Panama is working hard on expanding its canal. Widening and deepening the waterway and constructing new locks should make the channel accessible to the world’s largest container ships. CroonenBuro5 has developed a masterplan in cooperation with 2 project partners: STIG Delta and Antea Group.
STIG Delta was responsible for market research and Antea Group for civil and environmental issues. CroonenBuro5 was responsible for the urban and landscape design and the editing of the final report. In different workshops with the engineers and employees of the client (the Authority of the Panama Canal) CroonenBuro5 brought together the knowledge to one integral design.
The masterplan has been defined from an economic approach and an environmental approach. The vision for the project is that Panama will no longer be a transit hub, but a logistics hub between Asia, Europe, Colombia and Mexico. In fact, it could be a vision to develop both banks along the Canal. Just like Rotterdam it covers about 40 kilometers, in which the project location of 1.200 hectares is the first phase. (Comparable in size to the second Maasvlakte in Rotterdam).
The masterplan consists of a design for a sea terminal, a barge terminal, a new lock complex (4th set of locks for larger vessels), a solar park, a reservoir, a power plant, different industrial sites and business parks. By organizing the landscape and infrastructure in an efficient way, it formed a strong urban framework in which the programmatic interpretation is flexible. From the market research analysis several programmatic models have been tested in the layout, carefully designed and financially supported.
The location is very hilly, whereas the development of industrial sites and business parks need flat ground. This leaded to a design with flat terraces surrounded by slopes. The slopes address the green structure in the urban design. Through the area runs an old river. The bedding of this old river has become a part of the design of the drainage system. Because of the climate change larger rainfalls will occur. Therefor a reservoir lake is proposed to control the water in rainy and dry seasons.
The West Bank will be developed sustainably. With respect to energy, it is important to reduce power consumption as much as possible, to use as much residual energy and to generate the remaining energy in a sustainable way. Apart from energy saving measures, it is possible to use residual energy as cooling water for heating purposes. Although industrial activities are desirable on the island between the locks, the land is not suited for it.
However, the island could be used for a solar park. This allows a portion of the energy for industrial activities to be generated in a sustainable way. On the island a solar park of over 100 hectares could be realized.