Puerto Rico Workshop

This workshop will be supporting the efforts of the Foundation for Puerto Rico in its placemaking project in the Santurce district of San Juan.  This is the start of a possible multi-year effort to encourage communication, collaboration and revitalization in a 5 square mile barrio (district) with almost 100,000 residents.  Santurce was the “downtown” of San Juan until the familiar story of highway construction, suburbanization and urban renewal devastated the district in the 1960s and 70s.  Today, the 41 sub-barrios (sub-districts) that comprise Santurce offer striking diversity – from the upper income neighborhoods of Condado and Miramar to the impoverished areas within San Mateo and Las Palmas.  Major educational and cultural institutions such as the Musico Conservatorio, Ballet, and others are dotted along Ponce De Leon Avenue, a 2-mile long spine running through the district.  Cultural institutions, universities, and the public and private sectors are coming together to collaborate and vision a strong and vibrant future for the district.  This workshop will help guide and support these efforts.  The initial meeting of major stakeholders was held in November 2013 and planning efforts are just getting underway.  Students will work in tandem with planning/urban design and political science students at the University of Puerto Rico and Sagrado Corazon University to begin asset mapping and developing a community-led planning process for this effort.  The class will most likely involve travel to San Juan during IAP 1/15-1/21 (and possibly sub-groups traveling during spring break and at the end of the semester).  For more information contact Susan Silberberg, Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning  scsilber@mit.edu.


  • Open to students from all disciplines