Puerto Madero benefits and suffers from the same factors that affect similar megaprojects: the comprehensive planning, done all at one time, has a certain sterility. In part because of the high-quality of urban design, infrastructure and location, it quickly gets priced up, and is seen to be more a reservation for the rich than something which reflects the urban mix of the surrounding city.
It’s reported that up to half the suites in the private complexes are empty of day-to-day residents.
But the more serious problem with PM is its physical disconnection from the adjacent neighbourhoods of BA, including the historic centre of the city, Plaza de Mayo.
A drawback for those living or staying here is it is somewhat disconnected from the rest of the city, lacking in subway service and away from the city’s major arteries. Most denizens here own cars …
It seemed like it would be a straight shot on foot from the President’s Palace, Casa Rosado, to the north side of Puerto Madero via the Woman’s Bridge. Classic City Beautiful planning: everything lined up.
Not to be.
Security fencing surrounds the Casa Rosada and diverts pedestrians (and protestors) to the side, where crossing the street(s) becomes a major challenge, unless you know, without evident signage, where to go.
And then there are parking lots, more arterials, a rail line and a general sense that no one thought this through. As a result, for most times of the week, there are not a lot of people in the public places of PM. Even getting a taxi back to the city was a challenge.
Regardless of whatever deficiencies there are in Vancouver’s megaproject planning, there was always a priority on connecting them to the fabric of the city and offering as many transportation choices as possible. Plus no permanent surface parking lots.