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Challenges and transport logistics in Greater Santo Domingo: Connectivity and Urban Development

The daily displacement of residents of the Greater Santo Domingo has become a huge obstacle that takes precious hours out of their lives. If you make an approach, the reality is inclement: between 2 and 4.5 hours evaporate daily in traffic mazes and traffic congestion. This wasted time not only means long waits on overcrowded streets; it also impacts on family life, necessary rest, and citizens’ productivity. 

Architect Heidi De Moya, director of the School of Architecture and Urbanism at Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU), understands that the root of this problem lies in the lack of urban design and planning in the cities that make up Greater Santo Domingo and its adjacent areas. 

It indicates that the absence of an efficient and fluid connection between these areas has created a fragmented operating model, where each sector operates in isolation, without considering that the solution to these challenges must be collective for the benefit of all inhabitants. She highlights the urgent need for major restructuring and renovations, prioritizing this over urban expansion.

De Moya also explained that it is imperative to focus efforts on drastically improving connectivity in the north-south and east-west directions. These routes, the epicenter of the worst road crashes, require immediate attention to relieve pressure on the few existing roads.

The concept of «multicentricity» emerges as vital in this fight against urban congestion. The decentralization of activities becomes key to redistribute development centers and avoid saturation in a single point. Creating several important urban centers is the formula for more balanced and sustainable growth in Santo Domingo; but this is not enough; «mixed environments» emerge as a crucial strategy to bring urban services and facilities closer to local communities.

Alternatives to alleviate the problem

As possible solutions to the problem, raises the need for the integration of residential, commercial, educational and recreational spaces in nearby areas as a fundamental part since this will reduce the dependence on long journeys, giving residents quicker and easier access to their daily needs. The implementation of these urban strategies will also improve the quality of life of residents. The proximity of basic services will contribute to a smoother and more comfortable daily dynamic for citizens.

The expert says that the problem is not only limited to the Greater Santo Domingo, but is a reflection at scale of the urban planning policy that covers the entire Dominican Republic. Uncontrolled growth, a lack of integrated urban development strategies, and a lack of coordination between authorities have triggered the current road chaos.

It is suggested a comprehensive approach to the crisis, with local and national authorities acting together. It is essential to implement solutions that also promote efficient public transport alternatives, such as massive transport systems and new road connections that optimize the flow. Urban policies are urgently needed to foster sustainable and orderly growth.

Long-term vision

A long-term vision is needed; planning that considers urban sprawl in an orderly manner, intelligent densification, and the incorporation of modern technologies for traffic management. This must be accompanied by active participation of citizens and consultation of experts in urban planning, transport, and sustainability to develop viable and sustainable solutions.

Ultimately, addressing this challenge will require prioritizing the well-being of people living in these urban areas. Resolving the transportation crisis in the Greater Santo Domingo is not just an engineering project; it is a mission that seeks to improve the quality of life of all Dominicans who face this challenge on their city’s streets every day. It is time to look towards multicentricity and mixed environments as the key solutions for the future development of the city. These strategies will not only clear the traffic landscape in Santo Domingo, but also pave the way for a more functional, dynamic, and livable metropolis for all its inhabitants.

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