Mayor Edgar Mora Altamirano | Curridabat, Costa Rica

"In the Global South Mayors encounter multi-dimensional tasks, and among them there is one that particularly resumes the urgent need for an inclusive approach in every realm of the citizen’s experiences: harmonise urban life and biodiversity. I believe this is a material goal as well as a symbolic deed, so that nature in cities shouldn't be represented anymore as a luxury that accentuates the economical, social and urban fabric segregation.”

– Mayor Edgar Mora Altamirano

Mayor Mora Altamirano has been elected three times as mayor of Curridabat - the last time in February, 2016 by 51% of voters. He also holds an academic position at Harvard University as a Non-Resident fellow for the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. His investigative area relates to the intrinsic relation that exists between urban design, the responsive capacity of city governments in democratic societies, and the formation of citizens capable of generating social capital within their community and not just their immediate social environment. It was under his political and technical supervision that the Municipality of Curridabat transformed and improved its Urban Plan, an effort which was presented in 2014 with the Award for Best City Plan, bestowed by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU). In the past he co-founded a number of companies and NGOs and worked as a reporter and consultant in various fields related to Human Rights and political, cultural, and social policy issues.

Curridabat Ciudad Dulce | Integrating nature conservation within urban activity

The goal of Sweet City is to install nature conservation within urban activity, and more specifically, increase the number and variety of pollinators, providing them with better conditions to do their work, and obtain as a result, an urban environment that is also biodiverse, comfortable, clean, quiet and colorful, as well as better organized. With these goals in mind, multiple actions have been undertaken, such as reintroducing flora species that were once displaced by monoculture, raising awareness of the importance of interacting peacefully with nature, strengthening the abilities for territorial micro-management in neighbourhoods, incorporating design and urban planning into the culture of the community, and adjusting infrastructure to fit biodiversity – this being the most important foundation for the re-development the city in the remainder of the century.

Sweet City is a platform from which to envision Curridabat’s future development from a 360 degree perspective, and manage projects within five dimensions that together energize the citizens’ experience of the place they inhabit: biodiversity, infrastructure, habitat, coexistence and productivity.

It is based on the following conviction: cities and urban places are nowadays where most people carry out the majority of their interactions with nature – which is why the alleged antagonism between urban and natural must be dispensed of quickly. With this in mind, the services that bees, hummingbirds and butterflies provide are invaluable and irreplaceable, as they carry out more than 80% of pollination. No city can, without them, secure the essential tasks that these species manage.