Mexico City has water challenges that are exacerbated by a lack of infrastructure, population demands, and water and soil pollution. The project compliments a new wetland constructed in 2021 by Mexico’s federal district water operator SACMEX, which supplements the water treatment system. A small-scale wetland replicates technically, but also pedagogically, the water treatment strategies of the water plant. The project strategy is to connect the different circumstances of the plot with each other. The landfill area will be used as the site for large buildings and the forest, which is in good shape and a rarity in the district, will be a place to interact with nature at a more intimate scale. Recycling debris from the landfill will reduce construction costs and will be a symbolic approach to the memory of the place. Utopía Estrella will become the most important social infrastructure of the area: a small, but crucial element for the urban transformation of Iztapalapa. The project addresses a critical need for intervention in the area, emphasizing the importance of water treatment and environmental regeneration.
Project status: Under construction since January 2023.
The jury panel was profoundly impressed by this design project, which undertakes a remarkable regeneration intervention in a challenging neighborhood in Mexico City. The project stood out to the jury for its genuine commitment to achieving a positive impact on the community, rather than merely pursuing formalistic goals. The design of the project was commended for its excellent program, aiming to reconnect the locals with the natural essence of their territory and enhance their quality of life. The provision of new public spaces and social and cultural facilities showcased the project’s commitment to serving the community’s needs. The project’s considered approach to recycling debris was also highly appreciated, underlining its responsible waste management practices.
Beyond its evident architectural and environmental significance, the jury recognised the project’s pedagogical aspect holding a pivotal role in its overall impact. The educational facet of the intervention involves engaging with the local community to induce a shift in behavior towards sustainable practices. By doing so, the project not only empowers individuals to make mindful decisions but also helps them understand the broader environmental context of their actions. Overall, the project approach resonates far beyond the immediate community. It becomes a model for similar areas by setting an example for broader urban planning strategies. By nurturing an environment of informed decision-making, the project effectively contributes to the cultivation of a sustainable ethos, which, in the long run, could be adopted across diverse contexts.