Texan architects create a concept to unite Mexcians with Americans
The urban core of Laredo, Texas is the largest inland port of entry to the United States. "Los Dos Laredos", Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, have shared a common cultural and socio-economic organism for centuries. Post 9/11 and amid a shifting urban context redefined by Narco political agendas and an undefined immigration policy, the transnational dynamic both formal and informal, of the two Laredos has been radically altered.
Fear is the catalyst for a new circumstance of urbanisation with militarisation. The two cities are now reshaped by a wall transforming thousands of day labourers into criminal suspects. The Laredo 20/20 Vision Plan is both practical and theoretical proposing that the citizens of Laredo themselves construct an alternate economic, social, and symbolic urbanism.
The Centre of Transnational Imaginary serves as a symbolic bridge for the US and Mexico, creating a visual connection between the two nations while educating visitors on critical border issues. Los Dos Laredos Riverfront Development establishes a contiguous relationship between the riverfront development, the Rio Grande River, and Mexico. Nopalito Hemispheric Trade Centre is an architectural manifestation of the Nopal cactus, native to the Texas/Mexico borderlands, it is landscape, cuisine, and symbol of cultural pride, symbolising the evergreen nature of an economy, social construct, and identity that will not be divided.
Pan American Plaza re-imagines the south most terminuses in the United States of the historic Pan American Highway, creating a four block civic plaza, a place that is the symbolic centre of a new transnational metropolis. The plan espouses an urban construct that along primary trade routes and the Rio Grande River rejects fear and instead envisions an environment of cultural and social sustainability, rooted in a transnational imaginary that cannot be divided by politically imposed borders or policies.