Project Description

Client: Ministerie van VVRP afdeling Domein Beheer/ CCM Engineering
Program: Park
Status: Completed

Rif Otrabanda, Curacao


Mangrove City Park

Mangrove City Park

Until the 1950s this area was an open water. Presumably, a good breeding ground for the growth of Mangroves was created by all the silt that flowed into the area from Otrobanda. After the ’50s, a mangrove “forest” was created in the Rifwater between the Benny Leito swimming pool and the Holiday Beach hotel.

Different species

According to the ABC report “Development of Reef Mangroves in Otrobanda” of July 2012 (commissioned by Amigu di Tera), the following mangrove species can be found in the area: Languncularia (white mangrove), Avicennia (black mangrove) and Rhizophora ( red mangrove). Due to the uncontrolled influx of nutrients (read discharge of waste water) into the area, the mangroves in this area have unprecedented dimensions. Despite this negative connotation, it is a very special area.

Stop the pollution

Nowhere else in the city center do we have such a high concentration of greenery of such a large size (about 275mx275m). Evenbefore the area was transformed to the current park , a walk through the limited trails that exist was a special experience (provided you can block the stench). The disappearance of the noise of the city, the sound of the birds and the greenery makes an oasis of peace in the city. But in order to turn it into a public park, in which the above qualities are enhanced, the area had to be remediated and the supply of pollution (discharge of sewage) had to be stopped. Ending the discharge of sewage into the area was one of the first objectives. This was not part of our project, but a temporary solution was created to mitigate the polution. The new sewage system is nearing completion and this will guarantee that sewage water will not be discharged in to the area. In May 2022 the water in the park had reached European swimming water quality.

Design Process

The park is an example of a co-design process. The design process was organized through a series of workshops with all known stakeholders. The first workshop was to define the requirements of the project and from there we continued the interactive process until the specification drawings were finished.

Since the main objective of this project was enhance the water quality and free the area from mosquitos, the engineers were the first to start. Based on a simulation they were able to proof that the water would be refreshed within 14 days merely by the flow of water due to tidal changes. To make the flow of water possible they had create a minimum amount of canals. We added to those canals to create interesting routes for walking and kayaking through the park.

View the brochure

Lyongo Juliana
Andry Maduro

Heuvelman Ibis B.V.

Princess Beatrix at the opening of the Mangrove Park