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Rebuilding for Resilient Landscapes San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador

University of Pennsylvania School of Design Fall 2016 / Spring 2017

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ACADEMIC TEAM This report is a product of a full academic year studio at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. This studio began in the fall semester of 2016 with an invitation from SOdP based in Quito, Ecuador to study and address various reconstruction schemes for the recent earthquake in the coastal region of Ecuador. The regional research team was comprised of masters candidates focusing in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City Planning and Historic Preservation.






After examining the coastal regional analysis, a regional strategy was formed as a "broad strokes" response to the need for resilient reconstruction. With perspectives from Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City Planning, the regional strategy relevant to this report was developed and titled "Hybrid Ecologies". This regional strategy was then applied to two locational specific projects, one of them being in San Jose de Chamanga and is presented here.

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INSTRUCTIONAL TEAM Professor MARIA ALTAGRACIA VILLALOBOS Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania, School of Design 2017 Winner of the Venezuelan National Prize of Architecture

Professor DAVID GOUVENEUR Professor in Practice at University of Pennsylvania, School of Design G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching at Penn Design in 2008 and in 2013 Professor OSCAR GRAUER Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania, School of Design Principal - Ecopolis Group LLC





By Aubrey Jahelka, Daniel Fachler & Shuwen Ye

By LARP 701 Studio Collective

By Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye

0.00 ft. - 01.00 ft. - 02.00 ft. - 03.00 ft. - 04.00 ft.







By Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye


By Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye

By Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye




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On April 16, 2016, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.8 struck the coast of Ecuador.


The epicenter was located 27km from the towns of Muisne and Pedernales, resulting in at least 676 deaths and over 16,600 injuries. While damage was recorded hundreds of kilometers away from the epicenter, most of the physical destruction was located in the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas, including thousands of collapsed or severely damaged buildings, including approximately 300 schools. Then - President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency dispatching 13,500

military personnel and police officers for recovery assistance operations and many first response organizations arrived soon after. After more than a year, many of the first response aide groups are leaving Ecuador with no long-term recovery plan resulting in diminishing services. These aide groups do not have the capacity to develop and implement long term reconstruction plans, and the gap that is left is impending with no solution in sight. There is a severe need for long term and thoughtful holistic planning and design that can medi-ate risk.

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Pedernales, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

The Ecuadorian coast is home to many communities that have been neglected for a variety of reasons including: racial discrimination, indigenous lifestyle discrimination, low educational attainment, and high poverty rates. Disaster reconstruction and recovery is a monumental task in-and-of itself; but when compounded with systemic neglect, often pre-existing conditions exacerbate recovery and magnifies disaster. This was a key consideration while assessing the towns that had been affected. San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador || Source: Laura An

Ecuador is not alone in this struggle in

post disaster management; according to the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), "The impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to a global $520 billion loss in annual consumption, and forces some 26 million people into poverty each year. Globally, the effect on well-being, measured in terms of lost consumption, is found to be larger than asset losses. Because disaster losses disproportionately affect poor people, who have a limited ability to cope with them, the report estimates that impact on well-being in these countries is equivalent to consumption losses of about

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Damaged Condo block in Manta, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

$520 billion a year". Proposed design responses should attempt to consider resiliency to a variety of disasters as thoughtful and holistic responses to preexisting stressors, or anticipated stressors that could inhibit successful response in the future. These responses should include long term design and funding that will become self-sustaining and sufficient over time.

Pedernales, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

The research conducted in this report begins with an analysis of the regional coastal from the Ecuadorian - Colombian border to just south of the Guayaquil estuarine system. While the original intent after the regional analysis was complete was to partake in a design studio located in Pedernales, the only mid-sized town between Esmeraldas and Manta, we refocused our design efforts in the town of San Jose de Chamanga located approximately 30km northeast of Pedernales along the Cojimies Estuary. At the time, there was a severe lack of attention to the smaller communities and even less available resources.


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Manabi Province, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF COASTAL ECUADOR Aubrey Jahelka (MCP), Daniel Fachler (M.Arch), Di Fan (MHSPV), Elizabeth Bland (M. Arch/MCP), Laura An (MCP), Matthew Lewis (M.Arch), Moya Sun (MLARP), Scott Jackson (MLARP), Shuwen Ye (MLARP), Taeyoon Lee (MCP)

Coastal Regional Conditions The analysis of the coastal region provided the foundation for the initial regional response strategy and the individual projects in this studio. The analysis focuses on social, environmental, and cultural systems from the Colombia-Ecuador border to the Gulf of Guayaquil.

Analysis and Conclusions From the regional analysis, some assumptions and priorities were developed that were influential in the remaining design processes and set up larger systems thinking and framework into which the existing conditions fit.


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GEOLOGY Coastal Region


Ecuador, is a small South American country located on the equator line and trisected by the Andes Cordilleras. It offers numerous and distinct habitats, which help position Ecuador as one of the world’s most biodiverse countries per square kilometer. This is true because its physiographic regions and variable geology As part of the Pacific "ring of fire", Ecuador is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, located at the intersection, or near seven geologic tectonic plates. Over one quarter of the world's great earthquakes with a magnitude 8.0 or higher occur in western South America.

Since 1970 there have been over 8770 earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or higher. (IRIS) Regional tectonics are dominated by the subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate beneath the continental South American plate. This tectonic interaction has resulted in the 5,900 km long Peru Chile trench where rates of convergence for the Nazca and South American plates range are approximate 5.6cm / yr in Ecuador, but vary elsewhere. There is a pattern of shallow to deep earthquakes following the subduction depth of the Nazca plate.

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Earthquakes occurring along the sub-ducting Nazca plate typically take place in the colder and more brittle upper part of the plate. The Andean volcanoes occur located above the point where the Nazca Plate has reached a depth of 150km and approximately 300km 400km from the Peru - Chile trench. Here is where the melting of the mantle above the sub-ducting plate provides the magma for the Andes mountain range volcanoes.


Since 1906 there have been 16 earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 or larger on the mega-thrust boundary between the Nazca and South American plates. Scientists are able to track rupture areas after earthquake events. Gaps in the rupture locations are typically good indicators of a large earthquake in the near future. The longer the time between ruptures, the more likely they are to produce a large earthquake. Both the Iqueique seismic gap in Chile and the Ecuador - Peru gap had been identified for years as vulnerable areas for large magnitude earthquakes years before the 8.2 and 7.8 earthquakes occurred. TYPES OF EARTHQUAKES There are three primary types of earthquakes that can occur in

1) Subduction Mega-Thrust ||Source: IRIS

Ecuador (shown in the figures below). 1) Tectonic plates are elastic. As the oceanic Nazca plate dives beneath the South American plate, the two plates become locked due to friction and store potential elastic energy. This causes uplift in the South American plate along the coast as it is pushed back and shortened and depression in the Nazca plate. When potential energy overcomes friction, the South American plate lurches seaward and depresses. These are the ideal conditions for tsunamis as seen in the 1960 Chile earthquake and are the most common in South America, called thrust or mega-thrust earthquakes. 2) While the mega-thrust earthquakes are the most common earthquakes, earthquake events that occur within rather than between the plates are often the cause of the most fatalities. Fault motion that creates this earthquake occur in the upper and more brittle part of the Nazca plate. These earthquakes often occur further inland and when in proximity to large or steep mountain ranges or hills, have the potential to produce massive landslides. 3) The last type of earthquake occurs within the upper South American plate. Again, as the Nazca plate dives beneath the South

2) Inter-plate Rupture || Source: IRIS

3) Vertical Rupture || Source: IRIS

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15 Section of Ecuador Geology || Source:: adapted from Hakuno, M. , S. Okusa , and M. Michiue . 1988

American plate and they become locked due to friction. When this occurs far enough away from the trench, the mega-thrust earthquake described previously cannot release because there is too much land mass in front of the potential energy. The only available space for the earth to move is vertically upwards. This uplift is incredibly dangerous to buildings because of the movement of the soil radiating from the rupture. The prevalence of earthquakes in Ecuador is unavoidable. Much of the loss of life was from infrastructure and buildings not following seismic codes and building self-built, with no knowledge of how to build for earthquake resistance. This must be planned and accounted for in the future.

Andes Mountains created by vertical uplift || Source: Quito Adventure Travel

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TOPOGRAPHY Coastal Region


Ecuador is characterized by three distinct regions: the coast; the highlands or Sierra; and the eastern interior lowlands of the Amazon basin. The Coastal region is located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, and it consists of lowlands and mountains. The lowlands are generally below 200 meters, whereas the Coastal mountains ("Cordillera Costanera") do not exceed 1,000 meters. The width of the Costa ranges between 15 and 150

kilometers. The region extends from sea level to the base of the Cordillera Real of the Andes, at an elevation of about 460 m (1,500 ft.). The Guayas in the southwest and the Esmeraldas in the northwest form the principal river systems and serve as important arteries of transportation in their respective regions. The coastline is as varied as the rest of the country ranging from steep cliffs to natural alluvial plains.

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University of Pennsylvania Section - Coastal Urban Area

Section - Coastal Cliff


Section - Coastal Slope Transformation

School of Design Section - Coastal Mangrove Forest

Section - Coastal Aquatic Farming


Coastal Slope Transformation ||Source: Shuwen Ye

Coastal Urban Area || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Cpastal Aquatic Farming || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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The area along the coast of Ecuador is referred to as La Costa, or the coastal lowlands and is considered one of Ecuador's four micro-climates. Temperatures for the region remain relatively constant, ranging from 23 °C in the south to 26 °C in the north. The hottest period occurs during the rainy season starting in December. When the Peruvian Current is dominant, the amount of precipitation along the coast varies from north to south, with levels ranging from 3,000 to 300 millimeters. Near Esmeraldas, average annual rainfall is 250 centimeters (98.4 in). Arid conditions prevail on the border with Peru south of the Gulf of Guayaquil. Rainfall in the Costa decreases from north

to south. The El Niño occurs every six or seven years. During this time, air and water temperatures, tides, sea levels and wave heights, and relative humidity all are higher than usual. These conditions produce heavy rainfall that lasts until May in an area that normally experiences dry conditions. The result is often flooding and resulting landslides. Separated from the effects of ocean currents by the Cordillera Costañera, the Costa Internal has a hot and humid climate. Temperatures can surpass 26 °C and the vegetation and cloud cover tend to retain the heat. Rain is constant during the winter months of December through May, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in February and March.

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HYDROLOGY Coastal Region


The Andes is the watershed divisor between the Amazon watershed, and the Pacific, including the north–south rivers Mataje, Santiago, Esmeraldas, Chone, Guayas, Jubones, and Puyango-Tumbes. Nearly all the rivers in Ecuador form in the La Sierra region. The rivers are created from snow-melt or precipitation that falls at higher elevations. In the La Sierra region, the streams and rivers are narrow and rapid. The highland rivers broaden as they enter the more level areas of the Costa.

The external coast has mostly intermittent rivers that are fed during the rainy season December through May and become empty riverbeds during the dry season. The few exceptions are the longer, perennial rivers that flow throughout the external coast from the internal foothills and La Sierra on their way to the Pacific Ocean. The internal coast, by contrast, is crossed by perennial rivers that may flood during the rainy season, sometimes forming swamps. These areas while prone to flooding are also excellent agricultural areas that are very heavily used.

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ECOSYSTEMS Coastal Region


Ecuador is one of seventeen megadiverse countries in the world according to Conservation International, and has the most biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation.

32% of the land must be protected to truly preserve the nation's biodiversity. Current protected areas include 11 national parks, 10 wildlife refuges, 9 ecological reserves, and other areas.

Ecuador has 1,600 bird species (15% of the world's known bird species) in the continental area and 38 more endemic in the Galapagos. In addition to over 16,000 species of plants, the country has 106 endemic reptiles, 138 endemic amphibians, and 6,000 species of butterfly.

Rainfall in the Costa decreases from north to south, with vegetation changing from tropical rainforest in the north to tropical savannah to desert in the south. There are six major ecosystems in the Costa region (simplified) including mangrove forest, rain forest, dry forest, savannah, and scrub land.

Ecuador has the first constitution to recognize the rights of nature. The protection of the nation's biodiversity is a priority as stated in the National Plan of "Buen Vivir". 19% of Ecuador's land area is in a protected area; however, Buen Vivir also states that

Despite protections being in place, many of these ecosystems are at risk of mono-cultural agriculture practices and government or private industry subsidizing clearing for land use or other industrial practices

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ECOSYSTEMS One of the reasons why Ecuador is listed as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world per kilometer is due to the multiple varied habitats that exist within the country’s borders. There are 6 broad ecosystem types in the coastal region, but there are countless sub-ecosystems with hundreds of endemic species found nowhere else on earth.

Ecuador's coast is also home to many of the world's most vulnerable ecosystems. While the Amazon receives worldwide attention to its deforestation and disappearance, the coastal mangrove, coastal rainforest and dry forests have disappeared at much faster rates due to clearing for agriculture and encroaching development and are relatively unknown. Ecuador’s mangrove forests have been described as one of the most distinctive immersed tropical ecological systems on the planet (Fundación Natura 1995), and the forests

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located in the province of Manabí are small regions of coastal forest that shelter great biodiversity and play important ecological roles. Nonetheless, these ecosystems have suffered serious habitat changes and are critically endangered (World Wildlife Foundation)

Eligibility and subsidy rates for this program are determined based on the poverty in the region, the number of hectares that will be protected, and the type of ecosystem of the land to be protected, among other factors (Gwenolé Le Velly & Céline Dutilly, 2016)

Sociobosque, is preserving an additional 2.3% of total land area (6,295 km², or 629,500 ha) on top of current conservation areas, by paying private landowners or community landowners (such as indigenous groups) incentives to maintain their land as native ecosystems.

If land practices surrounding mangrove forests are not changed, Ecuador could realistically lose the remaining mangrove forests in the next century,

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For the purposes of this research, productive landscapes have been defined as landscapes that are monetarily profitable. Ecuador still relies heavily on the land intensive uses of income such as agriculture, forestry, aquaculture etc. This extensive use of land is imperative for the current GDP of Ecuador, but long term is unsustainable and is leading to massive environmental issues that will begin to impact this land based incomes. A culture of industrial scale mono-crop agriculture has led to multiple

outbreaks of fungus and viruses that have decimated high percentages of grown commodities and as a result lead to sudden shortfalls in GDP. The notion that land is meant to be conquered and used is still a widely held belief, but without a strategy to reduce overall poverty and provide reliable alternative incomes that are more sustainable, it is unlikely that this culture will change without outside monetary influence.

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AGRICULTURE Ecuador is predominantly agricultural, despite the oil industry having expanded substantially Agriculture employs 32 % of the workforce and provides 13-17% of the gross national product. Animal production contributes approximately a third of this amount and agricultural imports over 1999-2001 ranged between US$ 199-267 million FOB, whereas exports amounted to US$ 1462-1968 million FOB

(SICA/MAG, 2002).

Half of

agricultural exports are bananas and plantains; shrimps, coffee, cocoa, cut flowers and fish make up the rest. The area under cultivation is 3,100,000 hectares, nearly 9.3% of the country's area. Permanent


pasture covers 18%of the country and forests nearly 43%, 30% is uninhabited mountains. In the highlands sub-sistence agriculture and the production of staples for the urban areas are predominant (maize, wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, and various vegetables). In the coastal lowlands, tropical crops are mainly grown for export. Since the late nineteen-forties bananas have been the main commercial crop of this region. Large-scale production of cocoa for export began in the 1870s. Production of coffee for export began in the 1920s. (FOA UN)

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Shrimp Farm in Ecuador || Source: BioAqua

31 SHRIMP FARMING IN ECUADOR Ecuador is the world’s third largest producer of shrimp and the largest in South America. From 2011, Ecuador has increased it shrimp production from 260,000 tonnes to about 350,000 tonnes in 2015. Production in 2016 increased slightly further, but production issues at the hatchery level have resulted in slower growth than expected. (Seafood Trade Intellegence Portal) Shrimp aquaculture is concentrated in four areas: Guayas (138,000 hectares), El Oro (40,000 hectares), Manabi (18,500 hectares) and Esmeraldas (15,000 hectares). In Manabi and Esmeralda farms are often owned and operated by smaller producers who are selling to smaller exporters with facilities close to their farms. The supply chain in these areas is slightly more fragmented. Hatcheries are often located more to the north, especially in Manabi as water quality and salinity levels are better there. Post-larvae are distributed from here to the southern shrimp production areas. (Seafood Trade Intellegence Portal)



Mature Shrimp transfer to pond. >Extensive: Low Tech, Low Density >Semi-Extensive: Medium Tech, Low Density >Intensive: High Tech, High Density

Separation Tank

Transfer Masis from Development tank. >Vigorous Swimming. >Must be separated because they feed on other shrimp larvae.

Maturation Tank

Female acquire from wild or pond. Shrimp must weight between 40 - 100 grams >1-1 Male to female ratio. >3-10 Shrimp square

Spawning Tank


Development Tank

Transfer Zoea from hatching tank. >First feeding stage, mainly on plankton. >Need aerated water.

Shrimp Farming Cycle || Source: Daniel Fachler

Remove females from maturation tank. >100K-500K eggs. >Only 50% of the eggs hatch. >Eggs hatch 24 hours after spawning.

Hatching Tank

Transfer Nauplli from hatching tank. >Larvae fully develop within 3 weeks

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Shrimp Pond, Coimies Estuary, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


variety of climates and the biodiversity in Ecuador. (Jefferson Mecham Centro de

In the agricultural sector, Ecuador is the largest of bananas worldwide, a major exporter of flowers, and the seventh largest producer of cocoa. Ecuador also produces coffee, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains and sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork and dairy products; fish, and shrimp; and balsa wood. (CIA World Fact-book) The country's natural resources include large amounts of timber across the country, such as eucalyptus and mangroves. Pines and cedars are planted in the region of La Sierra while walnuts, rosemary, and balsa wood are grown in the Guayas River Basin (CIA World Fact-book). Industrial production, concentrated in Guayaquil or Quito, is directed primarily to the domestic market. These include canned foods, liquor, jewelry, furniture, etc. The incomes due to the tourism have been increasing during the last years because of the efforts of the Government of showing the

Investigacion de los Bosques Tropicales - CIBT 2001)

While maintaining one of the highest biodiversity indices, Ecuador also has one of the world’s highest rates of deforestation estimated at over 300,000 hectares (3%) per year. In the inter-Andean basin, native vegetation has been practically eliminated since colonial times, replaced by crops, pasture, towns and cities, and plantations. This region suffers serious soil erosion problems. Today only about 1 - 2% of its original forest cover remains, mainly at inaccessible high-altitude locations above 3400 meters elevation. Only about 5% remain of the forests of the coastal region, most of which have been cleared in the last 50 years by logging, agro-industrial mono-cultures and colonization. In the province of Esmeraldas (in northwest Ecuador), the last unprotected old-growth forests on the coast are now being liquidated by the timber industry and cleared

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Palm Oil Plantation || Source: Yachay Productions

for huge plantations (thousands of hectares) of African palm which are currently responsible for the fastest deforestation rate in South America. Over 70% of the coastal mangroves have been eliminated by the shrimp industry, which have also moved into Esmeraldas threatening the Earth’s tallest and best conserved mangrove ecosystem and the traditional fishing communities which depend upon it for their subsistence. Since the early 1970’s about 30% of the Ecuadorian Amazon has been deforested and/or polluted and entire indigenous cultures, such as the Cofan and Huaorani, have been placed in danger of extinction as a result of the oil industry and accelerated colonization facilitated by the oil roads.


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The majority of Ecuadorians trace their origins to one or more of three geographical sources of human migrations: pre-Hispanic indigenous populations, the Europeans (principally Spanish) who arrived over five centuries ago, and sub-Saharan Africans whom the Spanish imported as slave labor during the same period. The mixing of two or more of these three groups established other mixed ethnic groups. Mestizos, the multiracial group of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry, are by far the largest of all the ethnic groups and comprise around 71.9% of the current population. Whites are estimated at 6.1% and are largely those of unmixed or predominant European descent. They also

include descendants of immigrants from Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, as well as other countries. The third most numerous group are the indigenous Amerindians, who account for approximately 7% of the population. Afro-Ecuadorians make up most of the balance of the percentage and include mixed European and sub-Saharan African and mixed indigenous and sub-Saharan African. In 2015, the total population was 16,144,000 compared to only 3,470,000 in 1950. proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2015 was 29.0%, 63.4% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 6.7% was 65+ years old.

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least equitable region in the world, regarding wealth distribution.” According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, 2006), differences between the population’s poorest and richest quintile are extreme. By the year 2006, 36.5% of the population in the region (194 million people) were poor, while extreme poverty or indigence affected 13.4% of the population (71 million people). EDUCATION

2016 Ecuador Population Tree || Source: CIA Fact-book 2016


African-Ecuadorians and indigenous peoples are at a disadvantage with respect to other groups, such as whites and mestizos. There are many forms of exclusion: social, economic, political, and cultural. In the context of individuals of African descent, social exclusion is reflected in the lack of basic, academic, health, and entertainment services, and lack of access to technology, adequate employment, and consumption opportunities. An illustrative example is the limited access to ownership, markets, productive lands, irrigation water, productive credits, and decent employment. (Jhon Antón Sanchez 2017) Political exclusion includes the capacity of institutions to facilitate the political participation of its minority groups in various national issues: for example, having few possibilities to be elected as mayors or congressmen. Cultural exclusion involves discrimination factors, racial prejudice and implied and expressed racism that the majority society exerts against individuals of African descent or those with darker skin colors. (Jhon Antón Sanchez 2017) All of which exist in Ecuador It is well known that “Latin America and the Caribbean is the

According to the World Bank, although wage and income gaps are significant between ethnic and non-ethnic groups, they can be narrowed down, by taking into account education levels. Among indigenous peoples in Ecuador, 20% of individuals is unable to read or write; among Montubians, 12.9% are illiterate, and 7.6% of individuals of African descent are illiterate. In Ecuador, an individual self-identified as white has an average of 12 years of schooling, mestizos have 11 years, while indigenous peoples have 7.6 years, Montubians 8.3 years, and individuals of African descent have 9 years. The greatest disparity correlates to higher education: while 21% of all Ecuadorians have access to this education level, 32% of Caucasian individuals have a college education; 26% among mestizos, and only 11% 100 among individuals of African descent, 5.5% among indigenous peoples and 7.7% among Montubians. 24% of white people get a university degree, 13% of mestizos, 7% of individuals from African descent, 14% of Montubians, and only 2% indigenous peoples, Naturally, African Ecuadorian and Indigenous populations have the highest urban unemployment rate every year, and further, urban unemployment is higher for youth and female African Ecuadorians. Based on the December 2011 employment survey, while the income of mestizo males amount to a monthly average of $474.60 USD, an African Ecuadorian male only receives $379.4 USD, that is, $100 USD less than mestizo males. Women in all groups earn lower

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wages and salaries than men, and lower than the national average. INDIGENOUS & AFRO-ECUADORIAN RIGHTS In the 1990’s collectively held territories belonging to individuals of African descent were granted by the Government as communes. In these collectively held territories, individuals of African descent would aspire to build their own development vision. The exercise of this constitutional right is facing threats affecting ownership and the use of the land granted by the Government to communities and associations in Northern Esmeraldas. These lands have been threatened from the agro-industrial capital (palm farming, shrimp farming, mining, tree felling) on their territories (Jhon Antón Sanchez 2017) . As a result, the communal territory is divided and in the worst of cases, has been delivered through different means to individuals who do not belong to the communities. This intervention by capitalism produces deterritorialization, affecting community life in a variety of ways: migration to other cities, food dependency, and increased poverty. (Jhon Antón Sanchez 2017)

Couple in Pedernales, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


Unofficially it has been recorded that in the FECONA territories over 30% of the forest has already been taken over by oil palms and forest exploitation. 33% of the land is used for grazing. 22% is for perennial cultivation, such as teak and eucalyptus. Only 11% is for agro-forestry cultivation, such as banana trees and tropical fruit. Without a natural forest, the food sovereignty of the communities who can no longer hunt has begun to be affected and become a health risk as many communities cannot afford to import food. Previous government bodies have even suggested that it is the fault of the Afro-Ecuadorians for not taking up agro-intensive land uses as income because their way of living is "backwards".

Child in San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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ECONOMIES Coastal Region


Ecuador has a developing economy that is highly dependent on natural commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. The country is classified as a mediumincome country. Ecuador's economy is the eighth largest in Latin America and experienced an average growth of 4.6% between 2000 and 2006. From 2007 to 2012 Ecuador's GDP grew at an annual average of 4.3 percent, above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was 3.5%, according to the United Nations' Economic Commission for Latin American and the

Caribbean (ECLAC). Ecuador could maintain relatively superior growth during the crisis. In January 2009, the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE) put the 2010 growth forecast at 6.88%. In 2011 its GDP grew at 8% and ranked 3rd highest in Latin America, behind Argentina (2nd) and Panama (1st). Between 1999 and 2007, GDP doubled, reaching $65,490 million according to BCE. Inflation rate up to January 2008 was located about 1.14%, the highest recorded in the last year, according to the government. Unemployment mean annual rate for 2009 in Ecuador was 8.5%.

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The extreme poverty rate has declined significantly between 1999 and 2010. In 2001 it was estimated at 40% of the population, while by 2011 the figure dropped to 17.4% of the total population. This is explained to an extent by emigration and the economic stability achieved after adopting the U.S. dollar as official means of transaction. However, starting in 2008 with the bad economic performance of the nations where most Ecuadorian emigrants work, the reduction of poverty has been realized through social spending mainly in education and health. OIL & REFINING Oil accounts for 40% of Ecuador's exports and contributes to maintaining a positive trade balance. Since the late 1960s, the exploration of oil increased production, and proven reserves are estimated at 6.51 billion barrels as of 2011.


