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Bogotá's Land Planning Plan

On November 2nd, the Council of Bogotá decided not to approve the draft revision of the Bogota Territorial Plan (POT), which was presented to that entity on September 8 by the administration of mayor Enrique Peñalosa. The refusal was a consequence of several arguments, such as ecological preservation, the protection of traditional neighborhoods and the change of vision regarding public transportation, among others.

As indicated by Law 388 of 1997, once the validity of a  POT has been fulfilled (3 constitutional periods equivalent to 12 years), the mayors are empowered to submit draft revisions that allow updating the objectives of the plan that is currently in force and, therefore, establish a new route that allows to lay the necessary planning bases for the development of the city.  To the extent that the current POT was issued by Decree 190 of 2004, it is understood that the city is currently under an urban planning regulation that does not meet the existing economic, social and territorial challenges and dynamics.

Not having a POT that meets current needs, implies a problem that affects different sectors of the economy, both in the public and private spheres. First, the development plans proposed by mayors must be in line with what has been established in the POT in relation to issues of investment in infrastructure, environmental protection and land management, among many others. This implies that public investment may be misfocused by the anachronism of a POT that could be considered obsolete. Secondly, the private sector is affected insofar as there is no legal certainty to build confidence for investment, nor are land financing and management mechanisms proposed to facilitate builders, developers, private equity funds and other actors to develop projects in the territory of Bogota.

Despite these circumstances, the Superior Court of Cundinamarca ordered Bogotá´s councilmen to vote once again on the draft revision of the current plan on 2 December 2019, while considering that the entity should make substantive decisions that would enable environmental protection. This has created a new opportunity for the proposed project to be approved. In this sense, and despite the criticisms that the project presented has received, a new possibility opens up that allows the entry into force of a rule that replaces the old decree and therefore provides a clear investment guide to the public sector as well as the establishment of a regulation in which the private sector is confident to invest and develop new projects that improve the quality of life of citizens.

Authors

Portrait of Jacques Simhon, LL.M.
Jacques Simhon, LL.M.
Partner
Bogotá
Andrés Gutiérrez