TOOLS#1: NO PLACES 3/3
Ideas for a plausible debate about the future of a selection of no-places in Benito Juarez Municipality, in Mexico City
24 Oct 2018, Mexico City, Mexico
GROUP 3: NORTH-EAST PARTS OF BENITO JUÁREZ MUNICIPALITY - URBANISTIC AND SOCIAL CONCERNS
SUPERISSSTE NARVARTE - Uncertain future and a decaying mall
In this area we observe many problems, but none of them is related to lack of public services. On the contrary: we can talk about redundance. There’s a lot of commerce in these streets. A big shopping mall (Parque Delta, one of the biggest in Mexico City) rest almost door-to-door with the famous SuperIssste Narvarte, a huge retail store owned by the Government to serve its employees.
SuperIssste is becoming rapidly a ghost mall, a decaying complex. It’s destiny is uncertain: some say it will be demolish to build... yet another mall! (Not needed, at all).
And what does this area need? Security. Well lit streets. Public spaces designed for specific purposes (beyond the quintessential pocket park with some turf an swings for kids).
Nearby, a juvenile detention complex is being built. A community center (for the teaching of arts and crafts, for example) articulated with this complex could be a huge declaration of principles for the neighborhood. You know: youth rehabilitation as a priority.
CENTRO SCOP - New life for an icon
In Xola Avenue and Eje Central, a monument to modernist, mid-century mexican architecture stands proud. Or used to stand proud. This was the headquarters of Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Obras Públicas (SCOP), built in 1952.
It was stricking: massive ten-story buildings covered with mural paintings, made by some of the finest artists from de Muralismo movement: Juan O’Gorman, Francisco Zúñiga y Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt.
Centro SCOP was damaged heavily during the 1985 Earthquake. A couple of buildings lost floors, but miraculously the murals were saved. The 2017 Earthquake was responsible for the final blow, and a decision was made: the complex would be entirely demolished.
The murals (13 of them) were removed. Where could they find new life? At first, he new Mexico City airport was destined to be their home. But, as you know, the megaproject was cancelled. So?
One important aspect should be considered: each mural is a piece of a whole visual narrative. Is an ensamble, and it should be preserved like that. And a couple of questions should also be adressed: does this area need another ‘monument’? This building represented Mexican social and technological progress in the 20th Century: what it should stand for now?
FORMER CARPA ASTROS, CALZADA DE TLALPAN & VILLA DE CORTÉS - Upcoming Megaproject
Calzada de Tlalpan is the Great Divide. A long north-south avenue, with a subway line in its center, that separates and isolates huge extensions and many neighborhoods in the city.
In the surroundings of Villa de Cortés –a middle-class suburb with some Art-deco character–, a housing megaproject is being developed. This is a big opportunity for the improvement of public services and urban ladscape, in general.
Between subway stations (separated 800 meters from each other) a No Land is configured: insecure, dark underpasses, noisy and hostile vehicular stream with narrow sidewalks. No haven around. Few bridges.
Any housing project that doesn’t take in consideration this difficult enviroment will only make things worse.
Transcript & Edition: Pablo García
Preliminary Research: Miguel Ángel Jiménez & Víctor Zúñiga
Graphic Design: Romain Roy-Pinot
Discussion Team: Carolina Arellano, Ana Laura Arista, Alberto Bautista Che, Raquel Cruz,
Pablo García, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Romain Roy-Pinot & Víctor Zúñiga