The Future of Urban Agriculture in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, Colmados are important fixtures in the urban landscape. Similar to bodegas or mini-marts in the U.S., Colmados are independently owned neighborhood stores that supply an assortment of mostly food-based goods. But they also supply so much more, including space for locals to dance and socialize.
Unfortunately, Colmados are under threat from the rise of large supermarket chains. To Carlos Guzman, an architect and D.R. native, the ongoing disappearance of Colmados is a major cultural issue.
Carlos believes that Colmados serve a range of essential functions for their communities, and that something must be done to prevent these businesses from disappearing. Using his architectural training, Carlos has redesigned the current Colmado model to bring urban agriculture to the forefront and redefine the existing notion of Colmado space. His designs include Colmados with agriculture integrated into the rooftops, and a collectively owned "Colmado Center" that will grow and supply fresh produce to the surrounding Colmado network.
Agritecture's Henry Gordon-Smith sat down with Carlos to discuss the future of Colmados in the Dominican Republic, and how Carlos' designs aim to transform the local urban food system. Check out the interview below, as Carlos explains his designs and vision for the Colmado Center: