The main stages of construction for Hyrdropuncture: La Quebradora Water Park in Iztapalapa, Mexico City have been completed. The Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold 2018 winning project represents a change in the paradigm of water management, and is coordinated by Manuel Perló of the Institute of Social Research (IIS) at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) with architect Loreta Castro of Taller Capital. After winning the top LafargeHolcim Awards prize, the project also received the Premio Ciudad for the best architectural intervention of the year for Mexico City in November 2018.
The project diverts rainwater from the Sierra de Santa Catarina area to prevent urban flooding that would normally inundate Ermita Iztapalpa Avenue. Hydropuncture also improves the quality of water that infiltrates the subsoil and increases the volume of water that replenishes the water table by 35%. Captured rainwater runoff is treated through a combined system of biological anaerobic ponds and wetlands. The water management infrastructure also creates public, recreational, coexistence and landscape space that celebrates water – but at the same time it will help solve the water problems in the area, characterized paradoxically by both a lack of drinking water and the impact of urban flooding.
The site doubles the public space available for the 28,000 residents to almost three square meters per person and triples the number of trees. The public park also promotes a civic culture of water appreciation, which is critical to improving Mexico City’s capacity to implement sustainable water use practices. Water pumps and public lighting are powered by solar panels on site.
Following the elections and resulting changes in the composition of the governmental bodies of Mexico City, the Mayor’s Office of Iztapalapa was instructed to suspend the finalization of La Quebradora Hydrological Park project in December 2018 due to the lack of relevant studies and documents that are believed to be missing due to omissions by the former local administration. The administrative issues are in the process of being resolved, so that the project praised by the Global Jury as "foregrounding the importance of water as a resource in urban contexts" can be brought to completion.