The overall trade balance for August 2012 was a surplus of almost $390 million for the first six months of 2012, a huge figure compared with that of 2007, which reached only $5.7 million; the surplus had risen by about $425 million compared to 2006. The oil trade balance positive had revenues of $3.295 million in 2008, while non-oil was negative, amounting to $2.842 million. OIL PIPELINES AND POLICIES Concessions have been granted by the government to pump Amazon crude over the Andes to the Coast, across one of the most seismic and volcanically active areas on Earth. Instead of following the route of the existing pipeline, the new routes propose to cut through seven protected areas including the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve. Oil spills resulting from ruptures in the existing pipeline have dumped several million barrels of oil in headwater rivers on both sides of the Andes. Most affected communities and property owners have not been compensated and cleanup will take decades. Rather than deciding the route according to the national

Figure 1: Ecuadorian Oil Pipeline || Source: The Japan Times

interest of least environmental impact, the government has allowed the pipeline consortium to choose the routes most convenient (profitable) for them. This intensive exploitation will eventually exhaust the nation’s oil reserves and implies oil development in remaining pristine ecosystems including protected areas and indigenous territories in the Amazon headwaters. With the multiple tax exemptions, inflated construction costs, and surrender of price and production quotas, the benefits to the national treasury are minimal. This additionally leaves much of Ecuador's economy vulnerable to oil price collapses such as those in 1986, 2014 and 2017 (Mecham, 2001) MINING In the 1970’s oil replaced bananas as Ecuador’s leading source of export earnings. With the end already in sight of the nation’s oil reserves, the current government has pushed through a “modernization” law to attract foreign investment in large-scale mining. This law includes the repeal of environmental regulations which prohibit mining within the national system of protected areas and, as with oil development, eliminates royalties to the Ecuadorian

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treasury and grants mining exploration and exploitation exemption from export, income and value added taxes. This legislation was signed into law in December 2000 and was one of the outcomes of the Mining Development and Environmental Control Technical Assistance Project (PRODEMINCA) sponsored by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and Mines and funded by the World Bank (WB) with technical assistance from the British Geological Survey. The US$14 million funding for this project is a WB loan which accrues to Ecuador’s national debt.(Mecham, 2001) The PRODEMINCA project has conducted geochemical river sediment prospecting throughout the watersheds of the western range of the Andes, including within highly endangered protected areas such as the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve. The results of this prospection are being made available for sale on CD with detailed maps to transnational mining companies. Requests made to the World Bank Inspection Panel by concerned citizens that this information not be released for those areas corresponding to protected areas have been denied. Concessions are already underway. For example, in the province of Bolivar near 70% of the provincial territory has been concessioned to mining interests. Awareness is growing about the devastatingly toxic effects mining has had on the ecosystems where it already occurs (e.g. Podocarpus National Park in the southern provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe). (Mecham, 2001)

Ecuadorian Pit Mine || Source: The Ecologist


Pre-emptive clearing for mining ||Source: Public Radio International

AGRICULTURE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The inter-Andean region was the first to undergo widespread deforestation, to a limited extent with the expansion of the Inca domain during the 1400’s, and much more so after the arrival of the Spaniards beginning in the 1530’s. The Spanish colonial economy was organized around the large estates, mines and textile mills

Conflict between Mining Comp. & Indigenous Community || Source: Mongabay News

University of Pennsylvania Timeline of Ecuador's Boom-Bust economies

The Agrarian Reform and Settlement Law enacted in 1964 - “... settlers are obliged to clear at least 50% of the forest in order to be granted title to the plot of land. Any land with 80% forest cover was considered “unproductive” and could therefore be occupied and appropriated

Banco Nacional de Fomento, which granted credits to sm and med producers on the condition that they clear forested areas to plant banana trees

Banana Boom

Cocoa Boom


Oil Boom

Palm Oil Boom




1918 Cocoa - Moniliophthora roreri outbreak


1970 1965 Banana - Panama Disease


199 1986 Oil - Price Collapse 1989 Shrimp Syndrome

42 worked by the indigenous and African slave populations. Although the ruling class changed as independence was won from Spain in the early 1800s, the fundamental socio-economic structure did not. The hacienda system continued up until the introduction of the Agrarian Reform laws of the 1960-70’s which began to dismantle feudalism in Ecuador. By this time most inter-Andean forests had been cleared and were unable to regenerate due to annual burning and sheep and cattle brought by the Spanish, which had also devastated the soil over large areas. The ancient and highly productive native irrigation, terrace, chinampa and agro-forestry systems had been abandoned early in the colonial period. (Mecham, 2001) After over 35 years of land reform most of the land suited to agriculture is still in relatively few hands. Over half of the landowners in the inter-Andean basin have less than 1 hectare of cultivable land. These "minifundios" are located on mountain slopes where


cultivation occurs on gradients up to 70%. As the population grows these small farms are parcelized into even smaller holdings. Due to deforestation, overgrazing, burning and intensive grain cultivation, the soil is exposed to the rain and wind erosion. The average rate of soil loss is estimated at 20 times the acceptable maximum level as defined by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Thus, both the quality and quantity of land available to most people in the Andes is rapidly diminishing. (World Wildlife Foundation) These small mountain farms still provide most of Ecuador's food. While the large holdings in the valleys produce mainly cattle or export crops, the minifundios supply the staple crops (corn, beans, potatoes, quinoa, barley, etc.) for the nation’s internal consumption. The use of agro-chemicals has grown exponentially to offset declining soil fertility and the increasing incidence of crop pests and disease. Though this props up production in the short run, it

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USDA, USAID, World Bank, UN, National Govt. begin funding aquaculture projects & giving land permits as means of reducing poverty in Ecuador

Canned Fish Boom Shrimp Boom


Ecuadorian Shrimp Farms || Source: IntraFish


92 Shrimp - Taura Syndrome

p - Seagull

1999 Shrimp - White Spot Syndrome



2014 Oil - Price Collapse 2013 Shrimp - Early Mortality Syndrome

2015 Cocoa - Moniliophthora roreri outbreak

Banana Plantation || Source: On the Road to Cocoa

also accelerates soil erosion and fertility loss, disrupts natural balances in the ecosystem, and degrades the productive capacity of the land. As prices of artificial inputs rise, the costs of production exceed the value of the harvest. The inviability of agriculture as such, and the lack of local livelihood alternatives are the principal reasons for outmigration and rural decline. (Mecham, 2001) MASS EXTINCTION ON THE COAST Although extensive deforestation in the inter-Andean basin has been a process over centuries, it is a much more recent and rapid phenomenon in the Coastal regions since the 1950's. The mass elimination of forest habitat in the Coastal region over the last halfcentury represents one of the greatest species extinction events in history. Since it has happened before adequate studies could be carried out, we’ll never know exactly what and how much was lost.

Watershed degradation by soil erosion and stream sedimentation, desertification and flooding are other easier measured consequences of deforestation which are taking their disastrous toll. Seasonal flooding on the Coast, attributed to the phenomenon of “El Niño”, has increased drastically in frequency and intensity over the last 30 years as climate changes, river courses are choked with sediment from erosion, and as the buffer capacity of coastal forests has been removed. Life and property losses from damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure, homes, businesses, as well as the dengue, cholera, malaria and other epidemics typical after the floods, are calculated in the tens of millions of dollars. (Mecham, 2001)

AGRARIAN REFORM Although colonization by poor landless settlers is often cited as


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the major cause of deforestation, this is a consequence resulting from the dominant economic model and the political system which supports it. Perhaps the single largest contributor to deforestation in Ecuador were the Agrarian Reform Laws (1964, 1972) which promoted the colonization of “vacant” (forest) land as the solution to relieve social pressures caused by inequitable land distribution, while expanding the agricultural frontier and subsidizing the growth of export-oriented industrial agriculture. The “Green Revolution” was included in the Agrarian Reform package which the U.S. government sponsored throughout Latin America as part of the “Alliance for Progress” in the 1960’s. The introduction of the reform technological packet (hybrid seed grown in mono-cultures, mechanization, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, etc.) has led to intensive forest removal, soil degradation, contamination from agro-toxins, loss of biodiversity (including native crop varieties and farming knowledge), and growing dependence on external inputs.


Cayapas Mataje Ecological Reserve || Source: Quito Adventures

(Mecham, 2001)

The Agrarian Reform laws also considered forestland as “unproductive” and thus available for occupation or expropriation. It obliged both property owners to avoid invasion or expropriation of their land and colonists to demonstrate that they were “using” the land as required for claiming title to clear 50-80% of the forest existing on their holdings. This resulted in the elimination of huge areas of forest to “prove” the land was being utilized. By the time this clause was changed in the early 1990’s most of the Coast has been deforested and unnecessary forest clearing had become and still is standard procedure for colonists. (Mecham, 2001) COLONIZATION Logging, charcoal burning, “slash and burn” farming, and cattle ranching are the typical deforestation activities of colonists. But for colonization to have a mass destructive impact, the opening of roads into previously inaccessible areas is an essential precondition.

Algae from Fertilizer Run-Off || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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The timber industry, which is directly responsible for roughly a third of annual deforestation, is also a major road builder and promoter of clear cutting among colonist and indigenous communities from whom they buy timber cheaply to reduce their extraction costs. Land traffickers and government-sponsored highway projects have also greatly augmented the road network, thereby contributing to colonization and fragmentation of plant and animal habitats. In such situations, endemic species eventually go extinct when left with inviably low reproductive populations in isolated forest fragments. Indigenous “slash and burn” cultivation methods which were sustainable under low population densities and using long rotations (2-3 years cropping/ 20-30+ years recuperation) are no longer viable as population growth has brought recuperative times to under half. Habitat degradation is further aggravated by colonists with origins from other ecosystems who are unfamiliar with their new environment and how to manage it sustainably. Colonists invariably invade indigenous territories which result in conflicts, destruction of subsistence resources and acculturation. This places at risk the continuity of Ecuador’s most ancient cultures and their encyclopedic forest-based wisdom. Since most of the best lands for agriculture are expensive or occupied by large plantations, colonists have little choice but to occupy such lands unsuited for farming or to migrate to the overcrowded cities. (Mecham, 2001)

some cases, are a direct menace to these areas. Activities are being permitted in or near protected areas and contradictory laws and policies and lack of coordination between the different ministries in charge of implementing them hamper the development of a coherent national conservation strategy. Protected areas are chronically underfunded and lack strategies to involve local communities who live in or near the reserves. To help overcome these problems private foundations began to play an increasingly important role in conservation since the 1980’s. Several NGOs have agreements with the government to administer public reserves, others work in direct conservation through land acquisition and the formation of private reserves. Since local residents usually depend upon forest-destructive activities for their livelihoods, NGOs generally focus their work with local communities in the longterm process of environmental education and the development of economic alternatives compatible with forest conservation. (Mecham, 2001)



The Ministry of Environment is annually underfinanced and has a weak capacity for implementation and enforcement. Land trafficking is a serious problem which is uncontrolled and, in its worst form, presents itself as institutionalized corruption within the government land adjudication agency (INDA - Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Agrario). (Mecham, 2001)

With the growing recognition of the national and global importance of Ecuador’s biodiversity and the threats to its integrity, the government established a system of protected areas. There are currently 19 protected areas (7 national parks, 6 ecological reserves, 2 wildlife reserves, 2 national recreation areas, 1 biological reserve and 1 geobotanic reserve) totaling over 4 million hectares. Although this is one of the highest percentages in Latin America, government policies and programs have failed to effectively protect and, in

The oil industry is permitted to operate not only in national parks and reserves, but also in indigenous territories (The current government recently passed a law to allow the same for mining). The timber industry is notorious for non-compliance with management plans and failure to reforest, but the laws are seldom enforced. Despite laws for protection of the mangroves, the shrimp industry continues to raze them unchecked. The heavy use of pesticides in all variety of crop plantations and its cancerous effects on the environment


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and human health are well documented and unregulated. Several of these chemicals prohibited in their countries of origin continue to be imported for use in Ecuador. (Mecham, 2001) CONVENTIONAL FORESTRY


With the exception of some notable NGO-sponsored and community-based sustainable forestry and native species reforestation projects, contemporary forestry practice continues clearcutting of native forests and “reforestation” -when it occursconsists of monoculture plantations of exotic tree species. Timber interests have even proposed forestry legislation that would subsidize them with “Joint Implementation”/CO2 absorption funds to log native forests to replace with tree plantations. These plantations (mainly eucalyptus or pine) are also promoted by utility industry-sponsored atmospheric carbon absorption schemes to “compensate” for the CO2 greenhouse gas pollution generated by utilities in the northern industrial countries and the deforestation of native forests. Most such plantations are clear-cut on short rotations to serve as an export crop to supply pulp for the international paper industry. However, such exotic-species monocultures are essentially biological deserts as they provide no habitat for the vast majority of native plant and animal species, are inferior to native species for watershed protection and aquifer recharge, and cause soil degradation resulting in sterility after a few rotations. ECONOMIC ISSUES The rapid exploitation of Ecuador’s natural resources could perhaps be justified if the income gained thereby were used to invest in the future and to improve the quality of life for the country’s majority. But after three decades of development based upon resource extraction and export crops, the per capita debt is over twenty times higher than when the oil rush began in the early 1970’s At present,

over 50% of the national budget is spent only on the interest (with no principal reduction) of the external debt. Real personal incomes and national investment in social services have declined due to inflation and monetary devaluation, while taxes have gone up to cover the increasing debt burden. RETHINKING PROGRESS AND DEVELOPMENT The exploitation of Ecuador’s natural environment, national treasury and the multiplication of the foreign debt are among the outcomes of development policies. Such outcomes result from an economy based on short sighted commodity values (crops, timber, oil, minerals, etc.) while failing to place value on essential environmental services. Current conceptions of “progress and development” which are synonymous with incessant growth, consumption and concentration of wealth are outdated. Basic reconceptualizations are needed.

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Palm oil plantation near Pedernales, Ecaudor || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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HAZARDS Coastal Region

Ecuador could be considered one of the most vulnerable countries to natural hazards.


As mentioned previously, its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire creates the perfect environment for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Landslides are often occurring simultaneously with earthquakes as well as flooding events during large rain seasons. The location along the coast and alignment with particular currents

makes Ecuador susceptible to the El Nino phenomenon which results in catastrophic flooding and conversely during La Nina events, extreme drought. To compound these naturally occurring phenomenon, choices that have been made in agriculture and resource extraction industries have magnified many of these disasters as well as created separate ecological disasters.

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While Ecuador certainly has many issues in terms of economic and social maladies, the country is also one of the most prone and vulnerable to disasters. There are five major natural disasters that are prevalent and impending man-made ecological disasters. EARTHQUAKES As described in the geology section of this report on page 12, Ecuador is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. Earthquakes are often the most widely publicized natural disaster that occurs. Ecuador experiences over three hundred earthquakes per year, most of them relatively small in magnitude. Much of the loss of life from these seismic events come from the lack of enforcement of building codes in large buildings and the lack of knowledge in how to build informally, but safely.


A concerning trend in the general population who build informally, is the increase in construction using unreinforced masonry, such as brick or CMU. There is a perception that this is more modern and therefore reflects a higher socio-economic status. The danger

Landslide in Ecuador || Source: IBNTV

in this trend is that the traditional building style of wood, bamboo, and other light materials would not typically result in death if they collapsed during an earthquake event. Building with much heavier materials without the proper construction knowledge to resist seismic forces is leading to more incidents of death. Additionally, are the shortcuts taken when concrete buildings are "repaired" by patching cracks and failures with mortar often leads to even less stability and more likely event of collapse even in a smaller earthquake in the future. LANDSLIDES While earthquakes are much more widely publicized than landslides, landslides are the leading cause of economic losses in Ecuador from natural occurring events. Landslides can destroy houses and property as well as affect economic activities such as agriculture, ranching and mining. Landslides typically occur during heavy rain events, earthquakes, and as a result of heavy deforestation. Fortunately, landsides are not causing as many fatalities as

Tsunami Along Ecuadorian Coast || Source: Rueters Media

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Flood 7.8%


Drought Eruption Landslide Rain


Fire Other Earthquake


Mortality Due to Natural Disasters || Source: Prevention Web 6.8%

Landslide Flood

7.2% 42.4%

Rain Flashflood




Fire Storm Surge 22.1%

Combined Economic Losses Due to Natural Disasters ||

Flooding in Ecuador || Source: Floodlist

Source: Prevention Web

flooding or earthquakes, but the continual unchecked mining, agriculture, and forestry practices are likely to result in a higher frequency of larger landslides and greater economic disruption. FLOODING Flooding is a relatively common issue in Ecuador's valleys and along major rivers and is the leading cause of fatalities during natural disasters. Flooding typically occurs

during the rainy seasons and when the annual Andean precipitation melts, and exaggerated during El Nino events. One of the most concerning trends is the more frequent appearance of El Nino weather patterns, which are leading to more frequent flooding events and less time to recover and causing a recurring economic impact. The continual recovery from flooding has thus far not deterred people from reconstructing

homes directly where they were originally or changing building techniques. Collectively there seems to be a short-term memory of how bad these events can be and that there is possibly even an acceptance that this is the new norm, TSUNAMIS Ecuador has suffered relatively few destructive tsunamis along the coast that have been documented. While conditions

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Partially destroyed waterfront of San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador || Source: Shuwen Ye



are often ideal in terms of the type of earthquake and proximity to the coast. Despite these limited risks, the government has begun to implement a nationwide ban, when reconstructing, below 10m in elevation to "mitigate" the possibility of a tsunami. This is problematic considering how extensive the region's artisanal fishing economy is and cultural connection to the sea. The possibility of events doesn't necessarily justify the mandate to relocate every coastal community to 10m elevation. Often this would require moving multiple kilometers inland. Additionally, in the highly

unlikely event of a large tsunami, during working hours, there would still be a huge loss of life. VOLCANOES While highly unlikely that there would be a volcanic event that could directly impact the coastal region, there are many "side-effects" that could affect the region. Given the right wind conditions, or massive landslides incorporated with a volcanic eruption, many of the rivers and streams could be affected for a time and there could even possibly be ash reaching the coast.

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Temporary Housing for displaced persons in San Jose de Chamanga || Source: James Kostaras

Men reconstructing housing in San Jose de Chamanga || Source: James Kostaras

MAN-MADE ECOLOGICAL DISASTER Because of choices made prioritizing "economic progress", Ecuador is beginning to experience the repercussions on unregulated natural resource extraction and monocrop agriculture. The pollution that is a byproduct of many of these industries have proven to be harmful to human health such as fertilizer runoff into streams and rivers, mineral contamination, all ending into drinking water supplies. An additional hazard is the beginnings of collapsing fisheries and ecosystems.

Because a majority of Ecuador's econo-my is based on natural resources, the collapsing of natural and man-made ecologies is worrisome from the economic perspective as well as the repercussions on human health. As these ecosystems collapse, we will see the collapse of family income, food security and water systems throughout the region.


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With so many natural and manmade catastrophic phenomenon, risk cannot be mitigated completely.


The question then becomes "if risk and hazard cannot be completely removed, how can we design for risk and think holistically to reduce the impacts and expedite necessary recovery?" A holistic review of pre-and post-disaster conditions can provide a good base point to which to design for the future. Because often the hardest hit communities are

poor and lack adequate resources to fully recover, let alone take the time to consider the future, it is imperative as designers to create methodologies and tools that are holistic in nature and address pre-disaster issues during recovery. This must all be done while remaining respectful of the communities wishes and identity. A model that combines bottomup and overview design is preferred to avoid implementing inadvertent socially damaging policies.

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Destroyed Buildings in Pedernales, Ecuador || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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HYBRID ECOLOGIES Aubrey Jahelka, Daniel Fachler & Shuwen ye Fall 2016

Concept Hybrid ecologies is a design and planning process by which conflicting ecosystems and unsustainable productive practices are manipulated to work in tandem between the natural, urban and productive environment

Case Study: Veta la Palma Veta la Palma is one of the premiere examples of productive landscapes that enhance, not detract from, the natural surroundings. Situated adjacent to a natural preserve and producing profitable amounts of food, both meat and plant based, Veta la Palma is an ideal scenario of hybrid productive aquaculture management.

Case Study: Silvofisheries Southeast Asia is one of the largest shrimp producing regions in the world alongside South America. Many of the same maladies that have affected the Ecuadorian coast are and have been playing out across the Pacific. Many countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia have been experimenting with techniques to combined mangrove restoration and cultivation in conjunction with the economic need to keep shrimp farms active.


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Urban Landscape

N Lan atura dsc l ap e

ve c ti du pe Pro dsca Lan


Currently the landscape is intentionally segregated and are often at conflict with one another. Hybrid ecologies is a design and planning process by which conflicting ecosystems and unsustainable productive practices are manipulated to work in tandem between the natural, urban and productive environment. This regional strategy is imperative in the coastal regions efforts to resolve conflicting land uses. While there are immediate postearthquake needs, there is an opportunity present to resolve some potentially disastrous future ecological issues, and reduce conditions that compound disasters in conjunction with rebuilding. To aide in our regional view of the reconstruction, we set some objectives and strategies to achieve a more balanced land use plan.

58 Estuary

Hybrid Ecologies Sections

Mudflat & Mangrove Buffer

Shrimp Farm


Urban Space

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as a good source of income, but finding practical low-cost ways to increase sustainability is a convincing argument.


Provide a healthy living environment for current and future generations

Preserve jobs and create new economies for future generations

Provide buffers and safeguards against natural hazards

Develop artificial ecosystems combining productive and artificial natural preserves: the fundamental nature of hybrid ecologies is manipulating current ecosystems. There are large swaths of land that simply cannot be restored to their natural habitat, these must become more sustainable through manipulation and natural buffering to adjacent ecologies.

Develop protected area systems considering both vulnerable and currently protected areas as well as areas unlikely to be protected: It is a well-known fact in conservation that systems rather than islands function better for ecological preservation. Ecuador should create a conservation system that connects natural preserves buffer zones. & ecological gradients.

Educate about artificial ecosystems and farm symbiotic


Educate residents in sustainable farming and aquafarming practices: the education and illustration of how better practices can be more beneficial can initiate culture change to an industry if it is not economically counterproductive.

Design less intensive but still productive aqua-farming practices: It is unrealistic to think that the region will reduce shrimp farming

59 Buffer

Intensive Agriculture

Agricultural Buffer


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0.00 ft.

0.00 ft.

- 01.00 ft.

- 01.00 ft.

- 02.00 ft.

- 02.00 ft.

- 03.00 ft.

- 03.00 ft.

- 04.00 ft.

- 04.00 ft.

Hyrbid Ecologies Current Conditions shrimp pond || Source: Daniel Fachler

Hyrbid Ecologies Hybrid shrimp pond || Source: Daniel Fachler

60 benefits: many farmers and shrimp farmers may hear about the proposed adaptations and assume that they will either be expected to invest large amounts of money or they will lose revenue. Communication will be crucial to convincing the farmers to become conducive to the plan. •


Develop incentives to preserve natural environments: many private companies are working to preserve these pristine environments, but realistically they can only pay for a designated amount of time. The government should incorporate a rent payment system for natural environments into the national budget until such a time where either tourism, or cultural appreciation can support these natural preserves. Long term land use and mitigation plan: While there are many short term and mid-term solutions to reduce the impact of these industries, there must be a long-term goal and framework

through which metrics of achievement can be established and an enforceable vision and mandates can be developed. •

Low cost mitigation to curb risk and habitat destruction: realistically, any solution that is suggested must be low cost. The farmers themselves do not have the capital to make many improvements, the government is unlikely to fiscally support them, which leaves non-profit or international organizations that can provide capital for individual projects. The smaller the cost, the farther these limited resources will go.

SHRIMP FARMS One of the largest concerns in this region is the health-related effects, both estuarial and human related, as a result of shrimp farms. Currently, shrimp farms are single use productive landscapes that clear and remove natural habitats and species. This is already impacting families and individuals that rely on artisanal fishing and

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Hyrbid Ecologies Hybrid shrimp pond || Source: Daniel Fachler

61 shellfish collecting as natural stocks have plummeted. Utilizing the hybrid ecologies framework, multiple studies were conducted to theorize how shrimp farms could be hybridized. One of the initial interests that we heard from government officials was including the development of tourist activities along the coast. South America is seeing a rise in global ecotourism as well as agritourism. We initially looked at how the ponds and canals could be adapted for recreational uses and how the natural habitats could be restored to act as a water filtration system and animal habitat to reduce pollutants and increase activity around the shrimp ponds. The Manabi and Esmeraldas provinces as uniquely supplied with multiple natural preserves as well as many shrimp ponds and agricultural areas. This is ideal advertising for an agro-tourism hub where hybridized responsible agriculture design can be showcased. We considered revenues that could be collected by the farmers

and fisherman themselves and applied a secondary criterion that any lost acreage of land considered for restoration should be prioritized as hybridized natural and agricultural buffers so as not too completely removed the ability to collect revenue. This method can act as an incentive to create the hybrid ecology spaces. We began studying reproductive systems of flora and fauna to establish what can be theoretically combined in a shrimp pond, managed like a farm, and realize this natural buffer. Eventually we realized that mangrove forests are healthy for shrimp and their compatible fauna matches which include: concha, tilapia, oysters and mangrove crabs. After receiving feedback from ecological officials, it was quickly amended to not include tilapia, as it is an invasive species and could potentially lead to an unintentional ecological disaster. As an alternative, we suggest trials in domesticating local estuarial fish species native to the coast.

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Covering an area of some 28,000 acres, the Veta la Palma estate is located near Seville, Spain, and occupies nearly half of the southern part of the Isla Mayor area of the Guadalquivir. It is one of the finest examples of responsible aquaculture management and hybrid farming that works in tandem with the surrounding natural preserves and cities. Before new ownership was acquired, rice cultivation and extensive livestock farming half where Veta la Palma now stands were the two main activities on Isla Mayor. In 1982 after a transfer of ownership, it was authorized to introduce fish farming to the area, initially using 600 hectares and gradually extending to reach 8,000 acres.

