Context

Like most South American cities, Buenos Aires has been divided for years. While prejudice and stigma increase every day, rich and poor live separated from each other and do not really share a common space.

A few years ago, a huge urbanization process for one of the most emblematic slums -for its location, size and history- has began. One of the milestones includes a controversial architectural construction consisting of a bridge that will connect Barrio 31 (one of the largest urban shanty towns in Buenos Aires) and Recoleta (probably the richest neighborhood in the city) and hold the new headquarters for the Southern Cone of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB).

Communities from both neighborhoods are uncomfortable with this fact for diverse reasons.  On one hand, Recoleta neighbours fear that the access to “their” area will be easier from the slum and, on the other hand, Barrio 31 residents believe this huge construction (that includes an International Bank) will not be for their benefit as they have more urgent needs as housing, health and education.

Taking advantage of this soon to be construction, we want to install a symbolic bridge for people to really connect and interact. El Puente Project aims to create a disruptive environment through which the involved communities can get closer and recognize themselves as equal.

Every attempt of urbanizing a slum is a milestone, and this is Barrio 31’s historic moment. Now is the time for the communities involved to understand more about each other, so they may fear less.