San Juan, Puerto Rico recently released a new plan to make the city more liveable and walkable. Titled The Walkable City, the plan calls for a redesign of the Isleta district, an island which is home to Old San Juan, the oldest planned city in the Americas. Isleta is separated from mainland Puerto Rico by a series of bridges and a ferry.
The plan focuses on 10 strategic actions. Most significant is the introduction of the “Tren Satour”, a 5.3 mile light rail system to connect the historic center with the mainland. An integrated public transit system would also include buses and shuttles, water taxis, commuter ferries, and extensive park and ride facilities on the mainland. Other interesting features of the plan include mixed-use development, a waterfront loop for pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, and creating green corridors to connect the north and south waterfronts.
The idea of including better public transportation options and connectivity to parks in urban design plans is nothing new. Many U.S. cities, including Houston, St. Louis, and Phoenix have recently been adding light rail or bus stops in parks as part of redevelopment plans. San Juan’s The Walkable City uses many U.S. as well as international cities as example success stories. View the full plan here.