Sustainable settlements and communities

The closing ceremony for the Community Empowerment Program's sustainable settlements event was held in Cartagena, Colombia on April 27, 2019.

Two girls and a boy pose for a photo with a smile on their faces

We carried out this initiative with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with whom in 2018 we signed a global agreement to facilitate and strengthen collaboration for the development of communities and the protection of human rights, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Sustainable Settlements program sought to implement sustainable development strategies for the residents of the Villas de Aranjuez and Ciudad del Bicentenario neighbourhoods, with the aim of improving their living conditions through inclusive models for income generation, employability, job training, and citizenship building, and safe living spaces, which would allow them to maximize their capabilities and opportunities.

It is important to note that the two neighborhoods in which the Sustainable Settlements programe was carried out are part of the National Government's 100,000 free housing projects, a project that seeks to provide free housing for displaced households, vulnerable households, and those affected by the winter wave, among others. In total there are 21,000 victims of this situation.


Total contribution





The project followed a four-pronged approach:

  1. Income generation through entrepreneurship and enterprise

    Its objective was to enhance the productive capacities of the community, expanding their opportunities in terms of income generation, so that they can autonomously exercise their rights as citizens and improve their quality of life. In this way, the aim was to strengthen and formalize local suppliers, foster productive chains with a shared value approach, promote inclusive markets, improve the technical capacities of entrepreneurs and business people, and develop cultural projects of the orange economy.

    Therefore, the following programs were created: Supplier Development Program, Incuba Route, Start-up Route, Micro Franchise, and Orange Economy (including Vive Bailando).
  2. Promotion of human capital and employability

    This consisted of providing qualified and relevant training, through accredited entities, to people in situations of poverty and vulnerability. A total accompaniment was provided: from the technical training of those selected, to their integration into the labor market.
  3. Urban agro-ecology

    The aim was to implement a productive space for urban agriculture, based on bio-intensive vegetable gardens and designing an inclusive business model through the entire value chain (training, sowing, harvesting and storage, and distribution/marketing). In this way, an enclosed nursery was built on a 33-meter lot to install hydroponic technology, tanks, and underground irrigation systems for harvesting vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
  4. Strengthening of the social fabric and community organizations

    Its main objective was to formulate the Ciudad del Bicentenario Development Plan for the 2017-2019 period, which would become the map for the community to have in their hands an instrument with the basic information to define all the management required to satisfy the basic needs of the community.
A person performs a job with an artisanal machine.

How much income was generated through the venture and the enterprise?

With an investment of one billion pesos, which benefited 346 families, this part of the project focused on strengthening the productive capacities of the community, for which 40 businesses were created and 3 microfranchises were opened. Additionally, 132 local businesses were strengthened and 2 creative businesses were created in art and culture for young people.

Initiatives that have resulted in expanded opportunities for improved income generation and improved quality of life.

A person with his back turned wearing a black T-shirt with the Repsol logo.

What were the results of promoting human capital and employability?

With an investment of 234.7 million pesos (€10.2 million), 120 families benefited from this project, which provided qualified training to people in situations of poverty and vulnerability.

As a result, 60 people were trained for the job market, 50 of whom entered the market through 3 employment partnerships.

A woman harvesting fruit from a plant

What objectives were achieved with urban agro-ecology for self-sufficiency and marketing of fresh food?

With an investment of 184 million pesos, 40 families benefited.

With the aim of eliminating intermediaries and creating an inclusive business model throughout the value chain, a productive space for urban agriculture has been implemented with the work of 120 people trained in bio-intensive agriculture.

A woman holds several magazines and in the background several children sit at tables.

How many people benefited from the strengthening of the social fabric of community organizations?

With 700 people benefitting through 2 local development plans following the creation of the Model of Integral Development of Sustainable Communities, 110 leaders were trained and empowered so that the community has the necessary tools to define the management of their basic needs.