These areas are flooded and provide a habitat to the population of fish and crustaceans which began to be reared on the farm. A further 8,000 acres are currently dedicated to dry crops and 1,000 acres to the cultivation of rice. The remaining 12,000 acres are maintained to preserve the reconstructed marshlands. Today, Veta la Palma is a fine example of integrated intervention, whereby the creation of an artificial wetland habitat for aquafarming was combined with natural preservation. After many years, Veta la Palma has enhanced the environmental quality of the area and generated new economic and conservation values based on principles of sustainability.

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Veta la Palma Bird Reserve || Source: The Solutions Journal


Aerial Veta la Palma || Source: Easy Reefs Microalgae

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Rice Cultivation at Veta La Palma || Source: Ian Cowley Personal Blog

There are many critics of common aquafarming. It is highly polluting from the concentration of fish in the ponds, it often results in habitat loss and the feed to product ratios are wildly out of proportion and typically are derived from wild-caught food. Fish farming in Veta la Palma is developed on an extensive and semi-extensive basis over an area of 8,000 acres at 40-50cm deep using brackish water. The production area comprises 45 ponds, each covering 173 acres, which are interconnected by a complex network of irrigation and drainage channels measuring more than 186 miles in length. (Veta la Palma website) The water from Veta la Palma returned to the rivers Guadalquivir and Guadiamar is of exceptional quality and is filtered by the agricultural ponds themselves. The creation of more than 100 islands in the ponds for nesting of waterfowl together with the revegetation of 93 miles of banks, have improved the ecology of the landscape

considerably. The artificially flooded areas play a vital role in the protection of the natural fish population of the estuary of the Guadalquivir including migratory as well as marine species. During the spring migration period, Veta la Palma is occupied by some 600,000 birds from 250 species. Veta la Palma is currently the largest privately-owned bird sanctuary in Europe and backs against a national preserve furthering the need for sustainable practices. While it is often thought that birds are the arch nemesis of aquafarms, Veta la Palma views the birds as a positive input. While they do eat 20% of the fish and 50% of the shrimp grown in the ponds, they are constantly moving the water and soils adding to the quality and creating the preferred density of fish and shrimp to avoid outbreaks of disease. The farm monitors the health of the system by how pink the flamingo’s bellies are. As the flamingos eat the shrimp and algae, the pigments are shown

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Cattle Raised in Veta la Palma || Source: Wall Street Journal

in their feathers. The pinker the birds, the healthier the system. the higher quality of the food. (Veta la Palma website) The pools are used for the extensive breeding of sea bass, sea bream, meagre, mugilids, shrimp, sole and eels. The ponds are hydraulically controlled together with the renovation water from the estuary to achieve different degrees of mixing and recirculation as required by the specific environmental and crop cycle conditions. The rich habitat of the marshlands together with the hydraulic management of the different farming units generates a significant secondary production of crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates which make up the trophic basis supporting both the reared species and large amount of birds present in the area. The combination of water, light and nutrients together with the careful manipulation generates a complex trophic network, whereby the farming ponds act as treatment plants which transform nutrients

(nitrogen, phosphorous, etc.) into phototrophic algae and plankton. This biomass is regulated and extracted from the system through commercial fishing and the strong pressure exerted by birds. (Veta la Palma website)

9,000 acres of the Veta la Palma estate are dedicated to agriculture, iThe remaining 6,000 acres are mainly used to grow foraging crops to supplement the diets of the cattle and horses which are bred on the estate. Crops are grown on a rotation system using a surface irrigation system, and no fertilizers or pesticides. The annual production of these crops amounts to approximately 2,500 to 3,000 kilograms per hectare, whilst the yields for the rice growing area are in the region of 8,500 kg/hectare. Veta la Palma also has an area of 1000 hectares, located in the northern part of the property, in which the original marshland was reconstructed and preserved, with rich natural grassland areas in marsh succulents. The natural


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Area 8000 brackish flooded acres

45 ponds of 173 acres each

186 miles of canals

9000 acres of agriculture 1000 acres of rice cultivation 6000 acres supllimental grazing crops

Losses 20% loss of fish & fish eggs & 50% of shrimp

Aquaculture Production 572.5 tonnes of seabass


40.6 tonnes seabream 94.3 tonnes mullet 14.6 tonnes eel 1.0 tonnes of carp 0.2 tonnes tonnes sole 0.1 tonnes spotted seabass

Other Production 2,500 - 3,000 kg/ha agriculture 8,500 kg /ha rice 500 Dairy Cows Quality has made VlP some of the most sought after fish by Chefs || Source: McCrady's 2011

Herd of breeding horses (Spanish & Arabian)

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diet of cattle on the farm is based on the utilization of the marsh grasses, especially combined with grasses. The Veta la Palma aquaculture facility is also key asset for the socio-economic development of the area of DoĂąana. The farm, which began operating in 1982 with only 4 employees, currently generates some 100 direct jobs and many others which are indirectly related. This is exceptionally important. . (Veta la Palma website)While it is admirable that the farm is highly sustainable and has ecological relationships a priority, the economic buy in has been huge in terms of investment and public opinion. If there are sustainable solutions that are economically beneficial, it will be much easier to apply to countries where economic depression is endemic The quality of the products from Veta la Palma has received worldwide attention from chefs and environmentalists. The project has been labeled as arguably the best example and possibly only example of truly sustainable aquaculture. The quality of Veta la Palma has been recognized with the international quality certification, and the process to obtain the environmental certification in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard is currently being completed. Aside from international attention, these designations also allow for selling the products at higher prices which can offset some of the losses incurred from the predatory birds.

Fisherman Veta la Palma || Source: Food & Wine from Spain


Fisherman Veta la Palma || Source: El Diario

This farm, while much larger in scale that the site in Ecuador is a prime example of how it is possible to provide hybrid habitats that are indeed artificial, but are productive and can be sustainable but still economically beneficial. These are all key factors that need to be addressed in Ecuador which has seen huge environmental devastation from agriculture. Veta la Palma additionally was taken from a completely changed and degraded environmental situation and was "turned around" through hybridization. Fisherman Veta la Palma || Source: El Diaro

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SILVOFISHERIES Vietnam, Phillipines, Indonesia


A mangrove forests location in the coastal zone transitioning between salt and fresh water makes it a unique, delicate and essential habitat. It is home to an ecosystem in and of itself, but also serves, for many species, as reproductive nurseries which create the greater Ecuadorian fishing economy. This intertidal zone also provides premiere advantages for aquaculture pond development such as shrimp farming which has led to the clear cutting of many of Ecuador's virgin forests. One alternative to industrial aquaculture ponds are silvofisheries. which are a form of low-input sustainable aquaculture integrating mangrove tree culture with brackish water farming. As a system moves along the scale of resource use,

the level of efficiency in the use of the resources is determined. The more a cultivation system recognizes and mimics the natural ecosystem functions, the less resource inputs are required and the less negative environmental effects occur (Folke & Kautsky, I 992). Silvofisheries strive to utilize this principle in a culture system with reduced resource use; avoidance of chemicals and medicinal compounds, resulting in less waste generation; and the recycling of nutrients and materials to increase the efficiency of the system. Integrated systems that make use of ecosystems without degrading the resource base on which they depend will be more sustainable and have positive contributions to the surrounding ecosystems and socio-economy.(Costa-Pierce

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Guludan Technique - Angke Kapuk Coast, Indonesia || Source: Achmad Solikhin, Bogor Agricutural University


Soft Shell Crab Silvofishery - Pemalang, Indonesia || Source: OISCA

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SILVOFISHERIES Silvofisheries are a form of integrated mangrove tree culture with brackish water aquaculture. They are a form of low-input sustainable aquaculture. This integrated approach to conservation and utilization of the mangrove resource allows for maintaining a relatively high level of integrity and biodiversity in the mangrove area while capitalizing on the economic benefits of brackish water aquaculture (Costa-Pierce, 2007).


It is possible that wastes from one type of cultivation can be used as a resource in others. Sustainable food production requires management of resources and ecosystems to satisfy changing needs, conserve natural resources and maintain or enhance the quality of the environment. The combining of different types of aquatic systems allows for the fuller use of the aquaculture pond. The challenge with tsilvofishery ponds is to stimulate the ecologic structure of input materials and energy, so that there will be no unused and environmentally degrading waste that accumulates with the additional requirement of an adequate harvest of economic value (Folke & Kautsky, 1992). There are two basic silvofishery models. One model consists of mangroves within the pond with a ratio of 60-80% mangrove and 20-40% pond canal culture water area. The second model consists of the

Empang Tempat Model SIlvofishery || Source: Banjarbaru

Empang Parit Model SIlvofishery || Source: Banjarbaru

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mangroves outside the pond with similar mangrove to water ratio. Mangroves can either be integrated into the shrimp pong directly, or separated. The advantages of the seperation, with the mangroves outside the pond, include greater manageability of the pond, greater flexibility of culture practices, higher potential production, and lower construction costs. The disadvantage would be that the system is more susceptible to development abuse; however, conditional leases and regulation enforcement can attempt to curb abuse. There are a variety of designs within these basic models that attempt to balance conservation and utilization while maximizing economic opportunity (CostaPierce, 2007). Several countries are pursuing various forms of silvofisheries, including Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Jamaica. The productivity of the pond is based essentially on the use of 'green manure’, the organic enrichment of the pond is from plant material, in this case mangrove tree debris (Costa-Pierce, 2007). Different models have been proposed for rehabilitation/ reforestation of former mangrove areas that were converted to industrial water ponds that are not in use or have very low productivity. One of the most widely used models is the Empang parit Empang Parit & Guludan Techniques with 70% & 30% mangrove coverage - Angke Kapuk Coast, Indonesia


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model (sometimes referred to as 'Tambak Tum pang Sari') that is being promoted in Indonesia by the Southern Sulawesi Province Fisheries Office , the Directorate General of Fisheries Office, the Mangrove Rehabilitation and Management Project in Sulawesi (Ministry of Forestry) and the Sustainable Livelihood and Equity Program (University as community development of Hasanuddin) projects (Nurdjana,1997). Three main silvofishery pond designs are being utilized or promoted in Indonesia. However, the empang parit model represents the greatest level of reforestation and maintenance of existing forest to pond area. It represents a resource mutli-use that increase food supplies and contributes to the socio-economic well-being of coastal rural populations (sukardjo 1989). It essential


consists of an unexcavated central platform (80% of total pond area) that alternates between being flooded and exposed as the water of the pond is raised or lowered. A canal that runs adjacent to the pond dikes and surrounds this central platform pond bottom. The canal is normally 3-5 m wide and excavated 40-80cm below the central platform pond bottom (Costa-Pierce, 2007). Fish, shrimp and crabs are cultured extensively in the canal and can enter the central platform area during periods of flooding. The density of the planted mangrove trees on the platform area ranges from 0.17 to 2.5 tree/ m2 in the empang parit system. The density influences the quantity of litter production and organic load in the pond along with other factors of cultivation. This would include the diversity of non-mangrove flora, algae, and fauna growth that may form an

Comparison of predominant ratio used of mangrove to open water in silvofishery ponds

Mangrove Area

Open Water Area













China, Hong Kong


80% Shrimp farmers restoring mangroves in Vietnam shrimp farm || Source: IRIN News

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important part of the aquaculture species diet (Costa-Pierce, 2007). The lesser density of the forested area allows accessibility to the platform area for fish culture while a greater tree density can be used for shrimp and mangrove crab culture that prefer additional vegitated habitat and shelter afforded by the mangroves. Tidal fluctuations allow for filling and emptying ponds without water pumping costs along with natural stocking of cultured species with incoming tides. A second dike allows for the inflow/outflow of water to the pond's perimeter canal This system allows for the separate management of the water level for the mangrove and the open water aquaculture areas of the pond, thereby allowing the optimum level and inundation frequency and duration for both sections

(Costa-Pierce, 2007).

The empang parit model has many advantages and disadvantages compared with a traditional pond that must be considered in planning, developing, and utilizing silvofisheries in an integrated coastal zone management program including the following: Advantages: low impact on mangrove forests; capturing economic value of the mangrove ecosystem; employment in rural low-income coastal communities; low capitalization and operation costs; a managed sustainable production system; increased efficiency of an integrated system. Tidal fluctuations allow for filling and emptying ponds without water pumping costs along with natural stocking of cultured species with incoming tides (Costa-Pierce, 2007).

Empang Parit Model Silvofishery || Source: Pilar Indonesia

Disadvantages: greater construction cost per unit of culture area; greater difficulty to manage; reduced water circulation and greater potential for stagnant areas with low oxygen levels; mangrove trees reduce the penetration of sunlight to the ponds lowering the productivity of phytoplankton and benthic algae; potential toxicity of tannin from mangroves (varies with species); limitation on species cultured (e.g. seaweed would be shaded by trees, reducing growth) Costa-Pierce, 2007).

The third variation completely separates the mangroves and open water of the silvofishery pond. The mangrove area is separated with its own gates for water level and inundation control. Similarly, the open water aquaculture portion has separate gates but shares one common gate with


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Shrimp - Mangrove Model Vietnam || Source: PYXERA Global

the mangrove component to allow for the flushing of detritus and nutrients from the mangroves into the open water area. Management options of the open water aquaculture component are increased with similar options afforded by an aquaculture pond. These would be harvested by use of a gill net during the low tide when the fish and shrimp are concentrated in the perimeter canal (Costa-Pierce, 2007). Potential problems with this design: The two gates are located at corners on the same side of the pond resulting in reduced water flushing especially along the opposite canal and out tend to have a

greater build up in organic material on the bottom and potential stagnation of water with lowered oxygen levels. The mangrove trees are extremely dense in the central platform area. These will contribute a large amount of organic matter to the pond. With the reduced flushing of water in the pond, this has the potential of high BOD’s and lowered oxygen levels. The construction of the pens for the mangrove crab culture in the entire central platform area will further add to the organic matter and associated decompositions of by-products. With the tidal height range of only 50cm in the pond, this reduces water exchange potential. The

pond canals cannot be completely drained, since the bottom of the canal system is below the lowest tide level. This results in in greater stagnation potential and eliminates the periodic drying and oxidizing of builtup organics. There are large amounts of organic debris in the constructed pond dike that make the dike susceptible to shrinkage, leakage and erosion (Costa-Pierce, 2007). SHRIMP-MANGROVE MODEL: THAILAND Thailand is the largest exporter of farmed shrimp in Southeast Asia. However, as the productivity of the intensive shrimp ponds decrease, it leads to areas of low production or abandoned shrimp ponds. Efforts have

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Mud Crab Fattening Pen - Thailand

been initiated to integrate the recovery of former mangrove areas while utilizing these existing ponds in a "economically productive manner". (Costa-Pierce, 2007). A silvofishery model utilizing a 3:7 ratio of mangrove to water area is being applied. Since in the Thai shrimp pond design the pond bottom is flat (approximately 1- 1.2 m deep) and does not have the central platform area characteristic of Indonesian tambaks, the raised dike bands within the pond must be added for the planting of the mangrove trees. The mangroves are planted along the side of the dike bank at the water interface approximately 20- 30 cm from the dike. This

also helps to reduce erosion of the dike bank. The trees add organic matter (litter) to the pond for increased natural food production and provide structural complexity to the dike bank area, which can provide greater shelter to the shrimps, particularly during molting periods. (Costa-Pierce, 2007). The Thai version of the silvofishery pond can be modified to place the narrow raised earthen bands in different arrangements, and the design provides an increase in the dike bank ratio to the total water area that is preferred in shrimp culture. The silvofishery pond is operated as a semi-intensive shrimp operation (including aeration and supplemental feeding) instead

75 of an intensive system. The application of this silvofishery model is in the early stage of development and is mainly located in central southern Thailand in the Phetchaburi area. Application of this silvofishery pond design to an integrated shrimp-mangrove model is intended to allow for the gradual integration of mangrove tree cultivation at a lower density and ratio within shrimp ponds and reduce the aversion private farmers might have to a higher level of conversion to mangroves. (Costa-Pierce, 2007). SHRIMP-MANGROVE MODEL: VIETNAM The majority of the silvofisheries activity is in southern Vietnam with large areas of farm

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Shrimp Mangrove Model Vietnam || Source: Marlene Rudolph, Technische Universität München in Germany.

development of several thousand hectares (Vu interview with Costa-Pierce). Farms are usually allocated in 3- 10 ha mangrove plots for a 20-25-year lease from the government. The ratio of mangrove to non-mangrove area is 70 :30, is mandated but not always complied with. There are two basic types of silvofishery ponds. • Mixed shrimp - forest: This design has a lower tree density of I000 - 2000 trees/ ha (0.1 - 0.2 trees/m2 ). This more open forest allows for greater light penetration for benthic algae and phytoplankton growth. The farm size is 5- 10 ha. Hatchery

produced shrimp (Penaeus monodon) are stocked at a density of 0.5 shrimp/m2 with a culture period of 4-5 months. The production is 200- 250 kg of shrimp/ha/ cycle. Secondary species including fish and shrimp from natural wild stock are also harvested. • Mixed mangrove forest - shrimp: This design has a higher tree density of 10000 trees/ha (1.0 tree/m2). The farm size is 5- 10 ha. In addition to the peripheral canals, two canals separated by a dike (approximately 6 m wide) without mangrove trees are included, which allow for increased light to

the open water canal area for phytoplankton and benthic algae growth. This central dike can be planted with salt-tolerant vegetables and bananas to augment the income from aquaculture products. (Costa-Pierce, 2007) The two designs maintain the 7:3 ratio of mangrove area to open water and are operated as extensive systems with no supplemental feed. Hatchery-reared shrimp post larvae are used for stocking ponds to compensate for the declining natural wild seed stock and variance in abundance. A band of mangrove trees are planted along the river/canal banks to prevent erosion.

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Various degrees of vegetable and fruit cash crop integration are utilized. Both include a widened bank area at one end of the pond for the farm owner's house and a vegetable garden, which amounts to approximately I% of the land area. This area also acts as a buffer zone between the main source waterway and the pond. In a study of mixed shrimp-mangrove forest farms located in Ca Mau Province, Southern Vietnam, factors were identified to be significantly correlated to the shrimp yield in the farms examined (Johnston et al., 2000b). These factors consisted of: • pond water quality; • maximum fluctuation in pond water depth and ammonia concentrations; • inadequate management techniques; • poor pond design (leaking dikes, accumulation of excavated mud on the raised mangrove planted strips which does not allow periodic flooding of the mangrove tree area, excavated parallel strips in the pond, constricting water circulation and promoting the accumulation of organic matter with anoxic conditions; • poor wild seed supply - dependence on unreliable wild seed recruitment; and • reliance on small, low value metapenaeids as the primary culture species.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS IN VIETNAM Yields of shrimp in Cau Mau were highly variable with a mean annual production ranging from 12 to I 166 kg/ha/yr., and a derived income ranging from US$54 to US$ J 626/ha/yr. Secondary fisheries products consisting of fish and mud crabs supplemented total farm production by 24% with a 14% addition to the gross income. This production from these mixed shrimp-mangrove forest systems had no supplementary feeding, aeration, liming or fertilizer and a short 15-day grow-out cycle along, which all contributed to this low production value. The variation in production ranged from 12 to 1166 kg/ha/ yr and in value from US$54 to US$1626/ha/ yr. From this wide variation, the impact of culture practices applied can be assumed to have a significant role and provides a base for improving production. (Costa-Pierce, 2007) LOCAL CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT TRIALS An Integrated Management of Coastal Wetlands program in the Tien Hai District was initiated in 1994. The total area is 12 000 ha. The restoration is limited to 1100 ha and will be utilizing the gei wai silvofishery model. The project targets community groups and the rural poor (Due, 1996). The project attempts to address the issues of sustainability of replanting efforts while providing an income source to local communities. The objective

is to integrate mangroves with aquaculture to provide a stable source of income so that the local community supports the conservation efforts of the program on a sustained basis. A project in Dong Rui Island, Tien Yen District, Quang Ninh Province of northern Vietnam, focuses on preserving mangrove areas mainly through developing local awareness of the environmental value of the mangroves (Costa-Pierce Interview with Vu). It also encourages mangrove-friendly aquaculture practices. A 140-ha managed natural mangrove area excludes further shrimp pond development, and has a replanting component for deforested and abandoned ponds. There is interest in shrimp and mangrove crab culture; however, current efforts are focused on restoration and management of the reserve area. CERTIFICATION BENEFITS & INCENTIVES A further approach to reduce vulnerability of farmers and enhance sustainability of aquaculture is the shift to certified organic production. In the Mekong Delta, organic standards are set by the German Naturland organization. Due to its success in terms of environmental, social and economic development in some provinces, the government of Vietnam plans to extend organic certification to all farms with integrated shrimp-mangrove production (Ha


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Eco-Certified shrimp from Vietnam || Source: PYXERA Global

et al. 2012a).

Integrated shrimp-mangrove farming systems provide a good basis for organic production as they are already built on ideas of bio-diversity and social sustainability (Ha et al. 2012a). However, against its implications of sustainability and support for small-holder farms, the certification scheme falls short of several key aspects. Most importantly, it neglects social and economic dimensions of production. Farmers are not adequately provided with market incentives such as access to markets and premium prices to shift to organic production. In addition, they

cannot participate in decision making and have low negotiating power (Vandergeen 2007; Ha et al. 2012a). The current structure of the certification scheme even poses the risk to exclude small-holder farms from certification as it creates barriers to market entry, such as the costs for certification that must be borne by farmers (Vandergeen 2007). A certification scheme that successfully improves environmental, social and economic sustainability therefore must be able to deal with the fragmented structure of aquaculture in Vietnam (Tran et al 2013). Anh et al. (2011) suggest that cooperatives at the community

level could help to increase bargaining power within the certification scheme and increase production efficiency and quality. To improve organizational power, cooperatives could further be integrated in clusters. However, since cooperatives and even clusters are still in danger to be marginalized due to a lack of financial and technical means, they must be specifically supported and included in regulation processes by local governments (Anh et al. 2011, Ha et al. 2012a).

Shrimp farming is widely contested due to its economic significance for producers

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on the one hand and its environmental impacts on the other. The constant demand for shrimp in the world makes it necessary to think about sustainable long-term solutions. Integrating mangrove protection in farms and applying to organic production standards has positive impacts on social, economic and environmental conditions of production. Still, both strategies are not fully developed yet and tend to marginalize small-holder farms instead of integrating them. Knowledge, participation in decision making, and economic incentives need to be improved to foster sustainable production. (Rudolph 2015) If farmers, as well as all other stakeholders, had equal power and opportunities to negotiate their needs and rights, it would seem possible that shrimp aquaculture could benefit both the society and the environment. (Rudolph 2015) Production standards has positive impacts on social, economic and environmental conditions of production. Still, both strategies tend to marginalise small-holder farms instead of integrating them. Knowledge, participation in decision making, and economic incentives need to be improved to foster sustainable production. If farmers, as well as all other stakeholders, had equal power and opportunities to negotiate their needs and rights, it would seem possible that shrimp aquaculture could benefit both the society and the environment.

Quantity of Litterfall

5000 kg/ha/yr

Conversion Efficiency

50% (2:1)

Quanitity of Detritus

2500 kg/ha/yr

Conversion Efficiency

20% (5:1)

Quantity of Shrimp (Weight)


Number of Shrimp Harvested

41,667 shrimp/ha/yr

Stocking Rate (80% survival)

52,84 shrimp/ha/yr

Value of Production from Emang Parit systems in Cikiong & Cibuaya Mangrove Crab ($/60m cage)

Sea Bass ($ / ha)

Tilapia w/ chicken coop ($/ha)

Milkfish w/ Shrimp ($/ha)

Milkfish Monoculture ($/ha)

Annual net Profit $1367 (ha/yr)










Net Profit per unit area (m2/yr)

Comparison of Silvofishery Mangrove Mudcrab culture


Sulawesi, Indonesia

Sarawak, Malaysia


SE Vietnam

Central Vietnam

Culture structure & Size

10m x10m

9m x 18m

10m x 20m

5-10 ha

500 - 5000 m2

Construction Material






Stock Density

3 / m2

6 - 9 /m2

0.5 - 1.5 /m2

1-4 /m2

2-4 /m2

Stock Size






Culture Period

3 mnth

5.2 mnth


4-5 mnth

6-7 mnth

Harvest Size













Trash Fish

Trash Fish

Trash Fish & Mussel


Trash Fish

Feed Rate

15% wt/day


10% wt/day


6-20% wt/day

Feed Conversion













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San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador || Source: AUbrey Jahelka

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Existing Conditions The initial portion of the design phase was the documentation and collection of information of the existing conditions in San Jose de Chamanga. These conditions range from building physical assesments post-earthquake and socioeconomic assesments, to estuarial health.

Field Research This field research is based on commentary that we recieved during the final review during the Fall 2016 semester. Once we decided on how to narrow our scope of involvement, we visited Mexico and Ecuador once again to dive deeper into neccessary concepts, history and applications of technology to better understand how this would translate to design.

Community Engagement & Interviews One of the most important pieces of the spring research trip was the ability to travel back to San Jose de Chamanga and conduct a series of interviews with various residents and stakeholders in Chamanga, Ecuador and from global aide organizations.


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EXISTING CONDITIONS San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador


San Jose de Chamanga is located within a context of mangrove ecosystems in the inner part of the Cojimies Estuary (which connects to the sea by a single entrance containing several uninhabited or sparsely populated islands). Chamanga has an area of 117 km ² and is part of a greater regional population of about five thousand inhabitants. Within the town, 80% of the residents work in fishing, shrimping, or shellfish collecting industries; 10% work in tourism and transportation related industries and 10% work services such as shop owners, food establishments etc. The average income is $8,300 per year.

