Manuel Perló Cohen and Loreta Castro Reguera from Mexico City designed urgently needed water infrastructure for a favela in the Mexican capital. The project integrates greened public courtyards and public buildings, which strengthen the social fabric. “Equal attention is given to technical considerations of water management, social provision of public space, and the economics of construction as well as long-term maintenance,” said the jury.Read more » más información (Spanish) »
Serving a dense, impoverished neighborhood of Mexico City, this project combines much-needed water infrastructure with a new type of public space. Stepped terrain and a series of public buildings form a rich variety of courtyards. Low basins host wetlands and provide storage capacity to mitigate flooding during heavy rainfall. Upper levels move from soft landscape to hard paving, from park to plaza. By interweaving water management with public amenities, the project reintroduces water to the civic realm.Read more » más información (Spanish) »
Engaging people & public space to create water culture: the first Hydrourban Acupuncture
Parque Hídrico Quebradora is part of a larger plan, born from research, to build a parallel alternate sustainable water system for Mexico City by transforming public spaces into soft water management infrastructures through a strategy of Hydrourban Acupunctures. It aims to reintroduce water into the city’s visible realm by understanding its current natural, urban, economic, social, and political conditions. The project directly engages people with water by understanding its cycle and the potentialities that the landscape has to regulate storms and treat wastewater. The program is developed together with the surrounding community through a participatory-design model. This and the design strategy are replicable by adjusting to site specific conditions aiming to create water culture.
Understanding the site’s infiltration capacity to sensibly build upon it
La Quebradora gets its name from the site: a place of broken stone. Its position on the hillside enables water to naturally infiltrate the ground. The informally urbanized Sierra Santa Catarina, with former streams covered in asphalt, produces fast runoffs during the rainy season, flooding the main avenue, Ermita. This flow is diverted from the adjacent streets into the site, passing through a series of screens and filters that ameliorate its quality before placing it into two infiltration basins located in the northern part. The wastewater is treated through a combined system: aerobic treatment plant and a sub-superficial wetland for its later use in public toilets, irrigation, and to fill water pipes for the region. Power comes from 208 solar panels producing 54 KWh.
Promoting a long term soft infrastructure through the commitment of diverse sectors
The project aims to establish a long term relationship with its neighbors and the region through its use, both as a public space and as an infrastructure. The business plan strategy focuses on setting an escrow (academia, government, private sector, community) to obtain 60% funding from the private sector and government; and during the first five years to later flip percentages, letting the park auto-finance with 60%, receiving the remainder from donors and government. Maintenance involves hiring the community nearby and involving the city’s water management system (SACMEX), as the park will become part of it. Built from the region’s volcanic rock by molding the site through a series of platforms and contentions walls, the hope is for the project to last for centuries to come, mingling with the place.See more
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