Page 1

B L U R R I N G THE E D G E symbiotic cities along the u.s. - mĂŠxico border

THE

cĂŠsar rodarte


+ san diego +

tijuana

+ Tohono O’odham Indian Reserve cd.

+ Traditional Tohono O’odham sacred land


+ el paso + juรกrez


THE

P r efa c e

“G

[BRIEF] enerously supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Divided City Initiative focuses on how segregation in a broad sense has and often continues to play out as a set of spatial practices in cities, neighborhoods, and public spaces, including schools, health facilities, and entertainment venues.

The Divided City Graduate Summer Research Fellowship is awarded by the Center for the Humanities, in partnership with the College and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, for graduate students in the Humanities, Humanistic Social Sciences, Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. As part of an interdisciplinary initiative on The Divided City, the summer fellowship has the purpose of providing research opportunities to graduate students (M.U.D., M.Arch., M.L.A. DrSU, or Ph.D.) on urban segregation broadly conceived. - THE DIVIDED CITY

Research Fellow: César Daniel Rodarte, M.U.D, M.Arch. Academic Adviser: Linda C. Samuels, RA, PhD.

i ii


“

When you establish an edge, people tend to revolve around it.

�


+ el paso cd. juárez +

A U T H O R ’ S N OT E

A

s a Mexican-American born and raised in El Paso-Juárez, crossing the US-México border became an everyday activity for me. As a child, I attended school in Ciudad Juárez, where I could learn proper Spanish, and each day I crossed back and forth between my home in El Paso and school. At the time I

P r efa c e

hardly realized that I was developing a bi-national identity as the socioeconomic and cultural landscapes of the two border cities are so similar. “Blurring the edge” is a concept derived from the deeply connected and symbiotic urban relationship I witnessed growing up in El Paso-Juárez. The current political administration seeks to divide so-called “sanctuary cities,” and this manifesto aims to uncover the true complexity of the cross-national cities along the US-México border.

01 02

image credits: “First Day of School Ever” in El Paso-Juárez by Federico Rodarte on September 2nd, 1997.


“my first day of classes ever”


A B S T R A CT

I

n order to understand the border and its nature, preliminary research was conducted to understand the importance of the border on the global scale as well as the history and politics behind “the fence” and the Rio Grande. Zooming in, further research was conducted on two case studies through mapping, statistical

analysis & fieldwork. The case studies focus on two sets of sister-cities: San Diego, California - Tijuana, Baja California and El Paso, Texas – Juárez, Chihuahua. These two examples were chosen for their apparent contrasts; El Paso-Juarez revolves around the border, as does Tijuana, but San Diego’s core pushes farther away from the border. Why do some sister-cities tend to revolve around the border? Why do some separate from the border? How are the economies of these sister-cities interwoven? How are they separated? What is shared across the border vs. divided? This research attempts to unravel these essential questions. Today, the border acts as a divisive line. But what if the border were re-imagined as “zone?” Could there be a future where sister cities are not separated, but work as a single organism, with a single economic, political &

P r efa c e

infrastructural system? Perhaps we are closer to that day than we could ever imagine. This funded research not only helped me to better understand the unique condition in which I grew up, it also helped me to develop the empirical skills to conduct my design thinking research, which will become an integral part of my Master of Architecture thesis.

03 04

image credits: “Mexican Mercado” in Tijuana, México by César Rodarte on May 19th, 2017.


mexican mercado


U.S.

BLURRING THE EDGE

MĂŠxico

Symbiotic Cities along the Border

CONTENTS In order to understand the relationship of divided cities that share the same culture, traditions and socioeconomics, it is necessary to explore the U.S. - MĂŠxico border at different scales. Therefore, the research and the report was structured in the following scales:


x [lgal o brg e al]

l[ naa t irg e onal]

m e[ cdi t yi] u m s m a l l [port of entry]


XLARGE

[GLOBAL]

The U.S. – México border is not only the division between two countries but also the division between the “Rich North” and the “Poor South” according to the established Brandt Line. The Brandt line is an imaginary line drawn by William Brandt during the 1980s that shows the inequality between the Rich North and the Poor South.