Not much progress has been made in the recovery of Chamanga eight months since the earthquake. The community requires urgent attention in many aspects including: the provision of shelter, potable water and sanitation, communal services and sources of income. Due to the urgency in attending the needs of the population, we believe that the most efficient manner to address these needs is through a holistic landscape approach, which encompasses short-terms actions while igniting process that will gradually heel and reshape the town and its larger territory.

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Destroyed Housing, San Jose de Chamanga || Source: Shuwen Ye

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Waterfront of San Jose de Chamanga || Source: Shuwen Ye

SAN JOSE DE CHAMANGA The town has been growing steadily since the 1960's and now has a young population under 18 that is equivalent to all older generations. A key concern is retaining the young population and incorporating them into a shrinking economy due to environmental degradation. While a school is located in Chamanga, the educational attainment is still low and many school children leave to earn income for their families. This has resulted in the remaining group of young persons to be unemployed and uneducated, leading to high poverty rates. There are many other social issues stemming from high poverty rates, but one of the most important points is the inability to recover from a natural disaster because of a lack of savings, and financial hardship.

It is important to note that prior to the quake, the ecological degradation of the region was caused by human activities, mainly larger scale aquatic farming, fostered by National policies, which were responsible for the eradication of over 85% of the mangrove ecosystems in the coastal region during the past two decades. These activities brought new investments to the region, but are not labor intensive, and profits are not invested on the area. This situation affected numerous communities as Chamanga, their ecosystems as wells as local economies, predominantly artisanal fishing and clamming. The destruction of the mangroves additionally causeds sedimentation build up, increased the risk of floods, and resulting in malnutrition of the communities and other health issues.

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1. MAIN ENTRANCE TO CHAMANGA Chamanga is accessible by only one road leading from the Troncal del Pac’fico highway. As the town has developed since the 1960's, and room along the waterfront and adjacent hills filled up, more structured and gridded development has occurred along this main road. The road also serves as an access point for buses which provides service to the town multiple times of day especially for the transportation of the school aged children to the surrounding areas. As a response to the earthquake, the government opened a tent temporary settlement for the displaced persons and intent to permanently settle those who lost their homes along this primary entry road. As a result of increased development, small bodegas and other social gathering spaces have begun to emerge. along this main thoroughfare.


A notable project is a pavilion that was built for a newly formed women’s group. Domestic abuse and social/economic insecurity are common in the town; this pavilion acts as a safe have, support group location, and gathering space for these women and their children. This pavilion has also hosted a number of workshops related to skill building designed to increase economic opportunity for women in Chamanga such as furniture building, handicrafts and other small artisan commodities. Lastly, the pavilion hosts a member’s organization for concha collectors who are primarily women and children. This organization with a location for meetings could become crucial in mangrove restoration projects with organizing volunteers and providing a valuable asset for observational and physical management of the mangrove projects.

Main access road to Chamanga || Source : Aubrey Jahelka

Temporary shelters located on main road || Source: James Kostaras

Womens Center || Source: Renata Mendez

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2. UPLAND RESIDENTIAL Nearly all the upland area of Chamanga has been used for larger residences, but at a lower density. Staircases and pathways connect most of the upland residential areas to the waterfront and main entry road. These staircases are regarded by locals as some of the most important features of Chamanga. Aside from acting as connective arteries, residents explained that a lot of social interaction occurs on these staircases and they provide some of the best views of the estuary. It was a common sight to see domestic farm animals, such as pigs and chickens, along the pathways and in the yards of these homes. This lower density helps establish a certain food security for many of these families and should be respected.

Home in upland hills overlooking the estuary || Source: Shuwen Ye

One of the few amenities specifically for children is the playground adjacent to a church. Immediately after the earth-quake, this playground was informally converted to a tent settlement, but has since returned to its intended use.


Connective Staircase || Source: Shuwen Ye

Children's Playground || Source: Shuwen Ye

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3. LAS PALMAS Las Palmas was described to us as one of the community's favorite recreation locations. There are a couple of houses along the idyllic beach, however the beachfront has thus far been kept public and is quite often used as a place of leisure. The route to Las Palmas is currently very hazardous. Much of the bamboo that was used to create the bridges has been stolen to rebuild houses in the aftermath of the earthquake., and the bridges are temporary features that are certainly structurally questionable. It is about a 10-15-minute walk to the beach from the school, but when considering Las Palmas to the Port (to be discussed on page 94), the route forms a connective pathway that transects all aspects of the Chamanga social culture.


Broken Bridge leading to Las Palmas || Source: Shuwen Ye

The beach has also been an experimentation in mangrove reforestation. A resident named Sergio has been growing mangroves there for more than 5 years and is estimated to have 40,000 mangrove saplings ready to plant. He has also managed to cultivate saplings in multiple areas of the beach despite a severe tidal fluctuation. Bridge Leading to Las Palmas || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Las Palmas beach at high tide || Source: Aubrey Jahlka

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4. SHRIMP PONDS The shrimp ponds surrounding San Jose de Chamanga follow the typical shrimp pond design along the coast of Ecuador. The ponds are lined with a type of ground lye to waterproof the pond and simultaneously sterilize them as best as possible. The water for all the ponds are pumped in from the estuary or connective canals and are subsequently drained when the shrimp are harvested. While the ponds are very land intensive, they are not providing many jobs. Only 1-2 people are needed per 3 acres to manage the ponds. Occasionally during harvest more people will assist with the draining and collecting of shrimp. But only for 1-2 days per year.

Shrimp Pond accross canal from school || Source: AUbrey Jahelka

These particular ponds shown to the right are along a pathway that residents take to Las Palmas have been acting as semi-recreational area to residents. While there, it was observed that mothers were taking their children and utilizing the pond shoreline as a beach of sorts. It was unclear whether or not children were playing in the water. Should the chemicals being used be removed, this could provide a unique recreational park for the town, that could be utilized by residents or school children from the surrounding regions.


Shrimp Pond north of Las Palmas || Source: Shuwen Ye

Shrimp Pond on path to Las Palmas || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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5. SCHOOL / ADJACENT SHRIMP POND The Ecuadorian government constructed a new school utilizing mobile classrooms, in Chamanga, at a cost of $ 934,000. Officials from the Chamanga Educational Unit, the largest in the sector, reported that the 2016-2017 school year cycle finished with 1,436 students, who occupied 38 temporary classrooms. In addition, as part of the reconstruction, a large soccer field of synthetic turf was erected (El Telegraphico). This field is available for free for the students of the school and available for reservation for $1 for other residents of Chamanga.


Shrimp Pond Adjacent to school || Source: Renata Mendez

Through our research of community driven reforestation projects in Indonesia, often the most successful projects in the long term have incorporated students from a local school into the restoration process. When interviewing the principle of the school, he seemed very intrigued by the idea of incorporating such a project into the school curriculum to better relate some of the other lessons that are taught in school to realistic applications. Many of the students currently enrolled will not finish primary or secondary school, in part because they or their parents do not see a direct benefit or relation to the employment opportunities in Chamanga. We see an opportunity to engage students into the process of maintaining experimental ecology tests, reforestation projects and given the ideal location of the school next to a wetland and shrimp farm, the construction and observation of a silvofishery pond and constructed treatment wetland. This shrimp pond currently resides directly south of the school campus across a small trail leading to Las Palmas. The wetland is part of the school property and is consistently flooded during the rainy seasons and has easy access to one of the aforementioned connective tidal canals feeding the shrimp farms; both are within a 1-2-minute walk of the school buildings.

Pathway seperating school & shrimp pond || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

School agriculture testing sites || Source: Shuwen Ye

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There is a severe lack of data about silvofisheries and mangrove restoration globally, but especially in South America. However, there has been a growing interest in the academic world and within organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations, and many of their subsidiaries in funding, researching and collecting data on such types of projects. These organizations could be tapped for capital and sustained funding to initiate ecological restoration and these trial pilot projects and to help develop a long-term study that can help inform future projects. The school could be a crucial piece in this effort and benefit many key parties. This opportunity could put Chamanga on the map for research academics, community economic development entities, ecological entities and with the partnership of the school, not only will the students be able to apply their academic lessons to a practical project, but it can also teach them skill sets that could help set up future employment opportunities in research assistant positions or expansion projects to other communities, thereby expanding their economic prospects.

Fence of school along main access road || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


Parents waiting for children to be released from school || Source: Shuwen Ye

Naturally occuring wetlands adjacent to school || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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6. WATERFRONT The waterfront is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Chamanga. Chamanga was originally founded on the waterfront as a fishing town. The housing developed from the waterfront as did all the commercial and social spaces. As currently defined, the waterfront extends from the location of the state-run school to the southeastern tip of the cape, is approximately 600 meters long. There is a healthy mix of commercial and residential. As is similar in Latin and South America, most of the commercial is typically a mixed-use scheme with a small eatery, convenience store, or seafood stall on the bottom floor with residential in the back of the first floor and / or with additional residential on the second floor.


There are other economies that operate on a smaller more mobile process. There is a group of men that have converted motorcycles into small covered taxis that are used by residents for quick transport or by fisherman needing to transport their motors to their houses further upland. There are several small food carts that sell bags of mango and stalls that sell coconuts. It is also not uncommon to find fishermen or their partners/wives selling fish and concha out of buckets or crates in the street. There are mixed feelings about this method of selling. The people engaged in selling fish directly on the street or storing them on the floors of their houses feel they do not need to spend money to make the fish look presentable if they are going to be sold and cleaned anyways. There are other fishermen that wish they would at least keep them on a counter to be more hygienic. There is no market or any type of cold storage in the town which forces fishermen to sell the fish that day either to other residents or transport companies from Pedernales. The lack of cold storage reduces the bartering capacity because of the expiration of the fish.

Waterfront with net mending activities || Source: Santiago del Hierro

Waterfront retail & residential || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Connective staircase || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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There are many informal public spaces along the waterfront. The stairs connecting the waterfront to the upland residential areas are a popular place to see people en route to somewhere else. a number of vacant lots have been converted into seating areas and Ecuaball courts. Right at a split in the road in the waterfront, a makeshift football field has been established with goals, and people often meet and socialize directly in front of stores or houses. When not out on the water working, the fishermen are easily found along the waterfront socializing, mending their nets, cleaning the fish they've caught etc. There is a clear culture of activity and engagement along the waterfront.

Interstitial housing between land and water || Source: Shuwen Ye


Make shift football pitch on waterfront street || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Waterfront traditional stilt housing || Source: Shuwen Ye

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7. NEW PORT Prior to the earthquake, the Ecuadorian government announced that a new port would be constructed in San Jose de Chamanga. The port belonged to a larger infrastructure initiative attempting to bring economic development to rural parts of Ecuador. The port design was largely kept secret and members of the community were not consulted into whether they wanted a port at all. An area of land at the tip of Chamanga was infilled with large rocks and sand which is a cause for concern given the intense liquification that occurred during the earthquake. The design of the port brings into question whether fisherman from the community would be allowed to use the facilities as it is indicated that a wall with security would be installed.


Housing slated for demolition adjacent to port || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Residents indicated they would be interested in a port for keeping each other accountable for food hygiene and to allow for organized transportation to Pedernales for the sale of the fish. Currently they are using middle men to transport the fish and are seeing losses in profits. The housing adjacent to the port site has been slated for demolition and relocation in accordance with the governments safe zone.

Site for new port || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Housing slated for demolition adjacent to port || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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8. LA CHANGUERA La Changuera is a natural island that has formed about a hundred yards from the waterfront in Chamanga. During low tides, the island is fully exposed allowing for the collection of the concha (small mollusks) that are sold for ~$3.50 per 100 concha. Concha collecting has traditionally been completed by women and children, however as fish stocks have collapsed, many men are also participating in concha collecting on La Changuera. La Changuera can be accessed by boat all day, but during low tide, the 2m recession of water allows for access by foot across a land bridge. This is how the majority of concheros cross. There is no defined access point to the land bridge, but as a significant part of many people’s day it is worth formalizing.

Concha collectors and restored mangroves || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

While it has not scientifically been tested, the women in Chamanga swear that there are more concha on La Changuera, where there are ample amounts of aggregate, than there are in the mudflats elsewhere near the town. Through word of mouth, they have been able to describe that concha numbers on La Changuera have increased after mining for aggregate was abandoned, and part of the original mangrove forest was reintroduced by the community.


Concha Collectors on La Changuera || Source: Shuwen Ye

Land bridge available during low tide from the waterfront to La Changuera || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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Chamanga began its history as a fishing town in the 1960's. The urban fabric has been expanding outwards from the water-front and the residents still access their livelihoods from the water. Not only has the physical fabric developed around the waterfront, but the cultural identity of the town. More than 70% of the residents continue to make their livelihoods from fishing or collecting shellfish. When they are not out on the water, often they can be found socializing along the waterfront or selling their goods along what has become the primary commercial corridor,

After the earthquake, the government decided that living along the waterfront was too dangerous. A safe zone was designat-ed at 10m above sea level in case of tsunamis, despite no record of one occurring in this location. While their concern is cer-tainly warranted, this zone would dislocate a huge number of the residents currently living along the waterfront as well as the main commercial corridor and cultural backbone of the community.

The government has initiated a housing relocation program for those that do not reside within the designated safe reconstruction zone. This is a huge concern because the residents that rely on fishing and shellfish collecting would have to walk to the water for very long distances, more than what they feel would be worth staying in fishing. It is also an issue because currently shellfish collectors and fisherman sell out of their homes and have no means to transport their goods upland. They are also incredibly worried about theft of their boat motors.




Shrimp farming has been a huge concern in Chamanga. Shrimp ponds have decimated the natural mangrove populations and as a result also the wild fish, shrimp and shellfish stocks. An additional problem is the lack of enforcement of any regulations regarding the shrimp ponds from the government due to it being one of the only taxable industries along the estuary.

La Changuera is one of the most coveted areas to collect conchas (shellfish) near Chamanga. The community members say that the shellfish like the gravel more that the mudflats found elsewhere. La Changuera was mined for aggregate used in concrete many years ago before being abandoned. The community women reforested part of the island with mangroves and claim shellfish numbers increased.

The Ecuadorian Government years ago issued a mandate stating that for every acre of mangroves that was cleared for shrimp ponds, 3 acres must be replanted. While the intent was good, enforcement is non-existent, corruption inhibits proper review and shrimp farmers often purposely kill the new mangroves or at the very least ensure they don't succeed as they would lose pond area.


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Destroyed Severely Damaged Damaged

Diagram of damaged structures in Chamanga || Source data: PUCE via Santiago del Hierro

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San Jose de Chamanga was one of the most damaged towns in In Ecuador after the earthquake. It is estimated that over 80% of the buildings were damaged and needing repairs. 570 homes were destroyed, leaving more than half of the population of without shelter.

When we first arrived at the shelter there were 120 families, including children, adults, persons with disabilities and older persons. But many then left with family members or friends, so we are among the 95 families left. The children are very restless here. They want to return to their homes.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, UNHCR delivered 40 family igloo tents and plastic sheeting to Chamanga (UNHCR) Access to clean drinking water and a finding enough temporary shelters were of concern to authorities in the country, especially as the rainy season was begining (UNHCR)..

Chamanga is very quiet and safe and I always thought that we were far from any danger because there are no volcanoes here, unlike in other mountainous provinces. We have never experienced a situation like this. It is a place that is rich in nature. But since the earthquake, some 80 per cent of the town has been devastated.

the town’s existing post-earthquake recovery plan is being developed by Ecuador’s Public Housing Company (EPV) and Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MIDUVI) These plans are outlined in the Current Government Plans on page 136. An interview with a Chamanga resident conducted by Medicine Sans Frontieres explains the current common feelings in Chamanga: “I had a house in the lower end of Chamanga and, at the time, I thought it was one of the best in the community. I was sure that nothing could damage it. But faced with the ravages of nature, nowhere is safe and no one place is the best.

As well as being my home, my house was my source of income. I rented rooms and cellars to support my family and educate my two children, who are studying in Santo Domingo and at a school in Ciudad del Carmen. That’s how I used to pay for their food and rent. Many of us have been left without jobs and we have still not been told anything official about what will happen to our homes and how we are going to revive our economy, and that fills us with despair. We will try to cope with the situation and we hope that we can rebuild our homes as soon as possible and live the way we once did.” - Interview with Nancy Muñoz, 35 years old, Nuevo Milenio Shelter, Chamanga by Medicine


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Damaged or destroyed on water stilt housing || Source: James Kostaras


Sans Frontieres The 95+ families currently living in the emergency housing will be asked to leave in the coming weeks of August and September as the temporary shelter is closed. It is unknown if supplemental housing will be provided. The residents of Chamanga were told that have preferred access to government supplied housing that they should relocated to the temporary shelters, however there were strict rules enforced in the camp such as a curfew for both morning and evening which conflicted with the schedules of fishermen. This conflict resulted in only 95 or so families remaining in the camp. This choice became a contentious issue within the population. As explained to us, the residents who stayed in the camp were people who wanted everything for free and were spoiled by the government. The residents in the camp were hoping to gain favor in receiving replacement housing.

The community expressed confusion and frustration at the government and other entities that were working in Chamanga. They were appreciative that they were garnering attention, but felt that there was too much analysis and not enough action taking place. There was a clear need for transparency on the part of the government and other planning endeavors to reduce this frustration. Residents were receiving mixed messages, incorrect information, outdated information etc. and all of this was compounded by the election year and candidates making promises with no guarantees to back up their claims. Chamanga is in desperate need for a clear vision and incremental steps to achieve it. The town lacks the resources to build back more resiliently, however there is a rich cultural heritage and inherent ecological knowledge that should be considered.

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Damaged Structure in Chamanga || Source: James Kostaras


Destroyed on water stilt housing || SourceL James Kostaras

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-Concrete -Masonry -Steel -Wood

*Typical in Chamanga -excelent thermal loads -decent seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology *Typical in Chamanga

Stilt House


-climate responsive -excelent seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology

*Typical in Chamanga

Frame and Gable

-Steel -Masonry

-Brick -Masonry



-excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology

The Slab The Tower

-Concrete -Concrete -Steel -Masonry -Glass

Two Story Rise

-Concrete -Masonry

*Absent in Pedernales/ Typical of the Highlands and Older Comunities -excelent thermal loads -very week seismic resiliency -arcane building method and technology

*Typical in Pedernales *Non-Existant in Chamanga / Typical in larger cities or Pedernales -excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -mixed climactic performance -familiar building method and technology -week seismic resiliency -advnaced building and engineering method and technology *Typical in Chamanga -excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology *Present in Chamanga

Two Story Rise With Deck

-Concrete -Masonry

-excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology *Present in Chamanga

Colums and Slabs

Low Rise With Arcade Two Story Rise With Deck and Arcade

-Concrete -Masonry

-excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology *Non-Existant in Chamanga

-Concrete -Masonry

-excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology *Present in Chamanga

-Concrete -Masonry

-excelent thermal loads -week seismic resiliency -familiar building method and technology

Building Typologies of the Ecuadorian Coast || Source: PennDesign LARP 701 regional analysis collective

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION One of the largest contributing factors to the structural failure of many of the buildings in San Jose de Chamanga, and throughout the entire affected earthquake zone, was the construction methods used to erect buildings. Most of the construction in Ecuador, and especially in the more rural areas, is not adherent to a strict seismic or structural code. Often, buildings are constructed as the owner has the money to purchase materials. Structural systems that run throughout the buildings are often insufficient. Over the last couple of decades, many people in Ecuador are giving up the traditional housing made of wood, bamboo and other light materials in favor of concrete and masonry. believing that they are more modern and show they are well off financially. However, when a building collapses, the injuries or loss of life sustained by those in it are likely much less in a lightweight wood or bamboo structure, than a building made of bricks, and CMU. In addition to the lack of knowledge in appropriately designing structural systems, the choice of structural material is often a mistake as well. Many houses did include rebar in their slabs, however the rebar chosen was much too small to make much

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of a difference in the structural integrity of the building. Rebar was typically avoided in wall systems, resulting in many walls collapsing either into the street, onto the adjacent building or into the interior of its own footprint. Most of the injuries in Chamanga came from buildings constructed of CMU. The traditional stilt houses along the estuary were severely damaged, but because of the light nature of the material, relatively few injuries were sustained. A majority of the collapses were likely due to the close proximity in which the on-water stilt housing was built. As the earthquake moved the houses, they crashed into each other, collapsed, and fell onto the adjacent house.

Construction of free standing columns & infill masonry || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Because the likelihood of the housing construction methods is incredibly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, we are recommending that more emphasis is put on the lighter construction made of wood and bamboo to be used in the reconstruction for many reasons:


1. As mentioned above the light nature of the construction is optimal for unregulated construction in the likely event of another earthquake. 2. The construction has a cultural heritage that is lost with the concrete construction and preserves the true fishing community history.

Damaged Columns & walls from lack of reinforcement || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

3. The construction type allows residents to live above the water, subsequently allowing them to keep their boats and motors attached to their houses. 4. In a tropical climate, breathable buildings that allow airflow are more likely to feel cooler than concrete structures. 5. Residents have already begun reconstructing the on-water stilt housing, showing that it is their preferred location and housing type.

Infill Masonry Wall || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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1991 Comparison of Mangroves to shrimp farms

These maps show that in 1991, at the begining of the shrimp farming boom, much of the Cojimies estuary's virgin mangrove forests still remained in-tact. (note: both graphics depict low-tide)


Source: CLIRSEN 2007

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2015 Comparison of Mangroves to shrimp farms

In 2015, it is clearly visible that the mangrove forest has been all but eliminated. Analysis of the area shows that there has been an 88%-91% decrease in mangroves which have been cut and replaced with shrimp ponds (shown in purple). You can also see the increased sediment build up around San Jose de Chamanga, shown in grey. As the mangroves are continually deforested, the increased sediment near the town will eventually cut the waterfront off from the water, making access more difficult.

Source: Dr. Stuart Edward Hamilton Phd Dissertation


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Shrimp Pond in San Jose de Chamanga || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


SHRIMP FARMS The shrimp farms in San Jose de Chamanga follow the general information that has already been outlined in this document. The shrimp farms have cleared large swaths of mangroves in order to excavate the ground for the ponds. The base of the shrimp farm is covered in lye to assist in waterproofing and to kill any residual bacteria in the soils. The water supplying the ponds are pumped from the estuary or from channels that are dug to bring water to further inland ponds. Each pond has a gate that is built into the side, typically at the lowest elevation of the pond. When the shrimp are ready to be hatched, the gates are opened, releasing the water into the channels or back directly into the estuary. Nets are placed in front of the gates to catch the shrimp as the water exits. Some of the shrimp farmers described some of the antibiotics and other chemicals that are used in the ponds, often ones that are banned in the US & other western countries. Many of these chemicals such as one that is known locally as "karate" will essentially kill anything in the pond that isn't a shrimp. As this water is released back into the estuary,

Release & capture point for the shrimp pond || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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these toxic chemicals are released as well. The shrimp farmers typically will harvest 2-3 times per year and sell their shrimp either to transport companies based out of Pedernales who then sell them to larger distributers, are already are contracted by large shrimp distributing corporations. While there are laws in place to reduce the impact that shrimp farming has in Ecuador, corruption is very common or laws are simply disregarded. The lack of enforcement has led to many social conflicts about water and land rights in this region, especially where artisanal fisherman are allowed to fish and collect shellfish.


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108 Woman going to collect freshwater from a delivery truck || Source: El Telegraphico

SANITATION Sewage Disposal Currently there is not active sewer system in Chamanga. Residents that live over the water remove waste from their home and simply dump it into the mud where the tides remove it. In the land established homes, some residents have created pits where the sewage is buried and it was observed that there were a couple of outhouses that were in use as well. As with many low-income communities, each home does not have an outhouse and there are no known septic tanks in the community. There is a large concern with the seeping of raw sewage running in the streets, pooling in low elevations and seeping into the estuary. The nearby shrimp farms pull water from the estuary so it is likely that the contaminated water

from the sewage is being circulated into ponds meant to grow food for human consumption.

Freshwater access Currently water is trucked in and sold for $1 /55 gallons. The water is stored in old barrels that residents keep. Some of these are rain barrels that have been donated or bought, others are old petrol or oil barrels that have been acquired. The source of the water is unknown. We were told that many of the trucks simply go to a stream or a river and pump the water into the truck for sale without any real treatment. There have been documented cases of Amoebic Dysentery, Cholera, and Giardia

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Daily Water Consumptionin Food prep 5L Dishes 8L Drinking 2L Irrigation 10L* Animals 10L* Garden 5L* Weekly Bathing 100L* Weekly Laundry 30L*

Ave Total Daily Use per person = 56.6L Source: Analysis of Rural Ecuador housefold useage in Esmeraldas Province: Portland Chapter of Engineers without Borders * indicates possible uses viable for lightly treated grey water

as a result of consuming untreated water. Bottled water is the only safe option, but is out of the price range of most residents to consistently buy. Utilizing information gathered about average daily water usage for the town and multiplied by the population, there is an estimated average monthly deficit of 30,000,000L, but does depend on the season. We have noted which items could utilize filtered grey water instead of potable water with an asterisk. There were a few informal rain collection systems that were observed, however there was a lack of strategic collection systems throughout the town. By incorporating a rainwater collection system, such as those implemented around the world, during the rainy seasons the monthly deficit could be reduced. This would save residents money

during these months and reduce the amount of contaminated water they are exposed to. There will always be a need for potable water, but grey water could be collected and filtered, and combined with a light treatment to be used again. This could also reduce the monthly deficit that Chamanga is experiencing and save families money immediately and long-term. If successfully implemented, reclaimed grey water reduce the weekly usage from 266L p/person to 91L p/ person.


