PPP #06 The City of Knowledge

Located about 20 minutes away from the Technological University of Panama - assuming you don't run into a traffic jam - lies the Ciudad del Saber, the City of Knowledge. When Panama was occupied by the United States, this base directly in front of the Miraflores locks was called Fort Clayton and the US Army headquarters here in Panama City. After the US departure the government founded a non-profit organization with the mission to turn the vacated facilities at Clayton into a center for knowledge exchange. Amidst the green beauty you can see the buildings showing logos of the Red Cross, the United Nations, the World Food Program, Plan International and plenty more.

As soon as the research project I am working on at the University started to show a lot of potential we began to look for funding. After giving a talk in their headquarters located in Ciudad del Saber it was an amazing feeling to leave the building and take a walk in the park.

The park located near the center

I don't only enjoy the sun and humid air here. The fauna is also catching my eye over and over again. I have never casually walked next to palms and giant mango trees. It is a small zen moment when there is just walking and to feel how with every shadow patch cast onto my skin by the countless leaves the almost burning sensation from the sunlight disappears for the fraction of a second only to appear again in the next moment.

A giant mango tree

The military purpose shaped Clayton. Most notably you can still see structures that used to be checkpoints and army quarters. The architecture is however not only pragmatic, but also very beautiful and spacious with many green elements and beautiful design. Especially the villas, formerly used as quarters if I recall correctly, caught my eye.

One of the villas

It's a truly beautiful place and even accessible by bus. I would still love to see more openness and tighter cooperations with universities and academia. Ciudad del Saber has huge potential to become a great campus with all universities of Panama united, sharing facilities like laboratories. I might also think that way because I secretly wish to work there and enjoy the parks every day.

If anyone reading this is checking out the place, here's a protip: Check out Pan y Canela. It's an amazing panaderĂ­a and you haven't truly been in the City of Knowledge unless you had breakfast or lunch there. Enjoy!