INTERNATIONAL IDEAS COMPETITION
A recalibrated CUERNAVACA RAILWAY PARK (CRP) has a profound opportunity in becoming a significant contributor in reshaping the future of Mexico City and establishing its presence on the global stage as a leader in environmental innovation. Despite the rapid urban sprawl realized by Mexico City and the environmental challenges that have followed, the City continues to prioritize a re-thinking towards the role of urban systems to combat excessive pollution, rising carbon monoxide and ozone levels, depleting aquifer levels, and strained urban infrastructural networks.
At present, the CRP is characterized as a homogenous composition of disrupted pathways, fragmented public use areas, and a declining ecological diversity. To create a more diverse, integrated and healthy network of program, activity and ecosystems and redefine the CRP as a truly ecologically rich and bio-diverse urban system, a new process of urban re-calibration needs to be realized. We propose a matrix of NESTS, LINES, and FIELDS to maximize opportunities for establishing a thriving urban, social, cultural, and ecological agenda:
NESTS Provoked by the striking street markets of Mexico City bustling under red canopies, urban “Nests” are proposed as incubators for social, cultural, recreational, and ecological activation. Purposefully positioned, “Nests” are woven along the corridor to enhance existing local program, activities, and environments while provide a robust framework for establishing a thriving bio-diverse matrix of indigenous species and local ecologies (i.e. vertical display gardens, sport venues, cultural arenas, concert pavilions, cultural exhibitions, art galleries, kiosks, pergolas, markets, and bodegas).
LINES The CRP is envisioned as a contiguous line of social, cultural, and ecological program that is threaded together by a unifying pre-cast concrete paving system established to promote mobility and movement along the entirety of the Park. Parallel to the circulation lines, a series of linear gardens, bio-swales, grass-lined channels, and wooded promenades establish an extensive hydrologic network to enhance stormwater mitigation, habitat, air quality, and carbon sequestration. The network of hydrological “Lines” function as a buffer against potential increases in storm severity by absorbing runoff from the surrounding urban environment and increasing groundwater recharge rates to the city’s strained aquifer while providing a range of bio-diverse habitats for local flora and fauna.
FIELDS A matrix of programmatic and ecological “Fields” are envisioned as a series of urban “Stages” for gathering, lounging, play, sport, exposition and performance. Ecological “Fields” are orchestrated along the corridor as patches of habitat (e.g., woodland, grassland, wetland) emblematic of the subtropical highland climate of the Valley of Mexico located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt providing refuge for many species of bird, butterfly, and others threatened by urban sprawl and climate change while ensure established ecosystem services are maintained over time.
Collectively, the three systems of “Nests”, “Lines”, and “Fields” highlight CLP’s potential of repositioning the singular and homogeneous utility of the existing railway corridor into a multi-productive, multi-layered, adaptive landscape-driven ecological network that both provides essential cultural, social, and recreational outlets while assisting in enhancing climate adaptation, mitigation, and environmental health potentials of Mexico City’s metro-region.
M3PROJECT: Urban Strategy
Mallol & Mallol Arquitectos: Architectural Strategy