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POVERTY ManabĂ­ and Esmeraldas Provinces are some of the poorest regions of Ecuador: around 65 per cent live in poverty. Poverty is especially high in rural areas of the province. Thousands of families lack access to drinking water, paved roads, sewage systems, health care and electricity. (SOS Childrens Villages International)

Prior to the earthquake, despite not having a formal sewage system, most of the residents in Chamanga had access to electricity and garbage collection. In the aftermath of the earthquake, garbage collection was reduced and disappeared altogether for a period as the residents were unable to pay for the services. Many locals have reverted to burning trash to remove it. There are additional needs to remove the waste left over from damaged buildings if they are going to redevelop the now vacant parcels. There is an opportunity in the reconstruction scheme to utilize as much of the left-over material from these damaged buildings as possible to assist in the disposal of these materials, as well as reduce project cost.


Fisherman weaving a new net in his home || Source: Shuwen Ye

One of the largest hurdles to conquer will simply be the lack of capital to rebuild the town. As mentioned previously, over 80% of the residents work in fishing/ shrimping / shellfish collecting industry; 10% tourism and transportation related industries and

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10% in services such as shop owners, food establishments etc. and results in an average income of $8,300 per year. These incomes do not leave much room for affording materials to rebuild when the daily costs of life consume most of this money. I In addition, there is some concern with general economic mobility in the future. Of the residents in Chamanga, 86.42% have basic elementary education, 56.54% have secondary education, 46.23% have high school education, 3.11% have superior education such as university or a professional certificate. But still, 14.94% are illiterate. This is a large hurdle for diversifying the economy to be more resilient and to provide more better paying jobs outside of an urban center. More concerningly, there are currently 2,000 students that attend school in Chamanga between 1 evangelic school and 1 public school, many of whom assume that they will go into fishing or concha collecting like their parents or leave for an urban center to find a job. But if the estuary continues degrading, and there becomes a severe short supply in fish stocks, what economic opportunities will residents and their children have in 5, 10, 20 years?

House selling shrimp || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


Waterfront housing with missing pathways || Source: Shuwen Ye

Fisherman cleaning fish in a shed next to his house || Source: Laura An

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YOUTH POPULATION Although the government has invested in education, many families in smaller towns nearby or rural areas find it difficult to get their children to school. They often can't afford the cost of transport and school materials.


In an interview with a local fisherman, we were told “We are worried our children won’t be interested in fishing in the future”. Many of the town population worry their children will move to the cities to seek work. Fishing stocks have deteriorated and fishing and shellfish collecting is a near guaranteed route to remain in poverty. There are not many social or entertainment activities for the younger population. There used to be a soccer tournament held in Chamanga, but that has since left. Most are only educated through one or two years of high school (half days, equivalent to 6th or 7th grade in the United States). Many parents are interested in after school activities to keep their kids out of trouble and near home, but are unsure as to what could be provided. Another resident said, "There is nothing for our children to do and only one playground. They get bored and turn to drugs.” They go to school for only half of a day, and the school is too small so they rotate between the older and younger students leaving lots of open time throughout the day." DRUG ABUSE & DISTRIBUTION There is a large drug issue in the younger population. By peddling drugs, they are able to make far more money than by fishing or collecting shellfish. They said often the younger population will take drugs out with them to their traps and hand it off to other runners before going about their fishing tasks. there were signs all throughout the town with phrases such as "say no to drugs", or "no selling or using drugs here". While a large-scale drug intervention is outside the scope of work for this project, there must be a

consideration into how to incorporate youth into the restoration and reconstruction projects. If they are able to legitimately make money or supply their time and reduce the amount of time available for running or using drugs then there could be a small change through social action. There should additionally be a consideration into how design can create entertainment opportunities for the youth through providing performance spaces, sports facilities, or even introducing new job types that can be achieved without higher education such as artisanal crafting or lightweight construction design.

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Children playing outside of a store || Source: Shuwen Ye


The only playground in the town || Source: Renata Mendez

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FIELD RESEARCH Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye

Mangrove Restoration ProNatura in Veracruz, Mexico has been experimenting with mangrove restoration for the better part of the last decade. The many techniques have allowed them to successfully restore large swaths of land in the Alvarado Wetland system. They specialize in adapting an ancient agricultural technique using chinampas, to better ensure a successful cultivation of new mangroves.

Existing Government Plans Multiple government agencies from Ecuador have been working on reconstruction schemes for Chamanga. A brief overview of the various proposals shows some of the flaws and severe need for holistic design thinking during reconstruction.

Community Engagement & Interviews During the second field visit to Chamanga, we were able to interview multiple community members to gauge reactions to some of our previous proposals and to hear about pre-existing conditions that needed to be solved in design.


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MANGROVE RESTORATION Veracruz, Mexico & Mexico City, Mexico


To study a successful restoration project under similar governmental structures and facing similar cultural pressures, we travelled to Veracruz, Mexico to visit the restoration project by ProNatura Veracruz taking place near Tlacotalpan in the Alvarado lagoon system. The wetlands of the Alvarado Lagoon in the province of Veracruz, Mexico, are one of the largest concentrations of mangroves in Mexico. The mangrove forests have been severely damaged from a combination of illegal logging for agricultural purposes and a wildfire. The promotion of livestock

farming by government agencies have encouraged the continued clearing of the mangroves by locals. Current estimates place the deteriorated mangrove habitats at more than 20,000 hectares, a similar scale to that of the Cojimies region of Ecuador. ProNatura Veracruz initiated a large restoration project near Tlacotalpan to best test how to restore mangrove ecosystems on large scales. Through trial and failure, the best solution utilized an indigenous farming technique using chinampas to restore mangroves and increase the success rate of replanting.

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Mangrove Restoration in the Alvarado Wetland system, Veracruz Mexico || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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GLOBAL MANGROVE CRISIS Currently there is an imminent global mangrove crisis. Annually 1% of mangrove stocks globally or 150,000 hectares (370,050 acres) are lost from urban encroachment, illegal logging and aquaculture industry. Since 1950 more than 35% of the world's mangroves have been cleared and could exponentially increase as fragmentation takes hold. In South America, mangroves are being cleared faster than the rain forest and 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction.


If action isn’t taken quickly. Mangrove forests could realistically become extinct in 1-2 generations. COJIMIES ESTUARY DEGREDATION In the Cojimies estuary, data from 1999 indicates a total of 1,162 hectares, or 96%, of the original mangrove forests have been cleared and replaced by shrimp farms (WWF). WHY PROTECT THE MANROVES? One of Ecuador's primary economies is that of artisanal and industrial fishing. The mangrove forests provide nurseries for many of these fish to repopulate. The forests prevent the erosion of the coastlines and estuaries which if not stabilized, will begin to affect the PH balance and sedimentary makeup of the water where fishing is typically occurring. Shrimp Farms which are

one of the other largest grossing industries in Ecuador have relied on the health of the estuine waters to replenish shrimp pond nutrients and cleanliness. The lack of forests has resulted in higher contamination of water and, as a result, higher contamination of the shrimp ponds due to the destruction of the estuine filtration system. The ecological collapse of either of these economies could be catastrophic for Ecuador.

SANITATION Mangroves are an incredibly efficient natural water purification system. 20 Acres of mangroves can clean up to 1 million gallons of wastewater. They can withstand environmental stresses, including high salinity, waterlogging, alternating aerobic and anaerobic conditions and unstable substratum. They can transfer oxygen from its aerial roots into the adjacent soil,

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producing a thin aerobic zone surrounding around the plant roots. This is ideal for the treatment of wastewater. BIODIVERSITY The world’s mangrove forests have been described as one of the most distinctive immersed tropical ecological systems on the planet (Fundación Natura 1995). The mangrove forests are important because they provide habitats for various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans and fish (Suárez & Silva 1996). In addition, these mangrove forests shelter a large number of species in certain groups such as 42 species of birds, carious mammals, and reptiles. Active migrations of numerous species of fish and shrimp occur according to reproductive cycles near the coastal shields. In addition, birds and mammals move between the mangrove and dry land, and between patches of mangroves along the entire coast. PROTECTION FROM STORMS & TSUNAMIS According to McIvor, Spencer, Moller and Spalding of the Nature Conservancy, mangroves can reduce storm surge water levels by slowing the flow of water and reducing surface waves. Mangroves can potentially play a role in coastal defense and disaster risk reduction. Measured rates of storm surge reduction

Global Hotspots for Mangrove Deforestation || Data Source: World Atlas of Mangroves - Mark Spalding


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through mangroves range from 5 to 50 centimeters water level reduction per kilometer of mangrove width. In addition, surface wind waves are expected to be reduced by more than 75% over one kilometer of mangroves. Dense mangrove forests are expected to increase storm surge reduction rates. The numerical model of Zhang et al. (2012; Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 102: 11-23) suggests that mangroves are more effective at reducing the water levels of fast moving surges than those of slow moving surges.


Mangroves proved to reduce fatalities & storm-surge related damage to infrastructure: during a typhoon in northeast India, mangroves reduced the number of lives lost, as well as reducing damage to houses, crops and other structures

A REFORESTATION OPPOURTUNITY One of the community members was hired by government contractors to cultivate mangrove saplings for part of the reforestation plan outlined in the SocioManglar policy. He was supposed to be paid per mangrove by the shrimp farmers to replant them outside of the shrimp ponds, but they were never planted.. His mangroves are anywhere from 3 months to 2 years old, a perfect age to be

Resident of Chamanga with his mangrove saplings ready to transplant || Source: Shuwen Ye

transplanted. He estimates in the multiple sites that he is cultivating his mangroves that he has thousands of saplings that are ready to be planted.

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Common Name: Red Mangrove

Common Name: Black Mangrove

Common Name: White Mangrove

121 Design Requirements Restoration in Chamanga



Low cost solution

Low tech solution

Solutions must be community driven

Community engagement and education to ensure community “buy in”

Teach how restoration can benefit local individuals

Design policy to help protect restoration projects

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PRONATURA VERACRUZ Pronatura is a non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve priority ecosystems & the development of society in harmony with nature.

To study a successful restoration project under similar governmental structures and facing similar cultural pressures, we travelled to Veracruz, Mexico to visit the restoration project by ProNatura Veracruz taking place near Tlacotalpan in the Alvarado lagoon system.


PROBLEM Wetlands of the Alvarado Lagoon in the province of Veracruz, Mexico, are one of the largest concentrations of mangroves in Mexico. The mangrove forests have been severely damaged from a combination of illegal logging for agricultural purposes and a wildfire. Since 1960, the promotion of livestock farming by the national and local governments have greatly escalated the deterioration of the mangrove system. Current estimates place the deteriorated mangrove habitats at more than 20,000 hectares, a similar scale to that of the Cojimies region of Ecuador. A large scientific effort was initiated to find the best way to recover such a large loss

Mapping exercise to determine statistical success || Source: ProNatura Veracruz

of habitat. Through trial and failure, the best solution utilized an indigenous farming technique using chinampas to restore mangroves and increase the success rate of replanting. SCIENTIFIC PROCESS & METHODOLOGY The team working to restore the Alvarado wetland system have methodically

implemented the scientific process to determine the most likely areas of success in both the short term and longterm restoration goals. They began the diagnostic process by mapping the entire wetland system and overlaying information such as water quality, land ownership, environmental degradation and protected

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government status. The resulting map broke the wetland system into three different realities: 1. Unlikely to be successful, shown in red, as a result of significant environmental damage, land use change or ownership issues. 2. Damaged but restoration is possible, shown in yellow. 3. Limited damage or likely to recover naturally, shown in green.

Pronatura Veracruz decided to heavily focus their attention on the areas depicted in yellow to make the most difference for the overall system.

Unsuccessful bracing method using wire || SourceL Shuwen Ye

TRIAL & ERROR Over the course of the last decade, ProNatura has been developing different techniques that allow for successful mangrove restoration. In 2010, floods killed over 25,000 new plants due to "inferior micro tropic levels" when the mangrove saplings were too low in the water. The team tested various ways to raise the saplings above a water line. This included a previously well-known technique named the Riley Technique, where a sapling is put into a bamboo shoot to prevent it from washing away or drowning. They also tried using various meshes to stabilize the soil but still ran into erosion issues.


method using mass plantings resulting in high failure rate || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Eventually the team tested an ancient gardening technology called chinampas described as man-made floating islands to help the plants take root and can withstand larger water table changes. In 2012, ProNatura purchased a piece of land to experiment and develop new chinampa restoration techniques deeming it a living school. The team has been working in three and five-year increments, letting small scale tests run over the course of the years and analyze if they have been successful. If they are successful at the end of the trip period they move to applying it at a larger scale. Riley Technique || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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Traiditonal Chinampas - Xochimilco Parque Ecologico Mexio City, Mexico


Map of Tenochtitlan || Mexican National Museum of Anthropology Source: Aubrey Jahelka

HISTORICAL & CULTURAL CONTEXT OF CHINAMPAS The best known chinampas were developed by the Aztec civilization in Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, to grow the produce needed to support the city. These artificial "floating" garden islands were reinforced and built up extensions of soil into the lake system water bodies. They were created by staking out the shallow lake bed and then fencing in the rectangle with wattle. The sides and corners were then reinforced by growing trees such as āhuexōtl (cypress). The fenced-off area was then layered with mud, lake sediment, and decaying vegetation, eventually bringing it above the level of the lake. In Tenochtitlan, the chinampas ranged from 90 m × 5 m (300 ft × 20 ft) to 90 m × 10 m (300 ft × 30 ft). In some places, the long-raised beds had small canals of various sizes in between them, giving plants continuous access to water and making crops grown there independent of rainfall. Chinampas were separated by channels

wide enough for a canoes and rafts to navigate the channels to the various markets around the city. These raised, well-watered beds had very high crop yields with up to 7 harvests a year. While naturally chinampas are well known in Mexico City, the technology spread throughout the former Aztec empire and were commonly used all over pre-colonial Mexico and Central America. While the exact date when the Aztec began developing chinampas is unknown, there is evidence that the current technology was used as early as 110 C.E. The chinampas have not only provided a source of agricultural space for nearly two millennia, the technology has also found a cultural significance within modern Mexican culture including being featured in the artwork of the likes of Diego Rivera. This cultural significance has led to the remaining chinampas in Xochimilco being designated as protected by multiple national and international organizations such as the Mexican Ministry of Antiquities and UNESCO.

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Chinampa aerial || Source: Georg Gerster personal blog

Source: Liliana Usvat


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Building a restoration chinampa || Source: ProNatura Veracruz


THE RESTORATION CHINAMPA BUILDING PROCESS The first step in the restoration process is not the building of the chinampas themselves, but the site preparation where the chinampas will be located. Each site is tested for contaminants in the water that could be potentially harmful for the mangrove saplings. If it can be mitigated, it is addressed. Second is surveying a potential site to see if tidal flows are present. Many of the wetlands used to be habituated by alligators and other animals that kept natural channels clear for the tidal waters to infiltrate the wetlands. Many of these species have all but vanished from

the wetlands and physical changes made to the landscape by men have reduced tidal flooding in some areas. If necessary, ProNatura will go through the wetlands and reconstruct the channels to allow tidal flows back into the sites. Mangroves must be flooded daily and need a reliable permanent source of water. The highest flood level is marked and placed close-by the chinampa to gauge how tall the chinampa must be and the soil will be filled to that mark. To build a chinampa, ProNatura Veracruz uses downed logs and sticks found nearby to where the chinampa will be located to

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create a wood frame. Grasses are added to the bottom to help prevent erosion of soil out of the bottom of the frame. The wooden frame is then filled with mud from adjacent to the chinampa. This ensures that the soils are consistent with where the sapling was grown and does not introduce any foreign chemical makeups to the conservation area. Five mangrove saplings are placed in the chinampa, with the expectation that not all of them will survive. The saplings are cultivated from seeds harvested from adjacent trees, to ensure habitat

cohesion, and are then placed in the soil of the chinampa. The chinampa top is then covered with any organic material available to help retain moisture, prevent the saplings from becoming sunburned, and to discourage erosion. Each of the chinampa costs $5 to build and is entirely derived by paying the labor of hired fisherman. Because the saplings and all the material are found and created at the source, the chinampas are free in terms of construction materials.


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View of restored Mangroves || Source: Shuwen Ye

Aerial of restoration grid || Source: ProNatura Veracruz

ProNatura Veracruz has been working for nearly a decade in the Alvarado wetlands and have already been able to begin recovering the mangrove forests and change the cultural perspectives on the value of the mangrove forests.

large surface area of natural habitat for animals from the moment a chinampa is built. ProNatura has recorded species such as turtles, birds, rats, crabs and other fauna found in the wetlands, making the chinampas their homes within weeks of being built.

Through their research, they have discovered that instead of using larger chinampas, such as the type built in Xochimilco, the use of 1mx 1m chinampas on a 5 x 5 meter grid, shown below, allows for a

These animals keep the chinampas clear of pests and constantly provide food waste to the plants acting as a natural fertilizer. The chinampas that had animals residing on them tended to grow faster

Restoration Grid || Source: ProNatura Veracruz, Adapted by Shuwen Ye

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because of the additional nutrients. In areas where the chinampas have already begun to be planted at a larger scale are beginning to show signs of a vital wetland habitat once again. Increased habitat and longer spawning seasons are more economically sustainable to fishing communities that reside in, and surround, the Alvarado wetlands. There have been no official studies conducted, but it is expected that the fishing stocks are beginning to recover. To encourage community engagement, ProNatura builds the chinampas using the help of fisherman during spawning season in the estuary. This is highly beneficial for a number of reasons: The fisherman are paid to help reforest the mangroves which allow for breeding habitat of the fish they harvest, and the extra income encourages them not fish during the designated spawning season. The fish stock that the fisherman are allowing to reproduce will be more plentiful and larger when they are caught, providing even more income to the fisherman. The paid incentive and larger, more plentiful fish stocks, actively encourage the restoration and maintenance of the mangrove forests and illustrates the monetary benefit of ecological health down to an individual level of the fisherman. This encourages a cultural change within the community that used to participate in the depletion of fish stocks and deforesting mangroves. The inclusion of the fisherman is also an important educational piece in ecology. The more familiar fisherman and the residents who live near mangrove forests are with what mangrove forests need to survive, the more likely a successful long term restoration project will emerge.

Chinampa Mangrove 1 year || Source: Shuwen Ye


Chinampa Mangrove 2 year || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Chinampa 4 year Source|| Aubrey Jahelka

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Chinampa repurposed for growing cattle || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


by diversifying its uses.

Xochimilco Ecological Park in Mexico City:

The park utilizes natural gradients between the chinampas still used primarily for agriculture and the encroaching urban growth. The use of this gradient was able to slow the conversion of these natural areas to urban as well as satisfy a request from the Xochimilcan community for access to green areas for amusement purposes and the contact with nature. These chinampas were see as converted to football fields, parks with play structures, public seating areas, etc.

Xochimilco ecological park was created in an attempt to preserve natural and physical diversity of Mexico City, and balance the natural and urban landscapes. It seeks to combine the restoration of the natural environment with recreational activities for its visitors as well as offer a connection to the traditions, customs, ceremonies, economical activities found within the Xochimilcan community. Many rehabilitation works had to be carried out in the park's 235 hectares, in former agricultural fields and abandoned barren lands. These rehabilitation and restoration projects required human intervention in order to recover from their devastation. By incorporating the local communities in decision making processes, the teams carrying out the work were able to take a technology that has existed for thousands of years and once again make it relevant

While the technology has inherently stayed the same within Xochimilco and the chinampas themselves are identical and preserved forms of the original chinampas, the residents of Mexico City and Xochimilco have begun to adapt the uses of the chinampas to the 21st century. While touring Xochimilco, there were chinampas used as pasture for domesticated animals, traditional agriculture,

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Chinampa used as football fields & picnic space || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

131 public space for recreation, small gardens, nature oriented vacation rentals etc. This flexibility of the Chinampa is a phenomenal design tool that is versatile enough to become a staple in San Jose de Chamanga in Ecuador. While its primary function can be restoration as demonstrated by ProNatura, but it can also become the form of public spaces, aquatic gardens, and extensions of homes along the waterfront. The chinampa is a direct result of a water-based culture and could be easily transferable to a water-based fishing economy.

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MODERNIZING THE CHINAMPA CONCEPT Despite the fact that chinampas have been in use for the better part of 2000 years, the technology still remains as relevant as ever. One of the main questions posed for chinampas in this studio is can an ancient technology really be adapted to fit 21st century needs and a variety of uses in a resource-strapped project? To asses this evolution of the Chinampa we not only travelled, as stated above, to the birthplace of Chinampas in Xochimilco to assess the transitional 2000 year history, but also to Parque Bicentinale and to the offices of Mario Schjetnan who, as one of the most celebrated landscape architects in modern history, has revolutionized


and modernized the concept of the chinampa.

CHINAMPAS AS LANDSCAPE FORM Schjetnan's firm believes "that urban and rural design must be transformed by a creative process, in balance with nature, and carefully, looking to the local culture, climate and

Parque Bicentinale, Mexico City - Landscape Architect Mario Schjetnan || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

surroundings; and that projects should be interdisciplinary and pay attention to the "art,

applicable to our location in Chamanga where

but also beautiful landscape design. Schjetnan's


there are many problems, old, new and

focus on multi-disciplinary problem solving

finances, ecology, civil and system engineering"

continuing, that overlap.

through landscape and architectural design

The firm's goal to achieve imaginative and

Schjetnan provided some feedback on our

contemporary solutions to old, new or every

initial project design and walked us through the

day design problems through feasible, efficient,

design processes he used in a number of his

and aesthetic, conservational improvements of

projects where he had modernized chinampas

the environment was inspiring and incredibly

and addressed not only ecological concerns,




had a huge impact on our designs and process in the second semester.

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Parque Bicentinale, Mexico City || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Rehabilitaciรณn del Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico City|| Source: Mario Schjetnan


Xochimilco Parque Ecologico, Mexico City || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Xochimilco Parque Ecologico, Mexico City || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Probiomed Research Facility,Tenencingo, Mexico || Source: Mario Schjetnan

La Cortadura, Tampico, Mexico || Source: Mario Schjetnan

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EXISTING GOVERNMENT PLANS San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador


The government currently has multiple initiatives to reconstruct San Jose de Chamanga. While there is a logical line of thinking for many of the initiatives and plans, they typically lack context and are often insensitive to cultural values and preexisting conditions or stressors.

some way a part of workshops that were used

These initiatives range from supplemental

of the large planning moves that have been

housing types to relocation and infill of the

proposed, and feel that it lacks a holistic and

waterfront. Most of the town residents were in

long term vision.

to develop these plans, but have yet to see the finished products. While we respect the efforts and the difficult political, economic and fiscal terrain that the government entities must navigate to develop these plans, we largely disagree with some

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Presentation by representatives of the Ecuadorian Government Authorities on the reconstruction plan || Source: Santiago del Hierro

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EXISTING GOVERNMENT PLANS HOUSING The most ambitious plan is building residential houses for 500 families. This initiative is built along the main access road on land belonging to NĂŠstor Aquiles Cevallos MartĂ­nez. They are blocks of 4 apartments, each one has living room, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. They will be distributed to those who take refuge in the shelters provided by the government & first responding organizations. In addition, other houses have added by the Ministry of Urban


Development and Housing (Miduvi), which last

Current government housing project upland || SourceL El Telegraphico

February granted homes to 119 families, 74 of which were granted incentives to rebuild their own lots and 45 applied to the repair program totaling $34 million in reconstruction. (El Telegraphico) These houses are made of metal & insulation. The use of metal, and lack of environmental context have led residents have complained about temperatures reaching unbearably hot during the height of the day and will often avoid being inside for fear of heat exhaustion. Catholic charities have attempted to fill the need gap with wooden and bamboo houses and the Ecuadoroil fleet has donated 120 wood homes to the surrounding region located on the road to Atacames, in the sector known as Bilsa. Housing unit from catholic charities (left) and the ministry of housing (right) || Source: Santiago del Hierro

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URBAN DEVELOPMENT As is common with many government reconstruction schemes after a disaster, a designated hazard zone was established for the town of Chamanga where reconstruction would not occur. The national government has proposed that all buildings along the waterfront be vacated and removed. They have suggested that the main road to and through the town should be rerouted along the route shown to the right.


There are some significant concerns with the following proposal. The main commercial corridor is along the current waterfront. The notion that an entire established commercial corridor could simply be relocated along a new route is very unlikely. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that all of the land along the new route is currently occupied with residential. Additionally there was some concern from residents with new traffic generated by the port in combination with the new traffic route running past the evangelical school. Parents were worried in interviews about small children playing in the street next to the school and being struck by passing vehicles

Proposed Traffic Re-routing || Source: MIDUVI

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URBAN DEVELOPMENT The government plan for reconstruction suggests that development should be encouraged, naturally or artificially, in the areas in brown. While there is development, primarily residential, occurring naturally in the defined areas, there is a danger of forcing growth so far away from the waterfront with no access to water. The fisherman that we interviewed expressed concern about leaving their boat motors on the waterfront unattended. Currently there has been a reported theft every 3 months. The fisherman have been bringing their motors home with them every night. The fisherman cannot afford cars to transport them and hiring one of the motor taxis cuts into their minimal income. As a result they mentioned that they would not be willing to continue fishing if they were forced to live more than one mile away in the government defined areas. While the government is invested in rebuilding Chamanga as of right now, there will be no reinforcement mechanism to discourage people from simply rebuilding along the waterfront. The reasoning of a risk of tsunamis will fade given time, and the inconvenience of living upland will begin to encourage residents to move back to, and redevelop the waterfront. Proposed Urban Development Plan || Source: MIDUVI


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URBAN DEVELOPMENT While there needs to be a strong consideration for mitigating future risk, there needs to be grounded realistic parameters. This proposal suggests that the entirety of the waterfront that has been suggested to be forcibly evicted, should be converted into a park. While this proposal deserves some merit due to research providing credibility to soft infrastructure storm reduction, the proposed park is out of proportion with the size of the town. The park does not provide many of the amenities removed from the community as a result of forced eviction. While the community has expressed interest in having more recreational space available for use, it is unlikely that they would prefer the entire waterfront be converted. There is a question, that given enough time, would the residents simply develop over the park informally to reclaim the waterfront for the conveniences provided by living on the water.


