Location: San Agustin, Caracas, Venezuela

Dates: 2007 - 2010

Client: C.A. Metro de Caracas

Photographs: Iwan Baan



The first part of this project involved a new and revolutionary approach to urban planning. Our extensive past experience working in the barrios and with their community leaders has taught us that far from being naïve, they are well-informed and knowledgeable, if untutored, in the principles of planning and development. Indeed, residents possess a firm understanding of what their communities need most.


We therefore took an approach that included:

  1. A public symposium and presentation at the UCV (Central University of Venezuela in Caracas), attended by architects, planners, other experts, university activists, and barrio leaders to question the government plan and to put forth alternatives.
  2. Creating a task force to investigate alternatives: U-TT together with San Agustin barrio residents and volunteers.p> 

  3. Selection by the task force of a cable-car system. It was decided this had the greatest potential: ideally suited to the terrain, minimally invasive of the existing fabric, highly sustainable and flexible.
  4. A one-day intensive charrette, conducted by the task force, to refine the concept. Analysis, planning, a media campaign and presentation was also needed to build support and funding for the project.
  5. Analysis, planning, a media campaign and presentation was also needed to build support and funding for the project.


The cable car system, which is integrated with the Metro System of Caracas, is 2.1 km in length and employs gondolas holding 8 passengers each. Metro Cable’s capacity allows for the movement of 1,200 people per hour in each direction. Two stations will be to be in the valley and connect directly to the Caracas public transportation system. Three additional stations are located along the mountain ridge, on sites that meet the demands of community access, established pedestrian circulation patterns, and also spatial availability for construction, ensuring minimal demolition of existing housing.


The five stations’ designs share a basic set of components in common; platform levels, ramps for access, circulation patterns, materials, and structural elements. However, each station differs in configuration and additional functions, and the separate stations include cultural, social and system administrative functions; replacement of demolished residences with more homes, as well as public spaces; a gym, supermarket, and daycare center; and a link between the cable car system and the municipal bus circuit.

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