One of the most impressive pieces of urban design that I have ever encountered was in Samborondón, Guayaquil; not only the physical site but the fact that the developer has had the foresight to purchase and plan a project that will span 35 years. DPZ LATIN AMERICA is an internationally recognized leader in urban design. Their project Plaza Lagos promotes a new concept of living that combines historical , cultural and climatic characteristics of the area and creates a sustainable community integrating residential, commercial and recreational facilities in a comfortable and safe environment.
Imagine Venice meets Cartagena. The master plan of this project combines 4 residential communities and the central Town Center with a network of canals, lakes and islands. The Town Center is full of a diverse range of restaurants, boutiques, cafes and small shops. Apparently many of the locales have live music 7 nights a week ! http://www.plazalagos.com.ec/home.aspx
The architecture in the Town Center is inspiring. I would call it New Colonial. Large archways and columns give one a sense of what the grand Spanish Colonial cities might have been like in their heydey. The first floor of these buildings is dedicated to the shops and cafes, the second floor houses offices and the third level are apartments.
The open spaces give a certain sense of freedom of movement but for me, at least, this was quickly dashed by an overzealous private police force. Lagos de Batan has their own privately trained police who are very visible and I found overbearing. Guayaquil may have a high incidence of crime (crime of opportunity) but a 60 year old, obviously foreign tourist, with a camera poses no problems. Nonetheless I had two ”police” descend on me from opposite directions telling me that I could not take any photos.I am certain that the local residents may feel very safe but a daytime security force where there is at least 1 to 2 individuals every block seems excessive.
Nevertheless I would return and if I had to live in Guayaquil, this would be an area that I would definitely consider. Plaza Lagos is located in a fairly exclusive area called Samborondón which looks more like Miami than Ecuador. For more information about Plaza Lagos, please fill in the form below and our COO Hector Quintana will contact you directly.