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Escenario A: Eje de Centro Turstico.
Scenario A : Downtown Tourist Hub
Narrative on the multiple center scenario plan for Santa Elena
Narrativa del plan de los paisajes de los centros multiples para Santa Elena.
Strategic planning--Costa Rica--Santa Elena, Monteverde, Puntarenas
Sustainable Futures 2007
t Sustainable Futures
Scenario A: Downtown Tourist Hub Concept Intro : The Â‘Downtown Tourist HubÂ’ scenario focuses heavily on the consolidation of tourism and information into one, centrally located and organized downtown area. Most of the stores, services, and other commercial space s would cater only to tourist activity. The tourist space would include existing tourist bu sinesses and also feature a new gathering plaza full of shops, restaurants, a Monte verde museum, and a tourist information house. This concept also removes local activity from the tourist hub and relocates it to a second center. The second center would provide services and facilities to accommodate the needs of the local population. Thi s multiuse building would house the Municipality, a public library, auditorium, post of fice, police station, and would be surrounded by green spaces for gathering and recrea tional purposes. The proposed development would be on high school land, next to t he clinic and new PT center. In addition, this scenario incorporates a new road tha t would better connect the existing, enhanced tourist core to the local services center and also ease circulation overall in Santa Elena. Details of Components: Downtown Santa Elena: The downtown area of Santa Elena would change dras tically in this scenario. With the removal and relocation of the Catholic Chu rch, a great deal of space is opened for commercial development. The plot of land that the church currently owns is 3,000 square meters and would be developed into a multius e plaza and tourist center. This space would feature the tourist information and wel coming center, a Monteverde museum, several different tourist shops, restaurant s, a gazebo in the center, and pleasant green spaces with park benches and tables throughou t. This scenario would transform downtown Santa Elena into an area solely for touris ts. The consolidation of the Santa Elena tourist center would create an easier life fo r tourists of Monteverde and would also end the current battle between locals and tourists for the use of this space. In addition, the Â‘Downtown Tourist HubÂ’ scenario mo ves the bus station to the vacant lot southeast of the Santa Elena triangle. By moving the bus station from the town center, congestion would be eased for other types o f traffic and pedestrians passing through the Santa Elena center. Also, the tourists would benefit from the busÂ’s proximity to the downtown center. The New Municipal Center In this scenario, local business activity is remov ed from downtown Santa Elena. Currently, local amenities such as the post office, Municipality, police station and other public services are sprawled all throughout Monteve rde. This scenario creates a new center that would group all of these facilities int o one, aesthetically pleasing and developmentally functional, connected space. The r egion of Monteverde does not have a public library and this scenario proposes to add on e to Santa Elena. The Santa Elena high school has offered plots of its land for developmen t. Their property rests in between the
clinic and the school building and is HOW MANY SQUA RE METERS. The new municipal center would be built along the existing clinic road next to the new PT center that is planned to be next door to the clinic. Thi s center would house the new municipality, a public library, a public, multiuse auditorium, a post office, and the police station. This space would also be dressed in seren e, green spaces with seating for gathering and relaxation purposes. The library to be built is two stories and would have windows all along the second floor walls so that th e views of Monteverde could be seen while reading or studying. In addition, the Â‘Downtown Tourist HubÂ’ proposes to build a new road that would connect the existing Santa Elena center to the high school property and new municipal center. Currently, the high school has a dirt road that serves as the entrance to the gymnasium. The new road would continue along that path, pass along side the gym for about 50m, and then curve to the southwest, and mak e its way up to the clinic road. The new road would bisect the clinic/PT center area and the new municipal facilities. The road would create a space just behind the gymnasium big enough to hold a 25m by 50m soccer field for high school use. The Creation of Two Centers: The Â‘Downtown Tourist HubÂ’ scenario divides the lo cal commercial activity into two separates nodes or centers. Monteverde residen ts will have a place to run errands without the interference and inconvenience of touri sts. While the tourists will have a center as well full of information and an endless l ist of things to do and places to visit. The two areas connect very well with the addition o f the new road that bisects high school property. Advantages and Disadvantages: With all change, there are positives and negatives adjustment periods, and community feedback. To express the post developmen t attitude of the people of Monteverde, here is a short narrative to describe t he opinions of tourist couple and a Monteverde Reserve tour guide in 2010. Tour Guide: And if you look to the left, there is a Strangler Fig. There is another very beautiful Strangler Fig in Santa Elena on a path th at leads to the clinic. Have you both been to Santa Elena yet? Gringo Wife: Yes we have. We are actually staying at Hotel Poc o Poco and we walk into Santa Elena every morning for breakfast and a newspaper. Tour Guide: What do you think of the area? Gringo Wife: I feel that it is a little overdeveloped, I do not like that it is only for tourists, and I feel that I am not experiencing the local community way of life. The only Ticos that I have seen in the area are working and can speak perfect English. Gringo Husband: Are you kidding, I love downtown Santa Elena. The re is endless information, great restaurants, and I really like i nteracting with other tourists. I can not imagine trying to plan our activities here without that tourist welcome center. And did you see the photographs at the museum? They are br eathtaking.
Tour Guide: Have you both been to the new center that is loca ted near the clinic? Gringo Wife: No, what is there? Tour Guide: It is a new facility that has all the services th e locals need. They have this beautiful new library with a view of the entire Mon teverde area and also the Gulf of Nicoya. You both should stop in there some time, i t is very nice. Gringo Husband: Do you ever go into Santa Elena? Tour Guide: Only in the evenings to pick up my wife from the pension that she works at. I hate it there. With the new shopping area a nd municipal center, I have no need or desire to enter that tourist space. Plus, with the new road, I can save so much time when I need to get from the clinic to our house in Cerro P lano. Gringo Wife: If we come back, we will definitely stay in Monteve rde, closer to the reserve, I cannot stand the tourist hub that Santa Elena is. Gringo Husband: She does not know what sheÂ’s talking about. We wou ld be so bored and lost without that center. Everyone I have talk ed to that is traveling the area loves it. We will definitely be back.