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Dominican Republic to foster Colonial City of Santo Domingo’s tourism and urban development with IDB support

$90 million loan will help recover public spaces and historical monuments, improve living conditions for residents, develop local economy and strengthen historical area management 

The Dominican Republic will revitalize the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, the first European settlement in the Americas, advancing its tourism and urban development and improving the quality of lives of city dwellers with a $90 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan. 

The program will help 200 low-income households tackle gentrification dynamics, fund a plan to recover facades, and finance a plan of indirect incentives for affordable home offer. It will also help restore traditional squares and the wall surrounding the old city, as well as its adjacent public spaces. 

Other goals include improving economic prospects for small and micro-sized enterprises –prioritizing those that are owned by or that employ area residents– among other things by strengthening training on tourism services delivery; reorganizing the Mercado Modelo market; and promoting a cultural activities program to be implemented through public-private partnerships. 

Restoration of historic buildings like the St. Francis Convent, museums, and public spaces will boost tourism, while new water, sewerage and storm drain systems will be built. Other areas of intervention include electricity and communications wiring; road building; installation of public lighting, street furniture and fixtures, road signs, and tree planting on priority roads with a climate change and adaptation view and prioritizing pedestrian traffic. 

The program also contemplates improving the Colonial City governance and implementing sustainable management principles and plans to strengthen tourism and tourism-related services. 

“The project will offer and integral answer to the needs of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City residents and visitors,” said Belinda Pérez, IDB project team leader Belinda. “It requires active participation and coordination from different public institutions and from social and private actors.” 

The Bank has been engaged in historical center restoration activities since 2012, with the execution of the Santo Domingo Colonial City Tourism Development Program. 

The $90 million IDB loan is for a 24-year term, with a 6.5-year grace period and LIBOR-based interest rate.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.

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