According to Roberto Croes, who is working on the Master Plan Tourism, Curacao should be the most desirable destination in the Caribbean. That’s definitely not an eye-opener, who wouldn’t want that? Willemstad as the Venice of the Caribbean. To achieve this goal Croes gives six strategies, including renovation of the downtown and development of Eastpoint. To my amazement, he was missing one key point: Shut down the refinery!
But like most Curaçaoan the Aruban is also blind to the actual position of the stench and poison in the urban structure of this country. Willemstad is not only a city, but is like a ring around Schottegat like Manhattan around Central Park.
Manhattan has as its center a large and beautiful park, downtown Willemstad has a big and beautiful backwater that unfortunately is ruined and rendered inaccessible and therefore may be a blind spot in our perception and apparently also in those of Croes.
Move the refinery, in thought, to the Central Park and the hotels in Manhattan will close. As long as this refinery is located in the beautiful inland, Croes’ dream will amount to nothing and his master plan, even before being published is ready for the trash.
By Carlos Weeber, architect in Curaçao.