Proposed Waterfront Park || Source: PUCE

Aside from the size disparity, there was a clear issue with the capital cost and maintenance costs that are associated with financing such a park. There could be a perception that the government was willing to spend millions of dollars on recreation, but unwilling to replace all of the lost housing or water systems which were listed as key concerns.

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With the development of the park described on page 140, and the development of a port described on page 142, fishermen are at risk of losing nearly all access to the waterfront. This waterfront access is critical to the health and economic viability of Chamanga as a town. 80% of the economy relies on fishing and concha collecting, both of which require access at all times of day to the water or mud flats. Fisherman have already expressed concern about needing to carry their motors home to avoid theft, but if the option of leaving their boats on the water is also rescinded, it is unlikely they will continue fishing and the town will effectively cease to exist.

Stilt housing with boats tied for safe keeping || Source: Shuwen Ye


Boats kept on the sands during off peak fishing time || Source: Shuwen Ye

Boat tied to pier for safe keeping || Source: Shuwen Ye

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NEW PORT FACILITY Prior to the earthquake, the government began creating economic development campaigns typically seen before elections, including many fishing port facilities that were to benefit the local municipalities. After the earthquake, these projects were rebranded by the Committee for Reconstruction and Productive Reactivation as reconstruction projects that contribute to productive reactivation of the damaged areas.


There have been multiple projects in Manabi province including in Pedernales and CojimĂ­es (town) which saw an investment of $4.3 million. The projects are financed by the Ecuadorian Development Bank as an 80-20 subsidy (80% subsidized by the State and 20% by the Municipality) it is unclear where the municipality is supposedly coming up the the 20% match required by the government. While a project like this is reasonable for a town such as Pedernales that has a much larger scale of economy, it is unclear why the government chose Chamanga as a destination for one of these ports. Upon viewing the construction documents for the facility in Chamanga, it was unclear if the port was going to be used as facilities for shrimp farmers in the immediate region or for the fishing community. The construction

Muelles Pesqueros Type A || Source: Office of the Presidency of Ecuador

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plans includes a security wall and a guard station between the community and the port facilities. Labels on the documents indicate that the port would include cold storage as well as cleaning and processing facilities. The government has been very secretive about the process and planning of the port leading to suspicion from the local fishermen that they will not have access to the facilities. No one in the community had seen the construction plans and had no idea what was going to be included. There was, however, a strong consensus in the community that if the fishermen were to have access to the port that it would be an asset to Chamanga. Many of the fishermen that we interviewed expressed that they liked the idea of being able to store their gear and boats in a centralized location with other fishermen the obvious loading and unloading benefits of a designed port, and most importantly the cold storage. It was unclear how the cold storage would be powered or who would be paying the bill. Chamanga has a history of refusing services such as sewer or water because they are either unable to or do not trust paying monthly bills which would be problematic.

Muelles Pesqueros Type B || Source: Office of the Presidency of Ecuador

We noticed that there was a lot of circulation that was designed in the port for vehicular access such as trucks or small lorries,


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144 Structural analysis of port buildings || Source: Office of the Presidency of Ecuador

however there are only a handful of cars or trucks in Chamanga to begin with. Size and capacity was clearly not considered when adapting the port from the template design. There could be a need for vehicular access, especially if residents were able to obtain a van to distribute their fish to Pedernales or other large local markets, but not for as many cars as it is designed for currently. There was a noticeable lack of market space in the designs as well. Many fisherman and concha collectors had expressed the want for a designated market space to sell their goods. While there is currently not space allocated, there is ample opportunity to convert some of the parking and pedestrian circulation area to market stalls. The main concern that we have with the port, is who will have access to it, whether its design is primarily for use by shrimp farmers or artisanal fisherman, and if there will be fees associated

with using the port. Many fishermen have avoided joining unions or other organizations because of fee burdens. It is unlikely that a port membership would be any different. Aside from the economic segregation that would occur, we heard multiple times that the location where the port is currently being built is one of the most beautiful places to watch the sun rise and set and feel a connection to the life of the estuary. It is important to maintain for both cultural and economic reasons.

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View to the estuary from the port || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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In February 2017, we were fortunate enough to be able to return to San Jose de Chamanga for one week to interview community members about topics such as pre-existing stressors, the government response thus far, projects that they would like to see incorporated into a greater design strategy and their reactions to some of our design ideas from the fall semester. With the translation help of David Gouvenuer, Santiago del Hierro, Renata Mendez, Sebas Oviedo, and Sergio Palleroni, were able

to successfully orchestrate and conduct multiple interviews that became the foundation of our design strategies later in the semester. In addition, we joined with Catolica University in Quito, Tokyo University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and the International University of Catalonia - Barcelona for a series of design charrettes to create proposals for two community projects which were then executed during our stay.

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Bags of concha (clam -like shellfish) || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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COMMUNITY INTERVEIWS In February 2017 we were fortunate enough to be able to return to Chamanga for one week to interview community members on various topics related to the government response and to existing and prior conditions. There was some territory that was cautioned against interviewing whichhad been covered in multiple studies by the Ecuadorian Housing Authority and PUCE at Catolica University in Quito, and community members had become frustrated by answering the same questions multiple times with no results.


With the help of David Gouvenuer, Santiago del Hierro, Renata Mendez, Sebas Oviedo, and Sergio Palleroni, we were able to successfully orchestrate and conduct multiple interviews related to the health of the estuary, relationships with mangrove forests, relationships with the government, feedback on government proposals and thoughts on pre-existing conditions prior to the earthquake. These interviews became the foundations of our refined design responses as well as the literal translation for one of our alternatives in the spring semester. The following are some of the most notable comments we heard during our interviews in Chamanga.

Tour of estuary & interviews with local shellfish collectors & fisherman || Source: Shuwen Ye

1) The government came to collect names for those that would receive new houses. They did not explain the process and people were skeptical their current houses and land would be taken away. Priority was given to those living in the displacement camp, however because of the camp’s strict schedule, many fisherman were unable to

live there. The government refuses to come back and enroll more people. 2) There is a breakdown in communication between government and local authorities in terms of intentions, schedules, and projects. There also seems to be a disconnect between the town just wanting to rebuild and the government’s intention of

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rebuilding to avoid risk in the future which will naturally take more time to plan and implement. 3) “There is nothing for our children to do and only one playground. They get bored and turn to drugs.” They go to school for only half of a day because the school is too small so they rotate between the older and younger students leaving lots of time available to get into trouble. There is a large drug issue in the younger population. By peddling drugs they are able to make far more money than by fishing or collecting shellfish. Often the younger population will take drugs out with them to set their traps and hand it off to other runners before going about their fishing tasks.

Family cleaning fish || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Community project || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

4) Water and sewage was the number one concern that people expressed. There is currently no clean water source and no sewage system. There have been outbreaks of cholera, amoebic dysentery, and giardia. Water is trucked in and sold 55 gallons for $1, the source is unknown. The town has refused a water system because they don’t trust paying $10 p/mo. for piped water due to lack of trust in the government. 5) There is one fishermen’s union, however there is a $100 entry fee and unclear benefits to the local population. There are only five members to the union, but some 300+ fisherman. There appeared to be a distrust

Interview with father & fisherman about youths & drug issues || Source: Shuwen Ye


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Interviews with concha collectors & women's group || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

of any form of organization or formalization of the fishing industry. There is potential for collective pricing. Fishing stocks have plummeted in the last 20 years and there has been an increase in the number of fisherman as families and the population grows. They do not respect the months meant for fish stock rehabilitation because there is no other income alternative. Some fisherman expressed interest in a designated area to sell fish for both price reasons as well as sanitary accountability. Additionally they would like cold storage so they can keep fish longer than one day. Many of the

fisherman are not convinced the port will be open to them as the government says. No one has seen the plans, construction is erratic and the government has refused to communicate intentions to the local population. It was supposed to be completed years ago. With the concern of access, the port is meant to consolidate the access to the water effectively removing the traditional informal fishing. Many of the fisherman are worried about their boat motors and boats being stolen. If you are lucky you can leave your equipment with friends who still live on the water, but this option will vanish if

the government relocates the waterfront population. Most fisherman we asked said they would only walk 20-30 minutes to get to the waterfront every day before they wouldn’t consider fishing anymore because many of them haul their boat motors to and from their house. 6) Concha collecting is one of the only ways that women in the town can earn a living. There is still very much a gender segregated system to jobs. Many of the women have formed a women’s group based around the concha collecting profession. Concha collecting is women’s empowerment in

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Interview with fisherman about port, fishing & difficulties selling fish || Source: Shuwen Ye

Chamanga. The health of the profession is based on the health of the estuary. By not caring for the mangroves, women’s livelihood and sole piece of independence is at risk. The women we talked to were very interested in the idea of mangrove restoration because they understand the relationship between conchas and the mangroves. 7) “God gave the mangroves to everybody. It seems unfair only a few should take them away from everybody else.” A resident named Sergio worked as a contractor for the government’s Socio Manglar policy,

Interview with local fisherman & mangrove cultivator || Source: Shuwen Ye


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Presentation of design || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Interview with community leaders || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

growing mangroves meant for replanting, however shrimp farmers did not want to give up their land to mangroves and would pay him to place mangroves in plastic bags to fool inspectors who were out in boats. “How could I say no, the [shrimp] farmers would offer me more money for a couple hours’ worth of work than I make in a month." He currently has an estimated 40,000 mangrove saplings on his property 8) “We are worried our children won’t be interested in fishing in the future”. Many of the town population worry their children will move to the cities to seek work. Fishing stocks have deteriorated and fishing and shellfish collecting is near guaranteed to remain a poverty based profession. There are not many activities for the younger population. There used to be a soccer tournament held in Chamanga, but that has since left. Most are only educated through one or two years of high school (half days, equivalent to 6th or 7th

grade in the United States). Many parents are interested in after school activities to keep their kids out of trouble and near home. DESIGN CHARETTES Based on the interviews conducted, students from the University of Pennsylvania, Catolica University in Quito, Tokyo University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and the International University of Catalonia - Barcelona conducted a series of design charrettes to create realistic responses to the disaster. The designs that had been created were then presented to community leaders who provided feedback to the students. In general, the feedback was very positive, however the design charrettes lacked the detail to be constructed and were often smaller projects that did not necessarily fix any of the major issues that occur in the town. It is understandable that these projects

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Design Charettes with other universities || Source: Santiago del Hierro

would eventually add up to a larger impact, but it became clear that without a framework or master planning exercise to organize projects to work in tandem towards a common goal, the projects could become lost in translation. One of the biggest take away from the design charrette exercise was that the best ways Chamanga could be reconstructed would be to supply the big vision and supporting masterplans and to allow projects to be plugged in as resources become available. This methodology provides a clear end goal for those working on the smaller projects, but also hybridizes the formality of master planning with the frugality of informal development. The framework allows for the flexibility needed in a region where financial resources are scarce. Utilizing this concept, we returned to our vision of Chamanga from

Presentations to Chamanga Representatives || Source: Santiago del Hierro

the fall semester and limited the scope to the waterfront. The waterfront was then broken down into 3 primary pilot projects that could be further broken down into phasing and smaller individual projects. It is our opinion that this would be the only way to successfully reconstruct the waterfront utilizing the holistic planning vision we have created.


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WATERFRONT RECONSTRUCTION VISION Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen ye Fall 2016

Design Process The design process of the all-inclusive vision was largely influenced by the regional research conducted in the beginning of the semester. The process utilized systemic thinking and the interdisciplinary feedback from our peers, faculty and reviewers to create a holistic proposal. Comprehensive Vision The comprehensive vision of Chamanga is based largely on the hybrid ecologies concepts. The vision outlines the hybridization of environmental and productive landscapes within the urban context of Chamanga. Detailed Proposals Detailed proposals were developed to further enforce and show the feasibility of the comprehensive vision. These proposals encompass many aspects of the reconstruction process utilizing the vision as a framework.


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Fall 2016 Final Review || Source: Aubrey Jahelka



Economic Development

The design process in the fall was largely based on regional research

Pier Infrastructure and Housing

conducted prior to our first trip to Ecuador and retained the regional

Much of our work was completed drawing layers by hand to allow us

strategy concept of hybrid ecologies. As mentioned, when the field visits occurred, we were struck by the need and apparent lack of attention to the smaller coastal communities that did not have as large of an economic footprint as Pedernales. This was why we initially decided to focus our efforts on San Jose de Chamanga. Once we returned, we realized that Chamanga was not only missing disaster reconstruction, but was also the perfect location to develop strategies that mix the ecological restoration, urban reconstruction and productive landscape preservation. We divided our "problems" into different categories including: Sanitation Green Infrastructure

to complete iterations quickly and overlay ideas that we each came up with individually and jointly. We took advantage of the knowledge and skillsets that our classmates and instructors. These skills which are apparent in our design include: construction management, community and economic development, public health, architecture, community and ethnic relations, urban design, landscape architecture, informal settlement mitigation and culture, and food systems. By constantly asking for feedback and for fresh ideas from our fellow classmates and professors, we were able to have a much more wellrounded perspective and holistic view of what ramifications our design proposals might have on the town of Chamanga.

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Following this feedback and critique, we decided the driving factors that had to drive the design vision and concepts must come from community engagement, involvement, curation and enrichment. This ideals had to cross societal cultural, economic and health boundaries to be successful. We wanted to propose ideas that would stabilize Chamanga’s economy, environment and physical surroundings. We knew this was going to be a huge challenge, and allowing ourselves to remain flexible as problems arose truly allowed us to produce a quality project that we hoped could be shared as inspiration for similar situations.

Handrawn layers of alternatives & adjustments || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Lastly, working together in a team of two allowed us to work faster and smarter with our designs. Over the course of the semester, the highly analytical thinking of City Planning began bleeding into the landscape design and the thought process of how these planning ideas will physically look and develop became a consideration in how we decided to address our selected problem topics.


While we wanted to be able to solve the entirety of Chamanga's issues through design, we realized that there were limitations without large instutitional and cultural change. We selectively chose topics we could physically address, and hope that the design strategies could act as a catalyst for further, more difficult change.

Daniel Fachler Final Project || Source: Daniel Fachler

Alternative presented at mid-review Fall 2016 || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Collarboratve feedback from classmates || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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Birds Eye View of Comprehensive Vision

COMPREHENSIVE VISION It is our vision that Chamanga would be rebuilt by combining the ecological needs of the Cojimies estuary and the reconstruction of damaged urban fabric. The waterfront will be rebuilt utilizing holistic design that addresses the pre-existing conditions and maladies facing the town prior to the earthquake as well as the obvious urban reconstruction.

Green infrastructure will connect the two sides of the town and a series of constructed wetlands will act not only as a sanitation mechanism, but also recreational areas. The highlight of the project will be the restoration of the mangrove forests and development of mangrove parks within the forests that will begin to culturally encourage the responsible management of ecology. In turn, the efforts will be rewarded through larger fishing stocks and alternative economies provided by the mangroves.

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SANITATION - CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS Constructed wetlands will be used to treat the raw sewage currently flowing through the street and into the estuary. The wetlands are lower cost than traditional sewage treatment options, but still are effective at treating wastewater prior to entering the estuary.

SANITATION - MANGROVE MACHINES The final stage of the constructed wetlands will be incorporated into mangrove restoration projects. Mangroves have the capabilities to act near identical to constructed wetlands in terms of waste removal from water. These mangroves will act as the final filter for the water prior to it reaching the estuarial waters.

PRODUCTIVE POND ECOLOGIES It is unlikely that the shrimp industry will be completely removed from the estuary. It is a very profitable industry and is one of the only revenues in the area that the goverment can collect taxes from. Based on the assumption that the shrimp famrs will be staying, the farms will be converted into hybrid ponds that incorporated mangroves into the canals as well as multiple products into one pond.


COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR While the government reccomends that the waterfront be completely abandoned, we reccomend that the waterfront be enforced through the encorporation of a commercial corridor. Already, the waterfront is the location of the main commercial activity of the town. By incorporating more industries, such as crafts, or by products of mangroves, the quanitity of residential parcels can be reduced, while the economy is strengthened.

PIER INFRASTRUCTURE It is increasingly unlikely that the residents of Chamanga will give up their waterfront living, considering the intensity of the fishing industry. Many residents find that the connection to the water, both physically and culturally is worth the risk. Therefore, pier infrastructure that can withstand an earthquake should be installed. This will organize the informal development of the waterfront while increasing safety.

GREEN CORRIDOR Currently the town is rather segregated in terms of locations. The green corridors will not only provide clear connections accross town, but also provide soft infrastructure to capture, treat, and retain stormwater runoff during the rainy season, and prevent flooding.

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SANITATION - CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS Given research conducted during the fall 2016 semester, it was decided that there was far fewer applications of sewage treatment in recovery design than of freshwater collection and retention strategies, which have a large literary base of knowledge and trial application. It was therefore decided that for this project, attention would be given to the treatment of sewage rather than that of freshwater collection. Given the severe sanitation issues in Chamanga, and the eventual runoff into the estuary it is imperative that a method of treating raw sewage and wastewater be established to reduce contaminated water. A traditional sewage treatment system is unlikely to be available given the large capital investment and the increasingly large maintenance costs. Therefore an alternative must be created. One viable solution is the use of constructed wetlands. These wetlands would be able to treat the sewage, grey water

and additional pollutants from the shrimp farming industry and reduce the impact on the natural estuary ecology. These systems are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and require little or no operation and infrequent maintenance. (Kadlec 1995) Small- to medium-sized towns and cities have a number of natural treatment system options to consider. They have moderate capital costs and low operation and maintenance costs. There are surface flow wetlands, subsurface flow wetlands and, if suitable natural wetlands are available, then they also represent a relatively low cost alternative for disposal, usually following a minimum of advanced secondary treatment. (Kadlec 1995) Surface-flow constructed wetlands mimic natural wetlands in that water principally flows above the ground surface, as shallow sheet flow, through a more or less dense growth of, emergent wetland plants. The four features common to all constructed surface flow 'wetlands are an inlet device, the wetland basin, the

School of Design Immediate

Short Term


Long Term


Containment of excreta in the quickest possible time

Promoting use and organizing people to operate and maintain community toilets

Longer term use and sharing

Developing to higher technology in sanitation in denser areas

Technology Choice

Defecation fields, shallow trench latrines, and deep trench latrines

Communally managed latrines, Family latrines

Simple pit latrines, ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, UDD toilets, Fossa Alterna, Arborloo, Borehole latrines, Pour- flush latrines, Septic tanks, Aquaprivies,Wastewater treatment systems, Latrines for institutions (schools, clinics etc.)

Previous factors + Simple pit latrines may be an option in lower-density, longer-term emergency settlements, pumped sewage system in denser areas

Socio-Economic Factors

Consultation Information- training and sensitising about hygiene -Education about phasing & individual responsibility

Previous factors + - Monitoring and controlling (if toilet is full) Logistics and handling (Need to contain the excreta in the transport and handling) Accountability

Previous factors + Financial resources & willingness to pay Local champions

Previous factors

Phasing of disaster sewage response || Data Source: United Nations Development Programme

wetland plants, and an outlet device. Various ' configurations exist for each of these features. ¡ The inlet device initiates the flow of wastewater the constructed wetland, and are designed to initiate and maximize sheet flow of wastewater into the wetland cell. The size, number, and shape of the constructed wetland basin(s) are important components of design. The number of basins is determined by flow rate, land area constraints, and operational redundancy requirements. Wetland plants provide mineral cycling and attachment area for microbial populations that are essential for water quality improvement in surface flow constructed wetlands. Plants are selected for hardiness under project-specific water quality and hydrologic conditions, by cost and availability, by value as a wildlife cover and food source, and in conjunction with the surrounding ecology. The surface flow constructed wetland outlet device recollects surface water from the cell and' directs this flow to downstream wetland cells or to the ultimate receiving water

system. Outlet devices frequently are designed to provide water level and flow control as well as the ability to measure outflow rates. (Kadlec 1995) Constructed, sub-surface flow wetland systems treat wastewater by passing it, horizontally or vertically, through a permeable media planted with wetland plants. Microbial attachment sites are cated on the surface of the media and on the roots of the wetland plants. Although subsurface wetlands have many features in common with surface flow wetlands, they also have a number of differences that are important during project planning such as the components of a constructed SSF wetland are the inlet distribution system, the basin configuration, the bed media, the plants, and the outlet control system. The inlet wastewater distribution systems and basin configuration in sub-surface flow constructed wetlands have the same function as in surface flow wetlands, but they are designed in a fundamentally different fashion. To operate correctly,


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Site Location for constructed treatment wetlands || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

a sub-surface system must initiate and maintain all or most flow, subsurface and horizontally, through a permeable media, such as aggregate. The principal design considerations for a sub-surface system are the media cost and permeability and, the crosssectional area necessary to initiate flows into the inlet zone. Plant selection is frequently quite similar for surface and sub-surface flow constructed wetlands. The same small group of emergent wetland plants grows best in both systems. Outlet devices also have the same functions in sub-surface as in surface constructed wetlands. The principal difference between the two is that sub-surface outlets must be able to collect water from the base of the media, typically between 0.3 to 0.6 m below the wetland bed (ground) surface. (Kadlec 1995)

From an implementation standpoint, natural wetland treatment systems are simpler than constructed wetlands. The designer

must collect and deliver the wastewater, but nature has provided the basin and vegetation. Nevertheless, natural wetland systems include the same components as constructed wetlands, and the basin and vegetation must be evaluated during planning to determine the suitability for project goals. The major components of a natural wetland treatment system include the inlet distribution system, the wetland basin, the natural wetland vegetation, the wetland sediments, and the outlet design features. (Kadlec 1995) In Chamanga, there is a real possibility to combine all three types of wetland treatments. The primary goal is to alternate between anaerobic and aerobic conditions to best break down compositions, bacteria and viruses. There are natural conditions that can facilitate all of the necessary requirements for a constructed wetland system with relatively minor design enhancements that can be manipulated to reduce cost. Regrading can be done on a volunteer basis or paid

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Typical configuration of a SSF wetland system || Source: Kaldec 1995

Types of Contructed Wetlands || Source: Kaldec 1995

The constructed wetlands can not just clean the water of San Jose de Chamanga. They must act as a public space that can be enjoyedas more than sewage and waste water treatment. The wetlands can begin to show how nature and infrastructure can be hybridized into public space as well.

Incorporation of parks into the constructed wetland experience


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Treatment options for various waste sources || Source: (Kadlec 1995)


Retention requirement || Source: (Kadlec 1995)

Source: (Kadlec 1995)

to local fisherman. Wetland vegetative species can be collected and cultivated from the surrounding estuary and subsequent wetlands providing a consistency in ecologies and if there is a need for pumping mechanisms, pumps from the surrounding shrimp ponds can be purchased and retrofitted to collect and distribute wastewater either within the constructed wetland system itself, or from the surrounding neighborhoods into the constructed wetland system. (Kadlec 1995) While the area required to treat such sewage is substantial, it is possible to dilute the contamination from urban and industrial agriculture activities to a safe level prior to entering the estuary. There are some steps that must be taken prior to the raw sewage or waste water entering the constructed wetland system that can be accomplished through soft green infrastructure or by applying additional grey water to the sewage solution. An ideal situation would be the separation of liquid and solid human waste in outhouses to

best treat the dilution of the wastewater, grey or black or industrial, will allow for better treatment within the wetland system. (Kadlec 1995) The area of constructed wetlands was estimated utilizing the above equation and the outflow concentration standard for full contact / swimming of 200 fecal coliforms / 100 mL of water, however, there are some anomalies that were not accounted for such as the rainy and dry seasons. There was an additional assumption that regrading the site would allow for approximately 15 days of retention for water. (See graphs to the right for removal of fecal coliforms, bacteria and viruses per retention time) (Kadlec 1995) With the inclusion of sub-surface flow, surface flow and natural wetlands (mangrove restoration sites), all types of aerobic and anaerobic activity could be provided. (Kadlec 1995)

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Stormwater categories that may require treatment || Source: Kadlec 1995

Cost comparison - Wetlands vs. Convestional sewage || Source: Kadlec 1995


Retention vs reductions of viruses & bacteria || Source: Kadlec 1995

Effective removal of fecal coliforms vs detention time || Source: Kadlec 1995

Advanced wastewater treatment process || Source: Kadlec 1995

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Perspective from Mangrove Park Vista

Waterbased entrance to mangrove park


SANITATION - MANGROVE PARK The last step in the sanitation solution is a "mangrove cleaning machine". When studying the properties and benefits of mangrove forests, one of the first things we noticed was the filtration qualities of mangroves. We then began studying whether mangroves could effectively act as a final stage to a managed constructed wetland system. Mangrove forests are exceptional filtration systems and effectively were able to treat 75% of contaminants from raw sewage (A.M.S. Nyomora and K.N. Njau,). Similar to managed constructed wetlands, the longer the retention time sewage and other wastewater stays in a mangrove forest, the more filtration and purification can occur. 20 acres of mangroves would be needed to treat 1 million gallons of waste water (Boonsong, Piyatiratitivorakul, Patanaponpaiboon,). If mangroves were integrated into the constructed wetland system, they would not only serve by filtering water, but they would also

be restoring habitat, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and storm protection. By justifying the restoration of mangroves in an economic and public health perspective, it gives a much more powerful argument and a physical representation that mangroves are benefitting to the overall health of the town of Chamanga. It is also extremely important to consider the cultural nuances of mangroves in Ecuador. Chamanga residents explained that mangroves provide habitat and wood but not much else. By creating public and recreational space within the mangroves, it can provide access to gathering concha, crabs and other species that live in them, but it can also change public perspective on what a mangrove forest is. By providing an experience that is more than just a commodity, the mangroves become beautiful as well as beneficial and can begin changing the cultural view of the forest by changing the interactions within the forest.

