Mexican masterplan

Thursday 02 Sep 2010

Working within the regulations of a world heritage site, the Xochimilco masterplan is well underway

Located in the natural preserve of Xochimilco, in the southern part of Mexico City, the master plan addresses a unique set of social, urban, and architectural challenges. The existence of the lakes, the chinampa farms and the canals provides a very fertile ground for re-thinking the natural habitat and reconnecting it back to the city. Serious air and water pollution problems give urgency to the need for new forms of sustainability. Taking on these paradoxical variables, the project seeks to create equilibrium and innovative sets of sustainable patterns.

Xochimilco was declared an UNESCO world heritage on 1987. Thus, the project requires modifications to local land use regulations, adaptation to UNESCO site specifications and limitations, as well as the partial relocation of existing owners, users and residents. The project embraces and improves the existing program of a park, originally developed in unplanned, disconnected phases. The proposed master plan reorganizes these elements in a single vertical strip of developed land that is closely related to the aquatic surroundings and regional history.

The existing program includes an Olympic Rowing Track; a Flower Market; a local park; Cuemanco sports club; research facilities and parking. The proposed additions to the program consist of The Research and Education Facility of Water [CIEAX], water treatment lagoons, additional parking and public transportation facilities, regulatory water basins and a botanical garden.

Work is already underway to clean the water and make it drinkable. The refurbishment of the water basins and its future use as recreational facilities will dramatically increase the quality of life of the inhabitants of this neighborhood. The core of the program fosters new ways of interaction, education and exploration for both the area’s residents and its visitors.

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