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Children's Ministry

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Jeffrey Moseamedi
Jeffrey Moseamedi

German Samper Recinto Urbano 24.pdf

German Samper: A Pioneer of Urban Design in Colombia

German Samper is a Colombian architect who has made significant contributions to the field of urban design and housing. He is known for his innovative and humanistic approach to creating urban spaces that foster social interaction, diversity, and sustainability. In this article, we will explore his concept of "Recinto Urbano", which he developed in his book of the same name.

What is Recinto Urbano?

Recinto Urbano, which can be translated as "Urban Enclosure", is a term that Samper uses to describe a type of urban space that is defined by its boundaries, rather than by its buildings. He argues that the quality of urban life depends largely on the quality of the public spaces that connect and surround the buildings, rather than on the buildings themselves. He proposes that urban design should focus on creating recintos urbanos that are attractive, comfortable, safe, and diverse, and that allow for different types of activities and interactions among people.


According to Samper, a recinto urbano has four main characteristics:

  • It has a clear and recognizable shape, defined by its edges, such as walls, fences, trees, or water.

  • It has a human scale, meaning that it is not too large or too small for people to perceive and use it.

  • It has a variety of elements, such as buildings, vegetation, furniture, sculptures, or fountains, that create visual interest and diversity.

  • It has a sense of identity and belonging, meaning that it reflects the culture and history of its inhabitants and users.

Why is Recinto Urbano important?

Samper believes that recintos urbanos are essential for creating livable and sustainable cities. He argues that recintos urbanos can provide multiple benefits for both individuals and society:

  • They can enhance the social life of the city, by creating opportunities for people to meet, interact, and participate in various activities.

  • They can improve the environmental quality of the city, by reducing noise and pollution, increasing greenery and biodiversity, and promoting walking and cycling.

  • They can foster the cultural diversity of the city, by allowing for different expressions and manifestations of art, religion, politics, and identity.

  • They can stimulate the economic development of the city, by attracting visitors, tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs.

How did Samper apply Recinto Urbano in his projects?

Samper has applied his concept of recinto urbano in many of his projects throughout his career. One of his most notable examples is the Ciudadela Colsubsidio in Bogotá, which he designed in collaboration with other architects in 1970. The Ciudadela Colsubsidio is a large-scale housing complex that consists of 5,000 units arranged around 25 recintos urbanos. Each recinto urbano has a different shape and size, and contains a variety of elements such as playgrounds, gardens, shops, schools, churches, and sports facilities. The recintos urbanos are connected by pedestrian paths and plazas that create a continuous network of public spaces. The Ciudadela Colsubsidio is widely regarded as a successful example of social housing that combines high density with high quality of life.

Another example of Samper's application of recinto urbano is the Parque de la 93 in Bogotá, which he designed in 1995. The Parque de la 93 is a public park that occupies a former parking lot in a commercial area. The park has a rectangular shape that is defined by its surrounding buildings and streets. The park contains various elements such as trees, benches, fountains, sculptures, and a stage. The park also hosts various events such as concerts, festivals, markets, and exhibitions. The Parque de la 93 is one of the most popular and vibrant public spaces in Bogotá.


German Samper is a pioneer of urban design in Colombia who has developed a concept of recinto urbano that emphasizes the importance of public spaces for creating livable and sustainable cities. His concept of recinto urbano is based on four main characteristics: shape, scale, variety, and identity. He has applied his concept of recinto urbano in many of his projects, such as the Ciudadela Colsubsidio and the Parque de la 93, which are examples of urban spaces that foster social interaction, diversity, and sustainability.


  • Samper, G. (1997). Recinto Urbano: La humanizacion de la ciudad. Bogotá: Escala.

  • Samper, G. (2003). Germán Samper: La evolución de la vivienda. Bogotá: Escala.

  • Samper, G. (2016). Recinto Urbano 24. Bogotá: Escala.


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