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Mangrove Research Center Entrance Phase 1 of restoration

Phase 2 of restoration

Mangrove Park Boardwalk Experience

Phase 3 of restoration

Phase 4 of restoration

Mangrove Park Boardwalk Experience

Schematic sections of entry into the mangrove parks

Mangrove Park Canal Experience


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Sketch of public space along corridor

Sketch of public space along corridor

168 GREEN CORRIDOR As mentioned in the constructed wetland section, part of the sanitation strategy for San Jose de Chamanga is the integration of various green corridors to provide base filtration, collection and retention of storm water, runoff and discarded grey water. These corridors run primarily north to south and act not only to capture and treat contaminated run off, but also to physically connect the various sides of the town. The green infrastructure will utilize soft infrastructure to reduce some of the problematic flooding currently experienced

in the town. Retention ponds will be located at naturally low lying spots to complete a first level effect of a constructed wetland, reducing the amount of solid contaminants that enter the estuary.

of produce that must be imported into the town. The storm water that isn't able to be captured for use can be diverted into retention pond where they can be used to water gardens.

The Soft infrastructure will focus on the use of various roadside storm water filtration and retention swales to collect as much of the fresh water as possible for uses similar to that of grey water to reduce the amount of fresh water that families must purchase.

Liquid human waste can act as a natural fertilizer after light treatment and dilution reducing the amount of additional nitrogen that would be added into the system. Liquid human waste is already an input into estuarial waters, however utilizing productive means to reduce all waste entering the natural ecosystem is important.

Along this green infrastructure, there are opportunities to construct various gardens that can help reduce the amount

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Perspective of the Green Corridor


Water collection & Filtration planter || Source: Minnesota Stormwater Manual Sections along Green Corridor

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Chinampas are an ancient Aztec farming technique that allows for the building of vegetative beds on water. ProNatura Veracruz has utilized this ancient technique for mangrove restoration in the Alvarado Wetland system in Mexico as a solution to the help mangrove seedlings anchor themselves and become large enough to withstand tidal forces. The use of a 5 x 5 meter grid shown below allows for a large surface area of natural habitat for animals from the moment a chinampa is built. The chinampas are built by fisherman in the fish spawning season and cost $5 per chinampa, all labor costs to fisherman. Increased habitat and longer spawning seasons are more economically sustainable to fishing communities.

View of the estuary from the urban beach


One of the amenities that we initially thought was missing from San Jose de Chamanga was an open space where the community could gather at leisure. The entirety of the shoreline in Chamanga is mud from the naturally occurring mudflats, tidal conditions and eroded soil build up. The concept was born of an urban beach, to provide a leisure and recreational spot for residents to visit or hold celebrations at. The beach would utilize an area of land that was cleared by the earthquake and is perpendicular to the estuary. New aggregate would sit atop the mud to allow for the residents to interact with the beach without becoming excessively muddy. The location of the urban beach right at the junction of the mangrove cleaning machine, the school and the entrance to the walkway

leading to the research center allows for a very active entrance into the commercial corridor. The organization of the beach would follow the gridded system of the chinampas developed in the mangrove restoration and final stage of the constructed wetland. The chinampa theme is carried through into the beach design with planters that run lengthwise into the water. These planters frame the views of the estuary, showcase native vegetation, and an organizational structure to the nature of the beach. The beach can be used as a resting space before continuing into the mangroves, a congregational space, or even a launching point into the estuary for fishermen.

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Plan of Urban Beach

University of Pennsylvania Revised Pedernales Semi-Intensive Shrimp-Clam Pond


Pumps brackish (salt + fresh) water into the pond.

Pond Floorbed

introduce drainage canals for pools that do not have them.


Drainage and Harvesting

Use the wood stakes to suspend a main line with Oyster Bags. >Oyster provide food and eat Shrimp waste. >Bags must be lifted twice a day to simulate tidal flow. >Mesh must have 1/8in openings or smaller to prevent the shrimp from over-eating the oysters.

Introduce proper drainage techniques when needed.

Discharge Canal

introduce discharge canal when missing and connect the canals to form a network. Introduce mangrove into the canal to clean the water.

+ 0.00 m - 0.60 m - 1.20 m - 1.80 m - 3.00 m 12.00

River or Stream





Drainage Canal



Anatomy of existing shrimp ponds & hybrid ecologies ponds || Source: Daniel Fachler

PRODUCTIVE ECOLOGIES Ultimately shrimp farming is not going to be reduced or removed from this region, as it is too large of an economy and one of the only taxable economies. Ultimately it will become such a large stress on the ecological systems in the estuary and will become an issue as outlined in existing conditions. The shrimp ponds can become much more sustainable if mangroves are reintroduced and the uses of the ponds became more diversified. In this approach, the ponds are converted to include oysters which are natural water purifier. Mangroves are introduced along the banks of the canals in between the shrimp ponds to stabilize the canal and pond banks and to begin testing the effects of mangrove reforestation on the shrimp ponds. The discharge and fresh water canals are separated


Drainage Canal




Discharge Canal


Existing conditions semi-intensive pond || Source: Daniel Fac

to keep released contaminated waters away from the fresh water canals. The dirty discharge channels are then directed to larger mangrove forests / constructed wetlands for purification before being released back into the estuary. The technology of chinampas were considered for the restoration of the mangroves along the canal banks, underutilized ponds and outlets. Additionally we encourage the construction of chinampas between the piers along the waterfront to discourage the overbuilding of on-water pier housing. Chinampas that are utilized in this fashion are recommended to provide area to grow crops that are tolerant to brackish waters. If the area is economically beneficial, there is less motivation to rebuild the unsafe on-water housing. Without a

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Hybrid Ecologies based semi-intensive pond || Source: Daniel Fachler

reason to not rebuild exactly as before, the residents will surely reconstruct the housing exactly as before. The productive ecologies are one of the most important steps because of the income and economic stability it will bring.

View from waterfront pathway


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Public space study along the waterfront corridor

Public space study along the staircases

174 The on-water pier housing was one of the most devastated areas of Chamanga after the earthquake. However, much of the housing is currently being reconstructed. The government's opinion that no one will building along the waterfront is very unrealistic. While this may be true with enforcement for a couple of years, or even a decade, it is highly unlikely to be a permanent assumption. We recommend that houses be allowed to be rebuilt along the waterfront and over the water, but if safety is a priority for the government, they should provide a pier infrastructure that will allow for residents to add on incrementally, but will provide a structurally stable platform to build on. Additionally, the town of Chamanga has a clear social structure surrounding the waterfront, but lacks defined and permanent social spaces. We recommend that parcels now vacated along the waterfront, especially at the intersection of the waterfront path

and the residential piers, be established as social gathering spaces. These spaces will help define the entrance to residential areas and legitimize the concept of the pier housing. The open areas should be designed with the utility as well as leisure in mind. Many of the current social spaces were filled with fisherman weaving nets and repairing gear after they have come in for the day. A designated space that celebrates these activities enforces a social importance around the fishing livelihood.

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Existing conditions at entry of pier housing


Public Space at entry of pier housing

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View of the memorial park


As with many natural disasters that occur, memory of a disaster is often short-lived in terms of reconstruction and change of development habits. In order to remind residents of the dangers of earthquakes and how destructive earthquakes can be on buildings that are non-compliant, we wanted to create a place of memory and reflection. The memorial looks out over the estuary, with the same type of stakes that are used to elevate the homes above the water in a grid that follows the average interval of the original home dimensions. The visual connection between the estuary and the stilts are a reminder of the connection that the houses and the people residing in them have to the estuary, but also infers that one must respect the power of natural forces.

JK_Ch_2016 (65)_1.JPG

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Plan view of the memorial park

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REVISED PILOT PROJECTS Aubrey Jahelka & Shuwen Ye Spring 2017

Design Process We refocused our efforts on a more thorough review and design of the waterfront in Chamanga. We felt that if the town was to survive and thrive, emphasis needed to be placed on the resilient reconstruction. Vision We refocused the vision to include the initial holistic thinking, but with a much more realistic perspective and physically smaller scale. Mangrove Park The park is utilized as an educational tool for responsible productive landscape design, recreational access and incorporation of mangroves into a modern urban context. Waterfront Infill Infill projects along the waterfront are designed to connect and strengthen the ecological and economic anchors. Hybrid Civic Space The port was considered a possible asset to the community but received questions of access. We propose an adaptive reuse and redesign based on the needs of the Chamanga fishing and concha community and as a tool of economic growth.


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Final Review spring 2017


DESIGN PROCESS Our local counterparts were very supportive of our strategies and design proposals from the fall, and are interested in using them as references to guide the on-site rehabilitation strategies, These interactions allowed for further collaborative investigation in our research and design proposals. A main concern was that the final result of the fall studio had created a compelling vision, but lacked the supporting implementation mechanism, phasing, further definition of technical aspects. There was also a need for more detailed design considerations, including materiality, scale of the projects and feasibility of these schematic designs, both in terms of financing, community engagement, maintenance, etc. We were also asked to consider what would be the effects if these projects were successful, adequate use of construction materials and building typologies, culturally acceptable as well as seismic-resistant. The suggestions also called for further

elaborating convincing economic, social and environmental arguments, explaining the benefits and viability of our holistic landscape vision as an option to the single-handed conventional programs that could still be implemented in Chamanga. It was also noted during the development of the studio, that while the strategy was focused on Chamanga and the proposals are site-specific, the findings, methodology, research, design and implementation tools constitute a valuable body of knowledge that may foster the sustainable recovery of similar communities throughout the region. Thus, this independent Study/Studio and the interaction with the community and our local partners should also be considered a pedagogical/replicable strategy. After reviewing the deliverables from last semester, and considering the feedback provided, we had narrowed the scope of our work for the second semester of the independent Study/Studio and outline the following key objectives to be resolved.

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A revision of strategy/plan and components based on the suggestions received in our final review in the follow-up sessions

A preliminary definition of phasing, selection of pilot projects, and immediate actions to ensure support, viability and impact of the proposals.

Development of supporting data and economic arguments to justify the strategy and sequence of interventions.

Presentations of revised strategy and plan, and the scope of current work to local actors

Research of technical aspects that will ensure the viability of the scheme, including mangrove restoration techniques capable of being implemented with communal engagement, and alternatives methods of shrimp farming, using case studies and the support of experts

Development of pilot projects incorporating findings of new research.

After focusing on a thorough review of the previous semesters work, we narrowed the scope to three pilot projects along the waterfront. It was clear throughout a review of newly acquired documents that the government had a relatively large plan, and had brought other universities on to address many other pieces of the recovery process, but the waterfront was largely forgotten or unfeasible.

Field Study of mangrove restoration in Veracruz || Source: Maria Altagracia Villalobos


Schematic mapping of alternatives || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

We arranged to travel for two weeks researching two primary topics: Chinampas as a viable tool for mangrove restoration, and a deeper study into San Jose de Chamanga. The field research that was documented was a huge influence on the further development of this project. When we returned to Pennsylvania, the initial step that we took, was a breakdown of three alternatives for the holistic waterfront vision: What happens if no action is taken along the Chamanga

Final Review presentation || Source: Maria Altagracia Villalobos

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waterfront, what is the result if only the requests from community interviews and what the residents of Chamanga want / feel they need, and what is the result if a hybrid action focusing on the community needs/wants and the ecological priorities are both met. These three scenarios created a base decision rubric for creating a priorities for the design solutions. The last driving piece was to base all of these design ideas on concepts of scale. We assumed all of the following proposed projects would act as pilot projects, but we were designing based on the assumption that if successful, these concepts would need to be scaled up to the estuarial, regional, national and global levels. The topics and pilot projects focused on this semester might be unique in technicalities to the Cojimies Estuary, but inherently, they are global issues.


Alternative 1

Alternative 1 No Intervention

Alternative 2 Pure Community Wants

Alternative 3 Community - Ecology Hybrid


Port is developed & fails

Port is developed & fails

Port is developed & repurposed


Informally rebuilt

Minimal intervention w/ public spaces

Provide infrastructure to legitimize & organize informal settlements

School-owned Propoerty

school is relocated, property informally developed

School stays

School stays & is incorporated into reconstruction

La Changuera

continues to build up sediment

partially reforested to reduce sediment accumulation

Reforest & expand to protect against tsunamis

Las Palmas

Existing condition

Add trails

Becomes civic extension of the waterfront

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Alternative 2


Alternative 3

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Refined Waterfront recosntruction vision

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VISION Our vision for San Jose de Chamanga is to use a community driven approach to emphasize hybrid spaces that blend the urban, natural and productive landscapes. These spaces should support one another while providing unique experiences to the residents that celebrate their history, heritage and connections to the estuary. The government has claimed that a tsunami could decimate the town below 10m ekevationand therefore should not be rebuilt. But the waterfront is the spine and soul of the town, abandoning it is unfeasible and irresponsible. Finding this balance between the productive and natural landscapes is a crucial piece to overall well-being of the community. Despite the immediate concerns surrounding the destruction caused by the earthquake, the long term vitaility of Chamanga is hugely based on the health of the estuary. The town is still predominantly a fishing village. If the estuary ecosystem collapses, there will be no realistic employment in the town. Bearing this in mind, it is also unrealistic to assume that shrimp farming is going to be retired anytime soon. Converting shrimp farms to more diverse, yet still productive and most importantly less harmful to the estuary is crucial to the health of Chamanga.

Additionally crucial to the health of estuary, the mangroves provide the habitat needed to support the economic wellbeing of multiple towns along the estuary. They also act as an alternate economy if maintained and logged responsibly. From a risk management standpoint, mangroves act a very important buffer in natural disaster scenarios such as tsunamis and large storms. The urban fabric of chamanga will need to be rebuilt. Assumably the town will rebuild using informal methods of construction and most likely rebuild as it was. This is why it is crucial to interject pieces of urban space that will benefit the town before they are reconstructed. This includes: 1) A public space that educates residents and any tourists on the benefits of mangroves while providing access for concha collectors to La Changuera, a safe public space for students waiting for the bus home and a location for gathering during the hours when work is not being completed. 2) Public gathering spaces along the waterfront and 3) a hybrid civic and market space that better allocates a port system and a designated selling space that will benefit fisherman both from an economic perspective and hygenic perspectives.


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In order to encourage a cultural shift in how mangroves are viewed and treated, the concept of mangroves must modernize within the public sphere and illustrate how they are beneficial down to the individual level. One of the primary mistakes that large influential entities make when illustrating how mangroves are beneficial, is using a continental or global scale to illustrate the benefits of maintaining and restoring mangrove forests. In communities where financial struggle is an everyday reality, these often global scale issues cannot be a concern, it is the individual benefit that is

more convincing. The mangrove park illustrates the ecology and importance of mangroves to the everyday fisherman and concha collector and creates a relevant urban form for mangroves to exist in. A hybrid pond based on silvofishery models provides an alternative method to shrimp farming and showcases how mangroves and the shrimping industry can co-exist while extending its useful lifespan and becoming more economically resilient. The park provides education as well as providing much needed large scale social gathering space for the community.

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Location of the proposed mangrove park || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


CULTURAL SHIFTS One of the most notable themes throughout the research was that the relationship between mangrove forests and the surrounding communities has to change. This requires a major cultural shift from all levels of society, from the fisherman to the government, regarding the health and promotion of mangroves. Throughout many of the interviews, it was common to hear that the residents of Chamanga did not necessarily wish to see the mangroves vanish, but rather that the mangroves do not provide any fiscal benefit to the community, they just took up space where money could be made. It became clear that in order to foster caring about the health of the mangroves, it is becoming increasingly important to illustrate how mangroves directly impact the community in terms of personal financial benefit and social/cultural benefits. When reviewing the proposal from fall 2016 in combination with interviews conducted in February 2017, we found many

opportunities that could be combined into one location and modernize and highlight the connection of mangroves within the community. There is still a desperate need for community social space, more responsible shrimp farming practices, and for educational opportunities to prove to individuals that mangroves are more valuable for the services they provide, than to cut them down. When combined into a design program, it became clear that the hybridization of productive landscapes (responsible shrimp ponds) and the urban landscape (social gathering space) could provide the framework for a mangrove park and to serve as an ecological anchor to the waterfront. LOCATION The location of the urban beach from fall 2016, where the primary access road meets the waterfront, became an immediately apparent site for such a park. The entrance to the community and adjacency to the school would allow for the social and institutional

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Location of the proposed mangrove park || Source: Renata Mendez

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View of the mangrove park, looking down the waterfront commercial corridor

support needed to maintain the project over time. The location also includes the known entry for the land bridge leading to La Changuera and a shrimp pond that has been previously mentioned as a potential location for a trial hybrid shrimp pond. The mangrove park will clearly illustrate, for residents and visitors, the three main species of mangroves that grow in the Coimies estuary and the elevations that they occupy, the natural and urban space that mangroves can occupy and how mangroves can be

integrated into the shrimp ponds utilizing the silvofisheries methods. The park will serve as a defined entry to the land bridge leading to La Changuera, celebrating the historic culture that exists in fishing and concha collecting as well as the natural relationship that the collectors have with mangroves. The park will provide much needed large scale social gathering spaces and a waiting area for regional -area children waiting for the

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bus after school. The park can be a defined and structured space with the programmatic flexibility required by Chamanga. During the day, while shellfish collection is occurring, the park can provide enough physical space to inspect and clean concha hauls. During the evening hours, the parks can host parties, evening family outings, or simply a place to watch the sunset. Once built out, the park can not only serve the Chamanga community, but can serve as a pilot study on hybrid ecologies

attracting scientists, designers, politicians etc. to come and learn from the community on how to successfully integrate restoration into industries and urban life. The results could be replicated and the multiplied along the Cojimies estuary, the Ecuadorian Coast, South America, or anywhere globally that has similarly dire circumstances surrounding disparities between ecological needs and industry.

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Perspective plan of the magrove park

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Section of the hybrid shrimp pond based on silvofishery principles


forested central platform 20 to 50 cm deep< 7 days

SILVOFISHERY POND CONSIDERATIONS As per the design recommendations provided by "Ecological Aquaculture" the pond are a combination of the Indonesian Empang Parit systems and the Vietnamese "shrimp mangrove" system. Following the design guidelines, the following considerations were made (Costa-Pierce, 2007): •

Mangrove area to open pond water area ratio (30-70%) to align with the SocioManglar policy allowing for regulation and enforcement

Gate width ratio (cm/ha) - important in tidal flows and nutrient flux. should be > 50 cm/ha;

Tidal amplitude range is 2.5 m

Flow of water within a pond to prevent stagnation should be equivilent to low oxygen level < 4 ppm

Depth of water and duration of flooding on the mangrove

Depth and width of perimeter channel should be no more than2 meters wide

The pond is divided into smaller sections based on the maturity of the shrimp throughout their life cy-cles. The natural tidal amplitude provides the water and nutrient replenishment to the ponds without, or at least minimizing, the reliance on a pumping system. Mangroves within the pond utilize the central platform concept from the Empang Parit, while a larger shrimp pond follows the "shrimpmangrove" model with a larger open areas, easier to manage for shrimp cultivation. The system of canals allow for an additional culture of fish to be grown within the pond, adding to the nutrient cycles and providing a resilient economic mix. Mangroves provide the leaf debris which can feed the shrimp and fish. Additional trash fish, or fish parts that are not used can be dried and stored as feed or used immediately.

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Hybrid Silvofishery Test Pond

Phase 1: The existing shrimp pond will be converted into a hybrid pond following the silofishery guidelines

As mentioned before, the pedestrian circulation of the new hybrid shrimp pond is connected to the park entrance and plaza. The board walks used for circulation will not only have educational wayfinding components, but because of the additional cost burden to build and maintain, will also be adapted to become an oyster farming component. Oysters are a natural water purification system as well as yet another economic stabilizer to the pond in case one crop is lost.

Restoration Chinampas


Access to La Changera

Phase 2: The entrance to the hyrbid pond is created and combined with a defined entrance to the low-tide land bridge to La Changuera. The mangrove park is initiated utilizing the chinampa technique.

PHASING OF THE MANGROVE PARK There are three phases to this project. The initial phase begins with the creation of the hybrid shrimp pond that will be run by local fisherman and the local school as an after school research project pending sponsorship. This phase supplies a more defined entry to the low tide land bridge to La Changuera. The second phase begins the mangrove park utilization of the chinampas to grow red,

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Phase 3: The mangrove park is completed and a public outlook is created to see the entire project.

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Section series of the mangrove park conditions

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Oyster farm in Thailand || Source: Dreamstime Photos

Proposed boardwalk-oyster farm combination with removable harvesting boards


View of the mangrove park

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View of hybrid shrimp pond


View of hybrid shrimp pond

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black and white mangroves at they're respected water depth and land elevations. This will act as an educational tool for local and regional residents about the process of mangrove restoration that can be applied elsewhere. Phase three consists of the completion of the mangrove park and an observatory made of wood and light materials to move above the mangroves see the completed project. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS The materials for the project will be salvaged from the destroyed buildings and mangrove forests. This connection will emphasize that while severe damage is traumatizing, it can also be viewed as an oppor-tunity to rebuild in a more resilient and beneficial fashion. The importance of utilizing existing materials will be critical as this is the most expensive part of the project aside from land acquisition / permission. The more material that can be salvaged, the cheaper the overall project will be. Aside from the sentimental value of the recycled material, the preservation of the materiality of San Jose de Chamanga that will eventually lead to a more cohesive visual "identity" of the town. Community participation will be crucial to the long term success of this project. This was one of the few projects that were not listed as a "need" from the community when we were conducting in-terviews. However, with public involvement in adapting event programming, the construction, and perhaps including fiscal encouragement to assist with the hybrid shrimp experiment, there is a lot of potential to effortlessly transition cultural ownership to the residents. The shrimp pond will likely produce less shrimp that current practices. But compounded over the next few decades, it is likely that the production of the pond will remain stable rather than decline as currently seen in parts of china. Additionally the ponds will become much more stable in the event of a viruses that devastate shrimp populations, already seen in Ecuador. The additional foods

produced in the pond can be supplimental for when price volatility or illness affects the shrimp industry. One of the hardships with this project will be the perspective of priorities and what the town wants to be rebuilt. As indicated by Jo de Silva, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Post-disaster reconstruction is a complex process. It requires multi-sectoral involvement, very significant resources and a wide range of skills. Many of these skills are not typically available within humanitarian organizations. For a humanitarian agency, the decision to engage in reconstruction (and what type of assistance to provide) needs to be taken cognizant of the complexities and must recognize the need for expert advice." One of the primary concerns for Chamanga will be that while there is still attention focused on the town they will need to utilize all of the available resources to reconstructing vital functions such as housing and civic structures. We are not suggesting that this project be prioritized above immediate needs such as housing, but rather worked into the reconstruction plan as a new form of disaster mitigation. Many governments, donors and the media from Southeast Asia to the Americas have a tendency "to focus on the number of houses constructed as a measure of achievement. However, the most successful programs acted as a catalyst for recovery... paving the way for future development." The intent of this project is to test low cost methods of improving local economic activity, developing skills that are more sustainable over the course of decades while creating more employment opportunities, minimizing the environmental impact of current economic practices and reducing vulnerability, We maintain that this move must be self-explanatory in how it benefits the local population. This ex-periment in shrimp pond adaptation and urban space construction must provide meaningful income that can be physically seen at a local level and attract the international attention of the sustainability benefits in large gross monetary benefits.


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One of the main factors for the success of many community based projects is the interaction and engagement of community members throughout the design, implementation and maintenance process. From Indonesia to Florida the most successful mangrove restoration projects have come from the inclusion of the community, particularly women and children, into the various staged processes. A sense of ownership and a realization of the individual benefits becomes crucial when seeking com-munity acceptance and self-

sustaining fiscal mechanisms to ensure the long-term success of restoration projects. Chamanga has a unique opportunity with the location of its school, the willingness of the school administration to incorporate restoration into the curriculum and a relatively organized wom-enâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s group that engages in civic affairs as well as traditional concha collecting. These organizations and institutions provide a solid foundation onto which a mangrove restoration experiment could become successful.

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Interactive Reconstruction Workshop with Students in Chamanga || Source: NTUA

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PROCESS FOR COMMUNITY DRIVIEN ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION & MANGROVE REHABILITATION San Jose de Chamanga has experienced severe economic decline directly associated with the envi-ronmental degradation of the mangroves. Currently there are no restoration proposals for the estuary system. A healthy estuary is tied not only to the immediate economic and physical health of adjacent communities, but also, when compounded to a national level, the health of the Ecuadorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $3 billion offshore fishing industry. The country does not have the strategic framework or political capital to ad-dress largescale mangrove restoration leading to a need for localized projects. This outline will serve as guidance for a community driven restoration approach


IDENTIFY THE PROJECTS The geographic location of these restoration projects should be identified by establishing the target goals of the restoration (ex. land stabilization, wood/ fiber production, maintaining biological diversity and ecological processes) EVALUATE ECOSYSTEM CONDITION

Existing conditions, shrimp pond & cleared mangroves || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

The assessment of the historic and current conditions of the mangrove forest should be evaluated using quantitative methods. Given the lack of existing data in the region,

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this may need to be achieved by a combination of participatory and scientific approaches. Among the participatory tools, participatory rural appraisal, rapid rural appraisal, historical mapping, diagrams, resource mapping, focus group discussions, and community meetings, are effective as shown by the work of Pronatura Veracruz. The community has a reasonable deep-rooted distrust of outsiders and building partnerships with local authority figures in advanced is advised to arrive at a common understanding of the ecosystem functions and their response to management and anthropogenic interventions. An action plan should be developed in workshops to ensure transparency with the residents OUTLINE A HOLISTIC AND SYSTEMIC RESTORATION PLAN Thoughtful restoration plans must be prepared with local participation. The plans may emphasize ecological engineering based on the findings of ecosystem assessments. Therefore, we suggest three alternatives to supplement the knowledge gaps: •

Systematic analysis of the traditional ecological knowledge of the communities along the estuary

Scaling up of the ecological knowledge from another mangrove ecosystem with similar ecological and socio-economic influence, and Pilot level experimentation.

