The development of the refinery area
With this post, we present to you our thoughts about the developments regarding the refinery deal and its relation to our vision for 2069 by directly connecting it to our core values.
A holistic approach to problem-solving by bringing together multiple disciplines.
The decision to sign a deal to continue operating the refinery is mainly based on the economic interests of saving and maintaining jobs. Even though this is a strong point, it is not the only interest to be considered. A multidisciplinary approach highlights other essential interests too. When the focus is directed towards health, well-being and the quality of the environment, then economic appeal towards the refinery diminishes due to negative externalities such as air, soil and smell pollution and restricted re-use of land. Investments in innovation and technological advancements can lead to new future-proof job creation and brain gain. More attention to the design of the refinery and its relation to its surrounding area with the Handelskade and cruise terminals can have a significant impact on how locals and tourists experience our city center and harbor.
A forward-thinking mindset that cultivates ideas of high quality.
We have to ensure that our current decisions cultivate high-quality outcomes for both today and the long-term future. With the more expected growth in tourism, we have to discuss how the refinery can co-exist with the tourism pillar and other potential pillars like IT and education. Therefore we have to look far ahead to be able to be where we want to be in 10, 30, 50, or 60 years. With the role of the oil industry expecting to change in the coming decades, Curaçao has to start already preparing for a sustainable future without or with limited refinery-related operations.
To think, design, try, and repeat before execution.
The execution of this significant project needs to be well thought out in advance. Decisions should be substantiated not only by economic models but also by other models that predict future outcomes, such as urban development, technological advancement, human and environmental well-being. The refinery always had, and now with this new deal will continue to have an enormous effect on our Island. The state of the area rules out some development options, like living and farming, but the remaining approximately one-third of the area can be developed in many ways. The best plan needs to be well-researched and tested before we commit to it for the long-term. The site offers exceedingly diverse opportunities to explore maritime, technology and sustainable energy production industries.
Having people actively participate in the shaping of their environment.
The developments regarding the refinery have a significant impact on Curaçao; it involves many stakeholders, the location is strategic and central and it affects our economy and people. Its long-term character is what makes the refinery an island-wide topic of discussion. We strongly believe that people need to be actively included in the shaping of their environment. Not just governmental parties and officials, but also nearby residents, private companies and foundations. Most important is the participation of our youth in these processes because, after all, it is they who will still be here in 60 years.
We wrote a story that represents our vision for Curaçao in 2069. In this vision, the brownfield land that was once the Isla refinery is transformed into a high-quality and vibrant city district. To read the story, click here.