INDUSTRY AND THE GROWTH OF SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS.
This sugar processing plant is surrounded by a combination of undeveloped land, dense organic spaces and a small portion of the city’s planned developments. The industrial area lies on the outskirts of San Pedro De Macoris’s urban development and this indicates that it was a later addition to the original settlement. The Southern boundary of the factory is adjacent to a large organic development, which boasts a substantial number of informal, residential buildings. These buildings are fairly ramshackle, undeveloped and can be assumed to belong to a lower socio economic demographic within the city7 .Some stand almost up against the factory fence and their proximity to the factory, indicates that these houses may belong to factory workers, or people associated with the industrial facility. The area along the South-Eastern boundary is semi developed and is made up of an older and more traditional street scape. A planned, grid pattern can be seen in the street layout and the influence of the original Spanish settlement is evident here10. There is also a fairly large cemetery that is located along the southern border of factory and this space creates an edge and a buffer between the organic and planned spaces. The cemetery provides an insight into the culture of the population and the dominant Catholic beliefs which derived from the Spanish settlement.
San Pedro de Macoris has developed in an erratic and unpredictable manner9. Growth has occurred in all directions and these newer developments surround the original Spanish colonial settlement10. Many of the more recent areas have developed along major transport corridors in and out of the city, however, it could also be argued that they have developed around industrial facilities which are located along these corridors11. These industrial developments were constructed on the outskirts of the city, but have now grown into the urban fabric of San Pedro de Macoris and are almost surrounded by residential areas. It is difficult to connect this development to any city planning strategies and the erratic and swift growth of the sugar industry can be attributed to this. The location of the industrial facility that is being analysed is ideal for such a development. It possesses easy access to resources such as water, stands in close proximity to two major roads and is located just across the river from a number of large sugar cane fields7. The influx of Haitian and Cuban migrants that brought with them their knowledge of the sugar industry greatly contributed towards the development of the industrial area and the surrounding residential spaces. Many of the migrants would have gone on to work in the factories or on the cane fields, and the number of blue collar workers in San Pedro de Macoris would have risen exponentially6. These workers would have needed accommodation that was cheap and fast to build and close to the factory that they worked at. As a result, the development of the informal organic spaces in various portions of the city can be said to be a product of this. The expansion of the city and the development of the sugar industry definitely affected the urban form of San Pedro de Macoris. Certain aspects of the original settlement’s built form and street layout have been disregarded and the character of the cityscape was altered.