The Restoration and Renovation of the Historical Casco Viejo, The Old Town, In Panama City, Panama

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Recently, many efforts and projects have been undertaken in the overall renovation and restoration of the UNESCO World Heritage site Casco Viejo, or the Old Town section of Panama City, Panama.  Unlike the thriving modern metropolis complete with futuristic highrises and plush condos to the south, these buildings in this section of the city are old, very old.  It is perhaps the historical context as well as the Old Spanish Colonial style of architecture and Master Planning techniques, with the central square social space in the center of the Casco Viejo, that makes it so interesting, intriguing, and worth the expense to renovate and restore.

This area of Panama City has throughout history been a major shipping port and channel for the transportation of goods from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, or Caribbean Sea.  The main reason for this is that here it is the shortest distance from the coast of the Pacific to the coast of the Atlantic than anywhere else in the Americas.  Even before the modern Panama Canal was constructed, ships could pull into port in Casco Viejo, and the goods that they carried could be unloaded and transported the relatively short distance by mule and/or horseback across the strait of Panama to the ports on the Caribbean coast of the country with minimal effort (or vice versa).  This is what historically made Casco Viejo a prize jewel in the crown of the wealthiest nations in the history of the development of the Americas.  This is also why the Casco Viejo is the oldest permanent settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas.     

The historic Casco Viejo is currently under threat of being completely destroyed by developers in order to build an 8-lane highway through the heart of it.  This is also the worst type of development for the environment and humans alike, focusing solely on the automobile rather than on walkable urban design.  Read more at the link provided below.

Check out a few videos that I made in the Casco Viejo....

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