November 13 2012

Buenos Aires’ Bus Rapid Transit and Real Estate Appraisal: Transit and Gentrification in a Latin American City

Urban Planning interventions on a grand scale are the most noticeable way of changing the face of a city and the quality of living for its inhabitants.

Not policies, though urban planning depends greatly on politics. Nor the internal economics of the city, however influential. The Urban Design ventures are the ones that change the city. Urban design, at least from the population’s perspective, is the best way to bring an answer to the recurrent question: Where is our tax money going? Because it’s right there in front of their eyes.

And it is in this psychology of the citizens, towards the development of the city in which one lives, where the relation between the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) , Metrobus in the case of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Real Estate Appraisal lies.

Recently at the Observatory of Urban Sustainability, from Belgrano University, an extensive study was dedicated towards investigating the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit on Juan B. Justo Avenue. This area has been greatly influenced by gentrification; with improved services (hospitals, museums, and more) and new high class real estate projects.

The result of the study, based on the real estate listings of the famed newspaper ‘Clarín,’ showed that the appraisal or the square meter value was, on average, $2,000 to $6,000 per square meter. The study also discovered that many of these new prices where the product of speculation, as many of these projects were started simultaneously with the BRT station construction and finished before the full corridor was even functioning! So, it can be concluded that people are indeed influenced when they see that something new, in terms of urban design is being done, and are willing to pay – or sell – at these heightened new prices.

Yes, Latin American cities should improve the design of their built environment, but should this bring a massive gentrification and force people with less resources to move to the peripheries? Similar to what happened in many European cities? Do we want that for Latin America?

Credits: Data linked to sources. Images provided by the author.

Luis Lozano-Paredes

Luis Lozano-Paredes is currently a student seeking a Diploma of Architecture and Urban Planning at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Colombia in 1987, he grew between the cities of Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, and then moved to Argentina in 2006. There, he finished the Common Basic Cycle of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing studies in Landscape Design at the same Institution. Inspired by the Urban Transformation of Bogotá in the past decades, his interests evolved from Landscape Architecture to his current passion; Urban Planning, Policy Making, and Sustainable Development. He plans to continue his studies in Urban Planning and Sustainability in Canada, Chile, or the U.S.; but for the moment he currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center of Metropolitan Transport Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and is a Member of the Observatory of Urban Sustainability at Belgrano University. Luis’ main interests lay within the study of Smart Cities, Urban Sustainable Development, and Social Architecture in Latin America.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 4:39 pm and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, Land Use, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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