The restoration plan should focus on the following:

Site selection: Site selection is critical for mangrove restoration. A more scientific approach should be taken, comparing historic maps, water quality, lands rights analysis etc. and identifying sites based on likelihood of success would be vital. Site preparation: Depending on the specific site and restoration objectives, mangrove restoration may require anywhere from a small to maximum of preparation. Many stable sites may recover naturally once barriers to recovery are removed, e.g., return of natural tidal

flooding to a fish pond, etc. The first question that needs answering is why proposed restoration sites are not recovering naturally and what the extent of the restoration intervention would be. Species selection: Species selection in mangrove restoration is an important factor. Natural mangroves follow a distinctive zonation and during restoration; species need to be selected following this natural succession. Ideally mangroves will be cultivated from seeds of the neighboring mangroves. Diversity can also be obtained in two ways: planting multiple species, and creating a species mixture with the specific area. The advantages of combined planting and seeding over planting are that: (i) from the very beginning a heterogeneous age class is initiated that requires minimum gap filling and (ii) it promotes other ecosystem services similar to those in a natural forest Aftercare/maintenance: After-care and maintenance requirements of mangrove plantation are site dependent. This can include replacing failed plantings, protection of the plantation against grazing and fishermen. This would be an opportune way to engage school children after school. (Biswas, Mallik, Choudhury, Nishat 2009) DEVELOPING A COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PLAN Community development issues should be addressed as a solution to the underlying causes of mangrove degradation. It must address both preventive and curative measures at the same time rather than each individually. Since there are many failures before initiating any community based restoration, it is necessary to survey the choice and preferences of the local people because they will be the first beneficiaries or victims. A community involvement and development plan should be implemented to determine: •

When and at what level in the process, the community will participate

What are the major issues in community livelihood and how to


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directly relate mangrove restoration to it. •

How the livelihood of adjoining communities can be improved while restoration of the mangroves progresses.

The plan should also focus on the development of a self-sustaining mechanism. At the early stages of the program, financial support is needed, but over time, a self-sustaining mechanism is helps the community sustain its livelihood and restoration efforts when the program is finished. Community participation is needed at least during three phases: •

Ecosystem synthesis/situation analysis

Identification of priorities for interventions and development of restoration strategy and action plan, and

Participatory implementation and monitoring.


Community Mangrove Project Indonesia || Source: World Economic Forum

The local community can prepare a preliminary plan of action for restoration. This plan may contain priority issues that are important for the community. Practical feasibility of the plan and the commitment of the community can be reassessed jointly by the project team and the community. Simultaneously, the community and the restoration workers may formulate hypotheses of how the restoration will affect them and develop methods and indicators to test them and monitor the progress and effectiveness of the plan. Community development plans need to focus on human wellbeing and the strengths and limitations of existing institutions. This plan might provide details on specific interventions. It may also highlight stress factors such as food security and health services. Issues that emerge from the situation analysis will be prioritized and options will be derived for future action through a trade-off analysis. Prioritization of issues follows the thematic integration of mangrove

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restoration and human well-being. (Biswas, Mallik, Choudhury, Nishat 2009) There should be a clear conveyance of how the mangrove restoration will benefit the community in as many facets as possible. Preferably using examples from Latin / South America DEVELOPING A DETAILED IMPLEMENTATION PLAN During implementation of mangrove restoration activities, three points need to be considered as a guiding principle: (i) the local community, in association with the technical experts, will plan the implementation and the role of the local community should be a positive and active one; (ii) local communities will implement the program and monitoring should also be done by them. Capacity building may be necessary for successful implementation of such a program; (iii) a micro-level area-specific â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;restoration and community development planâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should be prepared in line with the larger plan. (Biswas, Mallik, Choudhury, Nishat 2009)

DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A RIGOROUS MONITORING MECHANISM FOR LOGICAL ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT One of the most critical steps in a restoration program is the ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring should be based on quantifiable parameters and may include ecological advances of the ecosystem and societal attitudes in support of the program. Technical aspects can easily be quantifiable, whereas social improvements will need a relative scoring system considering the importance of contributions to achieve the desired goal. Technical aspects require rigorous scientific monitoring, whereas social and economic aspects can be monitored using a participatory approach. It is not always possible because of technical participatory monitoring of traditional ecological

to maintain rigorous scientific monitoring and financial constraints. A suitable system can be developed with the aid knowledge. It is recommended that the



Workshop with Chamanga community leaders || Source: NTUA

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monitoring system is incorporated into the primary and secondary school to provide structure and a reliable source of participation. It is important that the outcomes of the monitoring and evaluations are incorporated into the restoration program. Kolb’s 1984 experimental learning model could aid in developing the monitoring system. The model suggests a systematic way of learning from experience through four major sequential steps: valid or concrete experience, reflected observations, abstract generalization, active experimentation. After initial educational experimentation, utilizing the school, some positive experience can be incorporated into the cyclical process and the cycle of learning might continue until restoration success is achieved. Involving the school community and higher level education volunteers throughout Ecuador or Latin and South America to create recorded data base and quantifiable tracking will help with future projects and continual funding for the restoration. (Biswas, Mallik, Choudhury, Nishat 2009)


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Given the experience from other failures in restoration, it is imperative to have an emphasis on community participation from the beginning to assist with community ownership of the program and transparency. A community organizing process to bring people from heterogeneous groups e.g. farmers, shrimp farmers, fisherman, school and college teachers, representatives from local governments, local elites should be established to establish cooperative design. Awareness into the causes of the degradation of mangroves and the need for their restoration must be related directly to the individual level. Case studies are an excellent form of education, but there should be an emphasis on examples from Ecuador or neighboring Latin American countries. By developing interest, the project can leverage community involvement to document and monitor. Property Rights: Restorations should identify and negotiate with all

property right holders to reduce the likelihood of future conflicts. The owner might not be interested to share the benefits with the community. It is important to assign rights to the community so that it feels some sort of ownership and actively participate in the restoration program. If the property right issue can be sorted out at the government policy level, then it becomes easier to execute the restoration plan (Biswas, Mallik, Choudhury, Nishat 2009) MEASURING SUCCESS The Society for Ecological Restoration listed nine attributes for a restored site: (i) similar diversity and community structure in comparison with reference sites (ii) presence of indigenous species (iii) presence of functional groups necessary for long term stability (iv) capacity of the physical environment to sustain reproducing populations (v) normal functioning (vi) integration with the landscape (vii) elimination of potential threats (viii) resilience to natural disturbance and (ix) self-sustainability As already stated, for testing the success of any mangrove restoration, a long-term monitoring program is required. Once restoration efforts stabilize, introduction of additional native species for a well-rounded ecosystem may be necessary. Ruiz-Jaen and Aide suggested three simple but effective measures for assessing restoration success: (i) species diversity—this can be measured by the presence and abundance of species (ii) vegetation structure— this can be measured by vegetation cover (iii) ecological process— this can be measured indirectly by measuring nutrient availability and biotic interactions. (Society for Ecological Restoration, 2002) Site Specific Measurements Of the current Fishing Area or 18,739,357.4 sq.m, 85% of fish stocks classified as fully exploited / overexploited and there has been an 80% decrease in fish stocks since 1990. Cockle collecting ares are equivilent to 1342031.23 sq.m where

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207 Alternatives for mangrove degredation or restoration

typically there are 24 cockles/ m2. Additionally the price of cockles has decreased 14% since 1980, essentially the price has remained stagnent, around $7 - $8/ 100 cockle. The target Restoration is 20%, under the 30% outlined in SocioManglar and equates to a target Restoration Area of Mangrove: 590,344.9m2 - 885,517.3m2. The number of Chinampas needed for this scale of restoration would be 236,138- 354,207 and cost around *$1,180,600 - $1,771,000 utilizing the $5 per chinampa outlined by ProNatura Veracruz to be paid to the fisherman The extrapolated Worth per Annum (utilizing World Bank rubrics) would equate to the following •

Erosion Control: US$3,679/ha annual replacement cost

Storm Protection: US$8,966-10,821 / ha

Food and Raw Material: US$484-585 / ha

Increased Offshore Fishery Production:US$708-$987 / ha

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With the unfortunate destruction of much of Chamangaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urban fabric, comes the opportunity to create much needed public spaces. The vacant lots and subsequent abandonment from residents as they await government provided housing solutions, has left many parcels available to be formalized into public spaces of various sizes. It was observed that residents of Chamanga are already beginning to redevelop housing along the waterfront on land and in the form of on-water stilt housing. There is a brief window in which projects could be developed to formalize temporary public spaces such as Ecuaball courts, fishing equipment repair spaces and basic

socializing locales. These spaces have already begun to take root and have the ability to transform the waterfront into a much more social and economic transect rather than a residential. Where residential is being rebuilt and redeveloped, public spaces can assist in formalizing the housing type, organize entrances and ensure routes of escape in events of emergency. They highlight the entrances of residential stilt-house walkways providing gathering spaces for these individual houses as well as neighbors cultivating an increased sense of community.

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Existing conditions, informal Ecuaball court along the waterfron || Source: Shuwen Ye

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Phasing of waterfront infill projects


PUBLIC SPACES Many sites along the waterfront have been abandoned as residents have moved further inland with the promise of government provided housing. The vacated lots could prove to be ideal location for dispersed social gathering spaces along the waterfront. Assumedly, if actions are not taken quickly, the newly vacant lots will be informally developed once again with housing. We recommend that these lots, especially if they are at the terminus of one of the connecting stair cases, are converted into smaller scale public spaces that continue out onto the water. The waterfront has never been a hard edge in terms of development. We recommend that the public spaces incorporate a similar concept to fall 2016's recommendations of iemphasizing the entry of piers and stilt-house style residential or commercial extending onto these piers.

Currently, some of these vacant parcels have already been reclaimed as public space. It was observed that there were multiple parcels where men or women would sit and talk, play Ecuaball, fix fishing nets, or eat. These public space projects should be more about emphasizing the connective staircases into the water, and legitimizing current spaces that are already becoming public space. We additionally recommend carrying the concept of chinampas through the entire reconstructive design for the waterfront. These small public spaces would be a perfect opportunity to create an elemental continuity throughout the waterfront, from the mangrove park to the port. We identified 6 possible ways that chinampas can be incorporated into the waterfront infill design including chinampas as: public space (parklets), restoration, tidal anaerobic/aerobic compost sanitation, mangrove islands, mangrove nurseries, and small scale aquaculture.

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Existing social gathering space


Existing space where nets are mended

Chinampa as Public Space

Chinampa as Restoration

Chinampa as Sanitation

Chinampa as Mangrove Islands

Chinampa as Nurseries

Chinampa as Aquaculture

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Source: LaSalle University Concurso Convive IX Submission


ON - WATER STILT HOUSING One of the main concerns in Chamanga was what kinds of housing would be appropriate in the aftermath of the earthquake. While we did not specifically design housing, we researched many forms of lightweight, resilient, cheaper, and more climatically appropriate forms of housing that were aesthetically pleasing and would meet the requirements described as desirable to us by the residents of San Jose de Chamanga. One of the best examples that we found was a winning entry to the Concurso Convive IX competition. The group from Universidad

de Lasalle presented a phenomenal form of housing that was modular, built from lightweight wood, and was designed to be built in either flood prone areas or over water, and most importantly with the Latin American culture in mind. The housing types are designed to take advantage of the tropical climate and allow for ample air flow to cool the structure without technology such as air-conditioning. The boardwalks already resemble the pier structure that is currently being used in San Jose de Chamanga and the communal nature of the housing allows for the closeknit community feel that currently exists.

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These structures could be built and taught to the residents of Chamanga, the materiality would be accessible and affordable to most, and maintenance could be kept up to date. The pier structure and the stilt nature allows for the fisherman to tie their boats to their homes, and doesn't stigmatize the on-water lifestyle, but instead celebrates it. The spacing could be adjusted to allow mangroves to grow between the houses providing shade, soil stability and additional privacy. Similar structures would be ideal along the waterfront and adjacent to the mangrove forests. Source: LaSalle University Concurso Convive IX Submission

Source: LaSalle University Concurso Convive IX Submission


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Potential view of La Changuera from a vista at the top of the stairs

VISTAS & OUTLOOKS Due to the hilly nature of Chamanga, there are some incredible natural outlooks that occur looking to the estuary. The town has already begun to capitalize on these views with the construction of small pavilions and seating overlooking the estuary. In multiple interviews, it was stated that the staircases and the seating areas provided vital social spaces and appreciation of the estuary.

asan easy potential improvement was the maintenance of the land on either side of the staircases. Currently, they are overgrown and often used as a rubbish dump. In February, in coordination with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Tokyo University, International University of Barcelona, and Catolica University in Quito, a trial project to repair the staircases was organized while utilizing painted shells from conchas collected to decorate the stairs. The project was a success and the residents wanted to continue the idea throughout the town. We recommend that

The foundation of this social importance is huge in terms of building

the sides of the staircases be converted to a more productive use such as

momentum for projects. One of the main recommendations that we saw

community gardens or soft storm water infrastructure.

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Community engagement projects || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Coverred vista seating area || Source: Shuwen Ye


Community engagement projects || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

Coverred vista seating area || Source: Shuwen Ye

Community engagement project utilizing painted concha shells || Source: Shuwen Ye

View from vista || Source: Shuwen Ye

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Existing Condition of Las Palmas || Source: Shuwen Ye

LAS PALMAS BEACH Las Palmas is already a popular recreational area with the residents of Chamanga. The beaches are idyllic and are a stark contrast to the mud flats found next to the waterfront. As previously illustrated in the existing conditions, the path to Las Palmas is treacherous, although it doesn't deter people from visiting. Professor Sergio Palleroni of the Portland State University is currently initiating a project to construct a more structurally sound and pedestrian friendly bridge crossing to replace the existing catwalk needed to pass to the beach. Building on the currently planned projects, there is an opportunity to establish Las Palmas as one of the true recreational anchors to the waterfront. Currently the waterfront is considered to run from the site of the new port to the school, however in reality, the

residents of Chamanga have added this recreational anchor to the waterfront portfolio. By adding simple pathway amenities, wayfinding for non-residents, and additional amenities on the beach, such as the largely popular Ecuaball nets, Las Palmas could become a large recreational attractor for Chamanga as well as the surrounding area. Las Palmas additionally lies adjacent to a popular concha collecting mudflat during low tide. The amenities on the beach could encourage entry and exit points to the mudflats, allow spectators to watch concha collectors at work, and to allow a seamless transition between work and family leisure. There was repeated interest in how to bring regional travelers or tourists to Chamanga and this could add to the attraction of the area by providing a typical tourist setting. If incorporated into the

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Potential minor enhancing interventions in Las Palmas

pathway and wayfinding of the Mangrove Park, the beach could become yet another popular reason to visit the area. Parks are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in a community, ensuring the health of families and youth, and contributing to the economic and environmental wellbeing of a community and a region. There are no communities that pride themselves on their quality of life, promote themselves as a desirable location for businesses to relocate, or maintain that they are environmental stewards of their natural resources, without such communities having a robust, active system of parks and recreation programs for public use and enjoyment. (National Recreation & Park Association) This is an opportunity for Chamanga to establish an identity for itself that shows that a fishing community can be productive while respecting the environment, celebrate the cultural connection

217 to the natural resources available, provide beautiful spaces for leisure in an intensely stressful lifestyle and bring residents from surrounding areas to visit and bringing more economic returns with their day trip.

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HYBRID CIVIC SPACE Economic Anchor Spring 2017


Chamanga has many informal mixed-use commercial spaces, but lacks any formal civic space. With the construction of the port, and the projected subsequent failure due to low economic demand, there is an opportunity to create an adaptive reuse scenario that could benefit many economic and civic institutions in Chamanga. Where the mangrove park is a cultural - environmental anchor, the port has the opportunity to become a cultural-economic anchor. The port as currently designed and explained

leaves many questions about access to the current fisherman of Chamanga. There are many amenities that have been considered attractive to the fishing community, but ultimately out of reach. The adaptive reuse considers adequate access and storage for boats and fishing supplies as well as the establishment of a market to stabilize prices, encourage cleanliness and hygiene of product and to allow for a singular easy access loading and unloading point.

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Construction documents of the planned port facility || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


Chamanga is a typical small town in South America that has been built up informally over time. There is a lack of formal civic space that could help with the economic organization of the town. Because of the nature of the disaster, there is an opportunity to move, consolidate and create formal civic space into the waterfront to act as an economic anchor for the town. Many of the fishermen that we interviewed while in Chamanga had expressed that there was a need for a market where they could sell their fish, concha, shrimp, crab, and other seafood. NEW PORT Approximately 80% of the residents of Chamanga currently work in and rely on selling fish, shellfish and shrimp. The current conditions are such that most of the residents sell the fish to 3rd person transporters to Pedernales, sell from inside their homes, or just in front of their homes.

Existing port location conditions || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

As mentioned previously on page 140, the government is planning on building a commercial fishing port. The fisherman noted that while they are uncertain about the plans the government has for the port, that a port and market would be a nice addition to the town. They would like to be able to unload their fish right where they will be selling them, and buy a van to transport the fish to Pedernales or other buying locations that could increase profits by cutting out the middle men. Because of the location of Chamanga, the decreasing depth of the estuary from sediment build up, and the inconvenient local road connections, it is increasingly unlikely that the newly built port will be a successful fishing commercial endeavor. Additionally after discovering the construction plans, the port is more designed for the cleaning, processing and transporting of shrimp, not fish; however the same logistical challenges remain, and it is still unlikely that the shrimp processing will be successful either.

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Current fish - selling conditions || Source: Shuwen Ye

Current cleaning location || Source: Aubrey Jahelka

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Market to cut out middle men, increase profits, discuss prices, and maintain collective hygiene standards

Performance Stage Introduce entertainment element to the economical anchor

Wooden sanchor posts that correspond to the characteristic waterfront landscape and for boats to be tied to


Porposed market and retrofitted port

We are proposing the adaptive reuse of the constructed port. When comparing the construction documents to interviews with the fishermen, there are pieces of the port that the residents would be in support of remaining such as: an ice house, cleaning facilities, unloading locations next to the waterfront and locations to leave their boats. There is a lot of unutilized space between buildings and the waterfront where a covered market could be located. Buildings to be converted would include an office building with multiple rooms that could be used for documenting port functions

as well as acting as a designated location for the newly formed city elected officials. Adding a permanent location with an address can add legitimacy to the local government both within the city as well as the province. We recommend that the ice house remain intact, allowing the fisherman the ability to keep their stocks fresh overnight. Currently, any fish that isn't sold either goes to waste or must be eaten leading to no-profits. However, there is a concern for how electricity would be supplied. This could be a good project for a non-profit to provide solar panels and a battery that would be renewable and require no monthly bills to the fishermen. We

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also recommend that the cleaning facility be kept, but adapted to allow for storage of entrails from the cleaning and drying of fish and shrimp. Shrimp, crabs and fish are scavengers, secondary income could be created from the drying of the waste entrails and cartilage of the seafood, and then being sold in bags as food to shrimp farms or for use in the hybrid ponds within the town. This approach provides extra income, reduces waste, reduces the cost of feeding the hybrid ponds, and when amplified reduces the amount of deep sea fish that must be caught to produce farmed shrimp and fish food. Lastly, we recommend the expansion of the storage facility to allow for the motors of the boats to be housed and locked away. One of the largest concerns for fishermen was that their motors were being stolen at about 1 motor every 3 weeks. This has increased when fishermen are being forced to relocate away from the waterfront with nowhere to securely leave their boats. Along the main commercial corridor much of the on-water housing was destroyed and residents are taking government provided houses further upland. Which this certainly changes the current feel of the water front, there is an opportunity to expand the economic anchor another block and to house industries resulting from a more organized fishing, shrimping and concha industry. Some examples would be that in Ecuador a popular fertilizer is manure mixed with ground shells, however in Chamanga the shells are discarded and can be found along the street and in ditches. Formally grinding and selling shells for fertilizers could become an industry of its own, again reducing waste and creating more economic opportunities. There are also established artisans in the Chamanga area such as a door maker and a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s group that builds furniture from bamboo. However, because they are located in peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s houses, often time they are overlooked by visitors. Providing covered selling spaces could increase sales for these artisans. As a district is created combined with the markets around the port, it is likely that more outsiders would come to Chamanga to buy multiple products.

Removal of On-Water Housing

Community Gathering Space

Government Sponsored Port

Phase 1: Begin developing gathering spaces for the fishing community to meet, and discuss prices, organize and plan for port adaptation.

Productive Housing Incorporation of New Economies

Crab Pen Silvofishery Conversion of Port Introduction of Market

Phase 2: Build waterfront commercial corridor to support new economies from mangrove restoration and adapted port activity.

Productive Housing

Civic Park

Mangrove Reforestation

Performance Venue

Phase 3: Include market to have a designated selling space and reuse buildings from the port for the collective fishing needs.


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Perspective plan of proposed port and adjoining commercial civic space and hybrid silvofishery inspired crab pens

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Section of mangrove crab pens

226 SILVOFISHERY CRAB PENS Directly adjacent to the newly located market, is a location that is currently onwater stilt housing. The government will forcibly relocate these families when the port construction begins to utilize that half of the site. While initially we recommended that the government not relocate these families, it was clear that regardless of the recommendation it would proceed. The question ultimately became what to do with the land after the port has failed? While there certainly is a solid argument, and one that we made on the rest of the waterfront, to let the families re-establish

here, there is a higher likelihood that the original families would not return. Using this assumption we recommend testing a secondary type of silvofishery pond that would feed product directly into the port and allow for the proceeds to fund community economic development projects. Utilizing a technique from Thailand, we recommend using pens to grow crabs. The crab pens can be createdby utilizing the particular species of mangrove crab that is native to the cojimies estuary. A responsible brooding program should be implemented to ensure that the natural crab stocks are not impacted. With its convinient proximity

next to the port, the mangrove crabs can be cared for during the hours where fisherman are not out at sea. The mangrove crabs diet consists of mangrove litter (the leaves and dead material that fall off the trees) and scavenged decaying carcasses. The mangrove crabs could be raised and sustained on purely mangrove residue from the reforested trees and from scraps that are produced from the port.

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Existing Houses slated for demolition || Source: Aubrey Jahelka


Silvofishery mangrove crab pens , lebak Phillipines || Source: Wilipedia

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View of proposed performance venue, cultural celebrations & adaptive pier at the port.

School of Design

The final piece of this proposal is the construction of a pier along the port that is functional during the working hours of the port, and can be transformed into a cultural civic center during the evening hours. During the day, the pier can be used to unload or load fish or other goods from the boats into the port for economic purposes. The interior of the pier allows for the parking and or storing of boats and the stairs allow for easy loading of goods, rather than lifting fish up the current 3-6ft difference between boat and pier. During multiple interviews, residents claimed that the best views of the estuary to watch the sun rise and set, were from the tip of the land where the port now resides. This view should be captivated and celebrated. The inclusion of a floating platform could allow for the incorporation of performances or other celebratory events at the port during non-working hours. Chamanga is a very tight knit community but lacks adequate spaces to celebrate the cultural holidays and special events that occur within the community. The retrofitted port should serve as not only the economic anchor for the waterfront, but an additional cultural anchor.


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CLOSING STATEMENTS There are many challenges that face Chamanga in the future, from public health and environmental issues to disaster reconstruction. With minimal resources, these often monumental and decades long tasks may seem near impossible. But by finding overlapping solutions that can solve multiple systemic issues, resources can have a compounded impact. Chamanga provides a unique opportunity to test multiple hybrid ecological and urban proposals. If successful, these pilot projects can provide the evidence that is needed to initiate so many other desperately needed projects in Ecuador, South America and around the world.


Children in Chamanga || Source: James Kostaras

School of Design


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A special thank you to:

DAVID GOUVERNUER, MARIA ALTAGRACIA VILLALOBOS AND OSCAR GRAUER - For the countless hours of in-class instruction, out-of class instruction, miles of travel, hours of assisted research, cultural knowledge and everything else that made this project possible.

DANIEL SAENZ - For organizing the initial studio in Fall of 2016 and providing valuable access to spatial, cultural and government planning data as well as critiquing work on multiple occasions.


SANTIAGO DEL HIERRO - For providing valuable feedback on multiple occasions as well as assisting in providing us access to many of the critical Chamanga government response documents and helping to organize a second field visit to Chamanga in the spring of 2017.

JAMES KOSTARAS - For providing valuable feedback on our project, access to initial damage assessments, and knowledge of non-profit emergency response

RENATA MENDEZ AND SEBAS OVIEDO - For assisting us by translating during interviews in San Jose de Chamanga in February of 2017.

PROFESSOR WILLIAM YOUNG - For providing valuable design knowledge of treatment wetlands and restoration practices and critique of initial wetland design.


Aubrey Jahelka Masters of City Planning Shuwen Ye Masters of Landscape Architecture

Rebuilding for Resilient Landscapes: A case study in San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador  

This report is the result of a year long academic studio at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Rebuilding for Resilient Landsc...

Rebuilding for Resilient Landscapes: A case study in San Jose de Chamanga, Ecuador  

This report is the result of a year long academic studio at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Rebuilding for Resilient Landsc...