ALCALDÍA DE IZTAPALAPA, CDMX (2020) - Apparently there is no longer any room for utopias. But at iztapalapa, it is thought that the impossibility of something is the very recognition of utopia as a feasible project. The Units of Transformation and Organization for Social Inclusion and Harmony - Utopias of Iztapalapa - alter through design their places of conflict: spaces where having is a true act of resistance. These utopias arise from direct confrontation with the problems of their reality and the structural - and historical - deficiencies of water and public space in the area. These spaces, conceived in this way, are true material forces of shock in a place that lacks everything: wave pools, artificial lakes, fountains and ice rinks that are not posed as an illusion or a contradiction, but as a right. These actions of conceptual resistance fulfill a social function without which the revolutionary nature of these participatory architectural processes cannot be understood. In Iztapalapa, to think of utopia means to think of reality as absolutely possible.
LEARN MORE ABOUT UTOPÍAS
We asked the Iztapalapa City Hall team about Utopias and the importance for the city of developing public infrastructure systems in contexts of deprivation.
LIC. CLARA BRUGADA MOLINA
RAÚL BASULTO LUVIANO
General Direction of Construction and Urban Development
JULIETA FUENTES MORALES
EMMA CERVANTES CANO, FÁTIMA MARTÍNEZ HERNÁNDEZ
CÉSAR GUTIÉRREZ GARCÍA
ING. MARIO LANDA / ARQ. ALDO DÍAZ/ P.T. DANIELA HERNÁNDEZ / ARQ. LEOBARDO RODRÍGUEZ
GAETA- SPRINGALL ARQUITECTOS
ARQ. LORETA CASTRO REGUERA / MANUEL PERLÓ COHEN
ARQ. LORENZO REYES, ARQ. MOCTEZUMA REYES
CANO- VERA ARQUITECTURA Y URBANISMO
ARQ. JOSÉ ALLARD CONTRERAS
FACULTAD DE ARQUITECTURA UNAM TALLER RX
128 ARQUITECTURA Y DISEÑO URBANO
GABRIELA CARRILLO / DMP ARQUITECTURA
MAYORESS LIC. CLARA MARINA BRUGADA MOLINA
What is the origin of the project?
The project arises from the deep knowledge that the government team of the Mayor's Office, headed by Ms. Clara Brugada Molina, has about the various problems that afflict the population as a result of the historical and structural inequality and socio-spatial segregation of the demarcation, coupled with the various problems related to poor management of natural and territorial resources, which cause various problems to the population such as water shortages and imbalance, subsidence and cracking of the subsoil, backwardness in green areas and collapsed mobility.
With this in mind, the government team is inspired by the experience obtained with the UVAS of Medellin, which are equipment that go beyond their condition of physical infrastructure to an architecture understood as a means to transform societies. The model is taken up again and adapted to the specificities and challenges involved in generating a new reality for the Iztapalapa City Hall.
¿Por qué hablar de utopías y lugares idílicos en un contexto de carencia?
Vivir en un contexto de carencia no limita la capacidad de imaginar, querer y poder cambiar el entorno inmediato, ello se fortalece con la idea de lo utópico y lo idílico como algo deseable e inalcanzable. En Iztapalapa se crean las UTOPIAS que retoman dicho planteamiento y se proponen desde el ámbito de lo posible, se configuran como una forma de materializar desde lo arquitectónico y social un escenario transformador e incluyente, son proyectos de carácter integral y de alto impacto que permiten a la población conocer espacios y servicios de calidad que incentiven la imaginación, el deseo y realización de la mejora personal y del entorno inmediato.
Es verdad que las carencias son una realidad con múltiples causas, pero las UTOPIAS se constituyen como una estrategia que apuesta por la capacidad creativa y transformadora de los habitantes de Iztapalapa que muchas veces lo único de necesitan es una oportunidad.
What is Utopías?
They are Units of Transformation and Organization for Social Inclusion and Harmony: spaces of well-being, inclusion and social harmony, living schools of citizenship, of citizen interaction and learning, and spaces of community coexistence, where the public becomes a symbol and community treasure.
They are integral projects of high impact that have as objectives: to contribute to social transformation, to achieve a platform for the enjoyment of human rights and the exercise of the right to the city, and to provide spaces and quality public infrastructure for the integral development of the communities.
It is a strategy of urban transformation to compensate the historical and structural socio-territorial inequality in the demarcation by transforming the public space to generate a system of parks with a hierarchical and specialized structure that seeks to revalue it as a good of use and as an element of the territory and the social fabric.
How were the project sites chosen?
The projects are strategically located in the areas with the greatest social conflict and lagging behind in terms of services and public spaces. They are distributed equitably throughout the territory in order to attend to the largest number of people in the Mayor's Office. In order to define the properties, public spaces of sufficient size were identified, with serious social problems related to bad practices and abandonment by residents and authorities, and which, due to their location and proximity to primary roads in the municipality, met the ideal conditions for their recovery and transformation as UTOPIA. But, on the other hand, in the areas that do not have large open public spaces, properties belonging to different public instances were identified, which were underused and had sufficient territorial reserves to make them available to the population and transform them into the quality public spaces and facilities within the framework of this project.
How does your practice relate to architecture, and where do you see its impact on the future of the discipline?
The exponential growth of our cities and the different problems derived from this, have demanded a more active and committed participation of the guild. Today, the relationship between the architect and society requires a figure close to it, aware of the contexts and particulars of the territory where it is designed.
The use of public space as the main means of social transformation; it could be an example replicable in different areas of the country in similar conditions, on the way to an equitable right to the city.