The San Jose Metropolitan Area in 2000

 

            San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is located in the Central Valley.  The city itself is compounded   by 12 municipalities with a total population of a little more than one million inhabitants, which is almost a third of the Costa Rican population.  In Costa Rica there are regional levels of public administration.  The city is administered directly by central institutions, supported by local municipalities, in the case of San Jose, they are joined by the Inter-Municipal Cooperation Agreement (Convenio Cooperativo Intermunicipal - COCIM).

             Historical urban growth of the city of San Jose has been radial, i. e., new areas are being generated in addition to those already existing in urban structures and which features are inadequate to attend the new needs and for which re-adaptation has an extremely high cost.  This process, together with the great de-coordination among the different urban actors, makes the operation of the city more difficult, bringing as consequence, pollution and degradation of the environment, traffic jam and deteriorated urban areas.

             With this regional chaotic background, the Central Canton of San Jose, thanks to its condition as the capital, has a little more attention for investment in infrastructure, services and security from the Central Government than other municipalities.  As a result, the canton of San Jose has become a step in the projects of infrastructure and, at the same time, its local government has become effective in the marketing of the achievements at national level.

            The politic context and the ability to work in cooperation with all government levels are key components to successfully establish a political-institutional framework for an economically sustainable city. The city of San Jose has been identified as one city that meets the criteria to enter into the Sustainable Cities Initiative - SCI of Canada. Other cities that are member of this initiative are the following: Katowice in Poland, Qingdao in China, Salvador in Brazil and Cordoba in Argentina. 

            The twelve municipalities of the San Jose Metropolitan Area are as follows:  Alajuelita, Aserrí, Curridabat, Desamparados, Escazú, Goicoechea, La Unión, Montes de Oca, Moravia, San José, Tibás and Vásquez de Coronado.  The conditions of each one of these cantons and their respective municipalities are very different in aspects such as population, economy and urban development.      

 

Table of characteristics of the population and the territory of the cantons of the City of San José.

CANTON

AREA M2

POP 2000

DENSITY 2000

San José

44583940.343

313,262

70.3

Escazú

34922825.828

52,808

15.1

Desamparados

59416288.910

185,100

31.2

Aserrí

29245712.399

35,123

12.0

Goicoechea

18710347.973

115,557

61.8

Alajuelita

21611822.122

71,126

32.9

Vázquez de Coronado

7202319.448

33,555

46.6

Tibás

8185412.354

72,644

88.7

Moravia

10174573.388

45,985

45.2

Montes de Oca

15634100.638

51,683

33.1

Curridabat

16077857.724

61,453

38.2

La Unión

44367545.093

80,664

18.2

Total

310132746.220

1,118,960

Source:  http://www.sanjosemetropolitano.org/ModAdministrativo/SJM_Entrada.htm

 


Maps on Urban Planning 2005
Canton of San Jose

(Note:   each map is between 1.5-2.5 mb;
"click" on each image to enlarge)

 

Threats

Map of Neighborhoods

Special Control and Patrimonial Buildings Map of Main Streets
Land use in Carmen Land use in Merced
Land use in Hospital Land use in Catedral
Land use in Zapote Land use in San Francisco de Dos Ríos
Land use in La Uruca Land use in Mata Redonda
Land use in Pavas Land use in Hatillo
Land use in San Sebastian Map of Major Roads

Source:  http://www.msj.co.cr/pdu.htm