Final Reviews / Presentaciones de Fin de Curso

We are preparing to complete the 2010 Tijuana summer studio for Washington University @ Woodbury San Diego. The studio focused on urban rivers and urban development in three major cities; Los Angeles and the LA River canal - Mexico City and the valley of Chalco and its open sewer canal - Tijuana and the TJ River canal. All students visited the three sites during the first part of the course and are now getting ready to present their final projects.

Our Final review takes place on Friday, July 02, 2010. We will begin at 11:00 am, break for lunch at 1pm (lunch included) and review until 6pm.

Reception after review 6pm-9pm


The VC_TJ_LA Fluvial Transect: Water

The objective of the 2010 Tijuana Studio is to investigate the relationships between three major cities and their urban rivers; Los Angeles and the LA River, Tijuana and Rio Tijuana and Mexico City and Valle de Chalco. These three urban areas have developed through excessive degradation of their natural environment due to population increases, rampant development and overall disregard by their respective state agencies of matters in sustainable planning and conservation. These three cities share a common history since the era of the Spanish Colonies in the New World yet their final political fate was decided after the US-Mexico war of 1848. These three cities can trace their urban history to their rivers since they were the major source of water for agriculture, human consumption and economic activity. Revisiting their history we can find the efforts of the first settlers to live in symbiosis with the river and their water sheds respecting the natural conditions of the flood plains. It's not until the Spanish arrived and the industrialization of the cities, that rivers began their degradation and total abandonment, the fate of all three rivers was concrete channelization to control flooding of the haphazard urban development of the areas.

Today all three cities are redirecting efforts to revitalize the river fronts after many years of neglect or just simply abandonment. The city of Los Angeles in intending to remove the concrete channel in some areas of the LA River and implement a series of public spaces along its flow and restore native vegetation. The Tijuana River is now a part of a bi-national environmental debate between San Diego and Tijuana and efforts to control waste runoff from adjacent squatting settlements is a primary concern. The floods of the early 2010 in Mexico City made the canals along the urban areas to overflow endangering the lives of thousands of low income inhabitants in the community of Valle de Chalco. It is imperative to the future of the mentioned urban areas to redirect attention to their natural habitat, a place that is somewhat part of a shared history and an important element of local identity. This urban design summer studio will intend to locate the common threads between all of them and strategize punctual and local alternatives to the urbanized areas along the rivers with the inspiration of returning to a symbiotic existence between society and nature, and the potential for a sustainable urban future.

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