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Urban Asymmetries: ECATEPEC. Proposing alternative urbanities:

Authors
  • Lühl, P.
Publication Date
Jul 03, 2009
Source
TU Delft Repository
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Ecatepec, Mexico City presents the challenge of uniform, low-density peri-urban sprawl in the form of privately developed gated communities for the lower income groups. The main objective of this project is to propose alternatives to low-income housing, amplifying local skills and cultural consciousness, facilitating autonomy through local production and trade, as well as creating the possibilities of political manifestation through the strengthening of communal facilities. The wasteland in between the Las Americas gated community and the dried-out Lake Caracol is zoned for industrial use as in its current condition, it is not fit for housing developments due to soil and dust pollution. The proposal is to improve the environmental condition by making the 900 ha former lake productive through water-based agriculture with related processing facilities along its border. The proposed agricultural model is based on chinampas, a pre-Hispanic agricultural system with productive fields within a large body of water, which is still practiced in contemporary Mexico City. This will allow to urbanize the wasteland in order to propose an alternative model for urbanization with 14 000 units, approximately the same as Las Americas. The aim of the architectural design proposal is to develop a new model for urbanization that will counter previously mentioned urban problematics, based on higher urban density, meaning not only volumetric built density, but also mixed functions, less open space and rather more usable public space which will ultimately lead to an increase in density of social relations. Specifically, housing typologies will be developed that relate closely to the production and processing project mentioned above as well as other small-scale commercial activities. Seeing the low density and the mono-functionality of Las Americas, densification and introduction of new planned land uses within its suburban fabric becomes a key strategy. As the priority given to cars is what provides this low density, the proposal is to invade excessive public space of roads through the addition of housing as well as commercial functions. The final objective is to link the existing suburban fabric to the new mid-high density urban development that is proposed above.

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