LafargeHolcim Foundation Knowledge Turntable for Sustainable Construction


Putting water back on the table

Construction underway at Parque Hídrico Quebradora – addressing the paradox of excess rain and a scarcity of drinking water in Mexico City

An ambitious project to transform public perceptions of water, and to embed civic amenities into water infrastructure is underway in Mexico City. The Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning project will improve conditions in the dense urban fabric by forming a greenbelt that doubles as water management infrastructure. Hydropuncture consolidates an alternate, decentralized, and sustainable water management system for Mexico City. Work is progressing according to plan. Basic earthworks are completed and the series of terraced platforms and retaining walls of volcanic stones are in place.

Work is progressing according to plan. Basic earthworks are completed and the series of terraced platforms and retaining walls of volcanic stones are in place. In the next six months, the buildings will be erected and a great number of trees and plants added to create both a recreational area and a wetland system to naturally filter storm and wastewater.

A18GLgoMX-update1804-03.jpgThe earthwork underway takes into account the geology and history of the Mexican capital. Built on an endorheic basic fed by 47 rivers, Mexico City is at the center of a 1,100km square lake system. The Aztec city of Tenochtitlán was founded in 1325 and used a grid of canals and floating earth platforms (chinampas) to permit the natural flow of water. After colonization, the city was transformed into an earth and stone grid that covered the canals and increased flood vulnerability, eventually leading to the draining of the lake system by artificially perforating the basin. Today, the megalopolis of 22 million inhabitants still struggles with floods and the supply of drinking water. To make matters worse, the city is vulnerable to earthquakes.

A18GLfiMX-CrossSection2.jpgThe project includes strategies such as rainwater harvesting; natural infiltration; runoff retention; reforestation of the hillsides; stream and river remediation; and the transformation of wastelands into landscape infrastructures. Starting with Parque Hídrico Quebradora, the approach led by Manuel Perló Cohen, researcher at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and Loreta Castro Reguera, design director at Taller Capital, sets a new paradigm for the future design of public urban spaces in the country.

Last Updated: May 03, 2018
Article Details
Mexico City, Mexico
Related Information
Related Project
Hydropuncture in Mexico
Hydropuncture in Mexico

Project intermingling flood basins and public amenities, with spaces following the gravitational logic of flowing water in an...

LafargeHolcim Foundation

Search Help

Our website search engine covers the web pages including project descriptions and expert profiles, PDFs, images and videos on the LafargeHolcim Foundation website. To improve your search results, here are some tips:

Basic search

Our search defaults to term-pairing AND. If you search sustainable construction - then the search engine will look for any items containing sustainable AND construction


photovoltaic OR solar

Looks for either word


(clay OR mud) AND (school OR university)

Combine alternative terms for more specific searching


geothermal -heating

Excludes a term from results, automatically ANDs other terms listed


"zero carbon"

Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase or combination

Wildcards (one or more characters)


Asterisk (*) matches any word or phrase - so archit* will find architect, architecture, architectural as well as architrave