Latin America & Caribbean » El Salvador » San Salvador

San Salvador next 500 years
  Pedro B. Ortiz San Salvador Metropolitan Discipline Metro Matrix Structural Strategic Planning
  El Salvador is a small country. 7 million inhabitants. The size of a metropolis. No particular natural assets, not even access to both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. El Salvador has to rely on its human resources. A well-prepared elite, in spite of emigration as main economic export. 20% of GDP is foreign remittances. Does El Salvador have 'collective intelligence' or an effort has to be made to make those human resources work better together?

El Salvador can not make of the transoceanic location an asset to complement the Panama Canal or add value to the products being transferred in that route. However, the position in the northern hemisphere on the path between the Asia Pacific and South America can provide an opportunity for an Air international HUB. The good strategic decision of taking the airport to the zero-altitude coastal plain is a stepping stone to that international positioning between two continents. Extending the rail network to the San Jose port in Guatemala (120 km) can as well place industrial products relocated from the USA (as in the Leon/Queretaro metropolis in Mexico) into the North America markets. The 4.500 USD GDP of El Salvador would be more attractive than the 14.000 USD of Mexico and away from the 60.000 of the USA.

In Metropolitan terms, San Salvador has been for 500 years (Founded in 1524) growing following the East/West axis. It has grown too large and the valley of Santa Tecla is congested. It is shifting its axis in a natural form from the E-W to the North/South. The pull of the Airport through San Marcos and the strong positioning of Apopa, opening the agricultural plains of the Lempa River are shifting the inherited EW urban axis into the NS metropolitan one. Both axis, crossing at the 5th Centenary Metropolitan Integrative Centrality project, proposed by the UN-Habitat and BCIE, cannot be the sole axes as it would be the inability to respond to the rapid traffic demand. The metropolis needs to be reticulated.

The Metro-Matrix approach proposes a dozen projects that, together would transform the shape of San Salvador Metropolis for it to leap into a new positioning as the leading metropolis of Central America. Added value products, tangible and intangible, for wealth markets, can make of El Salvador Central-America’s Switzerland.