Lead: Qiwei Song (University of Toronto)
Completion Date: May 2018
As the population of Mexico City continues to grow, multiple factors push development and irregular settlements to peripheral hillsides of the city. The current informal urbanization pattern lacks infrastructural provisions and open space—which further increases social inequality. This project introduces a pre-emptive approach—a topographic landscape strategy that acts as an open space armature for future development on hillsides of the city. By connecting and planting hydraulic buffers along steep slopes and introducing topographic interventions in connected bands of open space, the project brings social, ecological, economic, and cultural amenities that support and sustain the inevitability of the informal growth pattern.
"A thesis project which exemplifies the interdisciplinary, problem-solving nature of urban design. It proposes a beautiful, topographic solution to informal development on the hillsides around Mexico City. The design concepts convincingly offer social, ecological, economic, and cultural benefits to the community."
"We're impressed by the extent of analysis and intervention strategies. Whether the proposed landscape armature could survive the pressure of informal urbanization is uncertain—absent a concerted local political or social organization. Nevertheless, this speculative exploration is intriguing, well-executed, and overall credible."