Economic vision for the city's new POT
At the end of 2017, the CCB provided the District Administration with the guidelines of the economic vision for the city's new POT.
As a relevant actor of civic dialog in the city, in 2017, the CCB developed a business participation strategy aimed at consolidating a series of recommendations to make the POT not only an instrument for the physical planning of the territory, but also a tool that promotes the competitiveness of companies, the city and the region.
The recommendations for the POT to have an economic vision were developed based on the Smart Specialization Strategy, a competitiveness agenda that defines the region’s five areas of productive vocation and currently serves as a roadmap for the Regional Competitiveness Commision of Bogota and Cundinamarca (CRC, for the Spanish original), a body in which public and private efforts are coordinated to promote business competitiveness.
In order to convey the feelings of associates, the Chamber carried out about 25 workshops and roundtables over a period of six months, with representatives from the production sector that belong to the five areas of Smart Specialization and the 16 cluster initiatives led by the CCB. At the same time, the subsidiaries of the Chamber, the Corporación Ambiental Empresarial (CAEM) and Bogotá’s Investment Promotion Agency, Invest in Bogotá, were consulted to learn the environmental needs and the requirements of new investors who arrive in the city.
The Vice-president of the Chamber's Public-Private Synergy, Jorge Mario Díaz, explained that “the result of this exercise is valuable input for the future of our city, because based on these recommendations, the District can order the territory with decisions that are more suited to the economic and social reality of Bogotá and, at the same time, promote economic development and competitiveness”.
He added that the problems and respective solutions put forward by associates are in line with the Chamber's perspective to generate a better environment to strengthen business and its objective to create more and better companies.
The Chamber’s proposal is for the city’s POT to be based on business productivity and competitiveness, in order to create a context that will favor economic development and prosperity.
The guidelines proposed by the Chamber regarding the POT are related to the balanced coexistence of diverse activities in the territory, authorizing new economic activities on the land in the light of the Smart Specialization strategy, the creation of a quality logistics infrastructure, incentives to engage the private sector in the city’s transformation and legal security to attract and retain investment.
Mixed land use
The first guideline consists of adjusting the POT to the city’s economic reality in terms of location and growth potential of economic activities and opening up the possibility of mixed use in the city, combining residential, services, industry and trade uses. This would facilitate the location of economic activities that are related or complementary to existing ones, and help to retain the companies that want to expand their facilities but cannot do so due to land use and space issues.
New areas for business development
More land must be made available to locate companies carrying out new activities that are not provided for in the current regulations, as well as to set up supporting infrastructure, such as educational and connectivity facilities, among others, to allow the development and consolidation of the areas of productive vocation of the city region. The goal is to accommodate, in specific areas of Bogotá, the cultural or creative industries or biocosmetics, for example.
This could be achieved through processes of urban renewal of unused areas of the city and the development of expansion areas. It is essential to develop new economic areas in the city for a more balanced distribution of business activity throughout the urban territory, which would help bring employment centers closer to residential areas and thus, reduce commuting times, pollution and improve citizens’ quality of life.
Logistical areas and improvement of infrastructure
Based on the analysis by the Chamber and its associates, the city requires areas in its territory or in neighboring municipalities, after consultation, to set up logistical platforms. Cargo logistics must be made more competitive by defining specialized corridors and areas for this activity. In this regard, there is a Regional Logistics Plan that defines priority projects, whose completion requires the strengthening of the Logistics Unit, as the institutionality that can promote the initiatives required by the Bogotá region.
Incentives for investment
One of the guidelines that must guide the economic vision of the POT is the creation of conditions to promote private investment, considering the large number of infrastructure projects that are being proposed. It is necessary to create incentives that will make participation more attractive for private enterprise in the transformation of the city region. In this sense, the Chamber also considers it to be important to implement actions to expedite the application of development instruments, such as the partial plans. In addition, it must promote the location of production activities associated with science, technology and innovation, cultural and creative industries and projects aimed at a sustainable city. One example is to know what private participation would be like in the metro stations.
For the associates and the Chamber, there must be clear and stable regulations as a condition to attract and retain local, national and international investment. The POT must be an instrument that defines in detail the parameters and conditions to carry out the activities, in order to avoid interpretations that may affect the enforcement of the regulations. It is also recommended that the same articles of the Plan specify the approval times of the decrees that regulate it, in order to avoid delays in the generation of regulations.