The city of Cartagena, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, faces major challenges due to water-related issues such as floods and declining water quality

In order to improve the city’s water system, Colombia and the Netherlands have joined forces as part of the Water as Leverage Cartagena project. Within the International Call for Action, two multidisciplinary teams were selected to address the issues.

The teams will be responsible for co-designing solutions to water and climate change adaptation related challenges. The Water as Leverage Cartagena project aims to address these issues by designing programmes that provide benefits in terms of employment, economy, biodiversity and health. The two multidisciplinary teams for Water as Leverage Cartagena consist of Dutch, Colombian and international experts.

The following organisations are a part of the two respective teams selected consortia:

  • The consortium ‘Roots of Cartagena’, consisting of Witteveen+Bos (lead organisation, the Netherlands), Felixx Landscape Architects & Planning (the Netherlands), Aqua & Terra (Columbia), University of Cartagena (Colombia), CSC Strategy & Finance (the Netherlands)
  • The consortium ‘Cartagena Con Agua’, consisting of Arcadis Netherlands (lead organisation, the Netherlands), Deltares (the Netherlands), JESyCA (Colombia), Fundación Herencia Ambiental Caribe (Colombia), Taller Architects (Colombia), Selfinver (Colombia), ONE Architecture (USA), P3 Nomads (the Netherlands)

The selection of the teams was executed by RVO, in consultation with the Water as Leverage Cartagena Advisory Board which consists of the Mayor’s Office of Cartagena, Invest International, the Netherlands’ Embassy and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Columbia, Cartagena

Innovative, integral, implementable and inclusive solutions

The objective of this Water for Leverage Cartagena project is to generate innovative conceptual designs to address climate change adaptation and urban water management challenges in the city. The selected teams will be responsible for generating innovative and inclusive concept designs, developing project proposals to a pre-feasibility level and transforming them into ready-to-tender projects.

The aim is to create inclusive holistic projects, that take into consideration: nature; water and resilience; the exclusion of vulnerable communities; urban planning; transport and mobility; governance and finance. The first phase of the project will start at the end of February 2023 with the completion of the last phase expected to be in January 2025. Work on implementation will continue after that.

Collaboration between the Netherlands and Colombia

Water as Leverage Cartagena is facilitated by the Government of the Netherlands, in partnership with the Alcaldía de Cartagena de Indias, Colombian national authorities and national and international strategic partners. Water as Leverage Cartagena is financed through the ‘Partners for Water 2022 – 2027’ and ‘PSD Toolkit’ programmes.

More about Water as Leverage Cartagena
Watch this video about the challenges the city of Cartagena is facing.

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