The Yachay City of Knowledge has a Master Plan drawn up by the Korean firm IFEZ (Incheon Free Economic Zone), which submitted all of the studies in the month of November in 2013. The Master Plan defines the fundamental guidelines for the construction of a planned city designed to provide comfort to human beings, in harmony with nature and with adequate space for the generation of knowledge.
The Master Plan had a validation process undertaken with the support of thirty international experts in the area of urbanism, belonging to various institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, and UCL, amongst others. These specialists made their contributions during the event “Think Tank:” Yachay: City of Knowledge, future strategies for development”, held in the month of August 2013 and continued in January 2014. During these events strategic analysis issues were addressed such as: urban ecology, land management, urban mobility and form and civic integration.
The analysis and contributions that developed allow for the strengthening of different concepts for the development and construction of the Yachay Project. The following features stand out amongst the characteristics of the City of Knowledge:
From the new urbanism perspective, in the Yachay City of Knowledge , the neighborhood community is created by way of the integration of urban functions (housing – employment – trade – services), with the aim of stimulating human relations and community development through the appreciation of public spaces as meeting places.
In addition, the activities of pedestrians are prioritized over those of car users. Yachay residents are not accustomed to traveling long distances to reach their destination since urban planning promotes mixed use of the land, i.e. ‘having everything nearby. This initiative seeks to consolidate a city of Good Living [Buen Vivir]: solidarity, walkability, inclusivity, sustainability, alive and democratic.
The products of the Master Plan include:
- Metropolitan Development Plan. - This product conceptualizes the planned city of “Yachay” and defines it in four areas, by establishing the use of methodologies for urban development in order to minimize environmental intervention. It also proposes an urban concept which harmonizes and links academia, innovation in science and technology and its application in the industrial field.
- Metropolitan Mobility Plan - Pedestrian and bicycle circulation are given priority in order to structure a Metropolitan City, based on a network of safe mobility which can be shared with defined areas for vehicular circulation.
- Development and Instrumentalization of Urban Planning - The development stages of the city and its implementation are determined.
o Stage 1: Attraction – The guidelines of which aim to the build the University and to strengthen the research and development of knowledge.
o Stage 2: Unification.- To promote the introduction of the population to the new city through the transfer of Public Research Institutes and other State administration units.
o Stage 3: Growth – To form the Centre of Knowledge-based industry, academia, and research to raise the competitiveness of the city.
- In addition there is a Feasibility Study and a Market and Investment Attraction strategy.