Transition of the Economic Vein in Coronie, Suriname

Transition of the Economic Vein in Coronie, Suriname

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Design-driven participatory action research on spatial interventions to promote the economic artery in the Suriname district of Coronie, taking into account short- and long-term infrastructure works.

The district of Coronie in Suriname has 3391 inhabitants, more than 50% of whom live around the Oost-Westverbinding (Mi- gratie en landbouwontwikkeling, 1995). Economic activities are carried out on 32.8% of these plots. At the coastal villages, Friendship, Totness and Mary’s Hope, the Oost-West-verbinding acts as an economic vein. The family businesses that engage in small-scale agriculture, homemaking and local trade, are the main pillar within this vein: they account for at least 84.8% of all economic activities. During participatory moments as part of this master’s thesis, business owners testify that they are currently under great pressure from local and supra-local factors such as an ageing population, infertile farmland and dated water supply infrastructure. On top of that, the Ministry of Public Works of Suriname has plans to implement infrastructure works to improve national accessibility in the short and long term. The publications ‘Architectuur en Bouwcultuur in Suriname, 2009’, ‘Dromers, Doemdenkers en Doorzetters, 2010’ and ‘Bouwen aan de Wilde Kust, 2015’ show that infrastructure works in the past had an impact on the development of the local economic fabric. Therefore, it can be concluded that the planned infrastructure works may lead to a transition of the economic vein in Coronie.

This master thesis includes an assessment of the potential impact of infrastructure works on the economic vein within coastal villages. In addition, advice is formulated so that business owners can anticipate the impact of infrastructure works at an early stage and further develop the economic fabric. The advice consists of community-scale spatial interventions aimed at encouraging business owners and other concerned actors to take action themselves.

Previous publications on the economic fabric in Coronie date from the early 2000s and are no longer up-to-date. Moreover, no information could be found on the impact of future infrastructure works on the economic vein in Coronie. This master’s thesis attempts to close this information gap from an architectural and spatial perspective and seeks to propose recommendations obtained through design-driven participatory action research (DD-PAR).

  • Authors:
    • Zoë Dierckx

    • Nathan De Feyter (Promotor)
    • Frederik Vandyck (Promotor)
    • Marciano Dasai (Promotor)
  • Period:
    • 2022 — 2023  

    • Architecture

    • Master thesis

    • Anton De Kom Universiteit van Suriname