San Juan de la Cruz Fort, Isla de Cabras

Topic: Dealing with Climate Change, Protecting Biodiversity, and Retrofitting Suburbia. 

Instructor: Jean Martin Caldieron Ph.D.


Professor David Gouverneur and students of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania Departments of Landscape Architecture, and City and Regional Planning 
Prof. Edmundo Colón and students of the School of Architecture of the Universidad  Politécnica of Puerto Rico



This course will offer students of Architecture of FAU, together with other partners students, and faculty of Landscape Architecture and from the Urban Design Concentration of the Department of City and Regional Planning of UPenn and Architecture students from the University Politécnica of Puerto Rico the opportunity to address environmental, social, and urban challenges of peripheral suburban communities in the vicinity of larger urban conglomerates. Such is the case of the coastal Municipality of Toa Baja located to the west of the Metropolitan Area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The field trip includes the visit to several possible sites and a group charrette with groups composed by students at each university.

          This Studio will ask participants to simultaneously envision ecological, urban, and socio-cultural strategies for Toa Baja, tapping its rich natural features, reverting the current “dormitory and suburban conditions, and strengthening the weakened economy. Emphasis will be on the creation of a robust pedestrian-friendly public realm, the revitalization of the old core of Toa Baja which suffers periodical flooding, the creation of a new centrality/mixed-use district serving/retrofitting its Levittown (its main residential district) and the areas of emergent urbanism with urban and landscape-based approaches practices responsive to environmental and cultural nuances. Multi-scalar and poly-performative solutions (from territorial, urban planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and architectural proposals) will be, intended to maximize natural, urban, human, and financial resources. Thereafter students of FAU will design between several architectural proposals as their final project that will be put together with the previously designed urban component.