency-oriented development." This plan integrates climate mitigation and flood protection with new belts of greenspace, community connectors, housing, and power to form a possibility of multivalence. It is a plan in which specific landscape design strategies can positively impact the environment and, therefore, quality of life while promoting resilience. The analysis is thorough and addresses the intent of ecological improvements. Cultural understanding is also prevalent in the narrative and exhibits.
- 2023 Awards Jury
Richard S. Roark, RLA, ASLA, LEED / SITES AP, Partner, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Marni Burns, RLA, Project Associate, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Andrew Dobshinsky, AICP, Project Planning Associate, OLIN, Lead Planner
Leo Robleto, RLA, Project Manager, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Katie Pitstick, RLA, Senior Landscape Architect, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Sarah Swanseen, RLA, Landscape Architect, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Max Dixon, AICP, Landscape Designer, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Daniel Rodriguez, Landscape Designer, OLIN, Lead Landscape Architect
Edmundo Colon Izquierdo, Principal, ECo Design Studio, Architect and Local Landscape Architect
Eric Rothstein, PE, Managing Partner, EDesign Dynamics, H-H Modeling, Green Infrastructure
Franco Montalto, EDesign Dynamics, H-H Modeling, Green Infrastructure
Kyle Taylor, Project Engineer, EDesign Dynamics, H-H Modeling, Green Infrastructure
Sanaz Borhani, Modeler, EDesign Dynamics, H-H Modeling, Green Infrastructure
Anna Bras, PE, MEM, Staff Engineer, ARCADIS, Local Water Resources Engineering
Mark Van Auken, PE, Staff Engineer, ARCADIS, Local Water Resources Engineering
Luis A. Santiago, PE, Operations Manager, ARCADIS, Local Water Resources Engineering
Scott Davis, SGD Urban Solutions, Resilience Planner
Paul Lipson, President, Barretto Bay Strategies, Economic Advisor
Heber Delgado-Medrano, Barretto Bay Strategies, Economic Advisor
Walter E. Soler-Figueroa, Ambienta Inc., Ecologist
Cameron Thomson, Associate Principal, ARUP, Energy Planning
Vanessa Amado, Ph D. PE, VAG Transportation Engineering Consultants, Transportation Engineering
Chongba Sherpa, Sherpa Construction Consulting, Cost Estimator
Jon Morrison, Jon Morrison & Associates, Structural Engineering
Carlos J. Requena, Partner, JRR Engineers, Local Electrical Engineer
Sigfredo E. Faria Vega, President, Palma Roja, INC., Arborist
Josue Torres Oritz, JTO Engineering, Local Water Infrastructure Consultant
The eight communities of the Caño Martín Peña District were built piece-by-piece by their residents who recognize that their greatest asset in the face of a changing climate is their social capital. The Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan was developed to serve the communities’ needs by improving their collective health and quality of life, incorporating nature-based strategies and climate change risk analysis to develop holistic solutions while safeguarding the communities’ deep social bonds as the fundamental link. The plan is grounded in a social and environmental justice framework, surveys and consultation with residents and community leaders, as well as coordination with Commonwealth and Federal agencies.
The Caño Martín Peña (CMP) District is a resilient and resourceful collection of eight communities that emerged informally around a channel of the San Juan Bay Estuary. In the midst of facing numerous challenges, these community members recognized their social capital as their greatest asset for survival and improved quality of life. More than 20 years ago, the eight communities formed local groups and a unified coalition to advocate for their homes, their right to stay in their communities, and to push for better infrastructure, ecological health, and economic opportunities.
The Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan (CIMP) is a testament to the power of community agency in addressing these communities’ unique challenges and is built upon the groundwork laid by the 2004 Plan de Desarrollo Integral y Usos del Terreno: Distrito Especial Caño Martín Peña (PDI), which was adopted as Puerto Rico Law 489. The CIMP is a transformative and actionable vision that directly addresses environmental and social justice concerns. The plan was developed through extensive collaboration with the coalition of the eight distinct communities of Caño Martín Peña. The 12,000 residents of these communities are beset with risks resulting from frequent flooding and a lack of infrastructure. The eight communities were instrumental in shaping the proposals to reflect their needs for a safe and thriving future.
The CIMP addresses critical environmental and social justice concerns through a holistic approach that incorporates nature-based solutions, designs that work with natural systems, and climate change risk analysis based on local sea level rise and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR6 report. This comprehensive plan targets safe drinking water, sanitary water and stormwater collection, flood protection, economic opportunities, and access to safe housing and open space. Environmental sensitivity and sustainability are core principles of the plan, and it accounts for increased flooding due to sea level rise and climate change, as well as financial and political realities of implementing infrastructure and housing projects.
By emphasizing the importance of community agency, the CIMP strengthens the connection between residents, local organizations, and governmental agencies charged with ensuring the long-term social, economic, and environmental resilience of the Caño Martín Peña community. This collaboration ensures that the voices of the CMP District communities are heard and that their needs are prioritized in the planning process.
Furthermore, the CIMP is a forward-looking plan addressing climate impacts through transformative action, scalable solutions, and protection of biodiversity within the San Juan Bay Tropical Estuary. Innovative approaches to stormwater management, flood protection, and housing development are designed to be scalable and adaptable, allowing for continued improvement in response to changing environmental conditions.
In summary, the Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan showcases the power of community agency in addressing environmental and social justice concerns. By incorporating the needs and desires of the CMP District communities, this plan paves the way for a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future that empowers residents and safeguards their social capital.