image credits: “Colonia Anapra: Informality in Cd. Juárez” by César Rodarte on May 18th 2017.


colonia anapra: informality in cd. juรกrez


BRANDT LINE

E

ven with the economic growth and development of México in the last few decades, the Brandt line still divides a “Rich Northern Nation” from a “Poor Southern Nation.” The Human Development Index, Gross Domestic Product, birth rates, life expectancy, mortality rate and literacy rate are important indexes that

show the development of each Nation. Among the most unequal indexes are the HDI and the GDP. According to

X Lar ge

the Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme the United States

09 10

has a HDI of 0.920 versus a México’s 0.736.1 The U.S. is ranked top-10 amongst the world while México is ranked 77th. The Gross Domestic Product is the value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year; therefore such value in an important way to measure a country’s economy. The United States has a GDP of $52,194.90 versus the Mexican GDP of $8,201.312.

1. “Human Development Reports.” (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://hdr.undp.org/en/2016-report image credits: “U.S. - México Boundary Part of a Broaded Global Context” Zaragoza Port of Entry by César Rodarte on May 20th 2017.


NATIONAL MÉXICO U.S. COMPARISON Brandt Line: Global Border NATIONAL MÉXICO U.S. 0.763 0.920 COMPARISON HDI (77th) th) Brandt Line:(rank) Global(10Border

0.763 $8,201.31 (77th)

(per capita) (rank)

HDI GDP

0.920 $52,194.9 (10th)

2.21/ woman $8,201.31

rate (per capita)

birth GDP

1.84/woman $52,194.9

2.21/ woman 77.0

birth mortality rate

1.84/ 79.2woman

94.5% 77.0

literacy mortality rate

97.0% 79.2

94.5%

literacy rate

97.0%

u.s. - méxico border is part of a broader global context


U.S.

GLOBAL

MÉXICO

COMPARISON

Brandt Line: Global Border

“THE R

E.U

11 12

México

Line, Brandt

X Lar ge

1980s

U.S

Brazil

“THE P


RICH NORTH”

Russia

U

Turkey

China India

South Africa

POOR SOUTH”

Australia

Bran

dt L ine, 1980 s


LARGE

[NATIONAL]

I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words. – President Donald Trump, 2015.

But how much does this “great wall” actually cost? What are the human and social implications of such an infrastructural divide?

image credits: “Binationalist Street Art” in Lincoln Park El Paso, TX by César Rodarte on May 18th 2017.


binationalist street art


B O R D E R H I S TO R Y

T

he U.S. – México Border has a rich history that ranges from war conflicts to border protection policies. The border has changed its boundaries throughout history. Among the most important events in the borderline’s history are the Texas Independence from México in 1836 and its incorporation to the Union in 1845 followed

by the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848. México’s defeat in the war in 1848 led to the addition of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado to the United States according to the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty. The

Larg e

treaty also marked the Rio Grande as the boundary between Mexico and the United States in the East1. Between 1852-1868 the Rio Grande shifted due to the massive flood of 1864. By 1873 the Rio Grande have already uncovered 600-acre of land and became known as “El Chamizal.” Such event is relevant to the research since El Chamizal is currently an important landmark across the cities of El Paso and Juárez. The 1864 flooding and the shifting of the Rio Grande serve as precedence of how a body of water should not be restricting (refer to the following timelines). Antonio Rascón, chief Mexican engineer on the International Boundary and Water Commission told NPR in article published on April 25th, 2017 that the schematics for the proposed 30-ft concrete wall along the border could worsen flooding conditions in the cities along the Rio Grande2.

15 16

1. History.com. (2009). Mexican-American War. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/mexican-americanwar accessed on July 14th 2017. 2. Burnett, J . (2017, April 25). Mexico Worries That A New Border Wall Will Worsen Flooding. National Public Radio. image credits: “Welcome to America” by César Rodarte on May 20th 2017.


welcome to america


U.S.

BORDER TIMELINE

MÉXICO

Border Wall as Divisive Agent

Nixon launches Operaion Intersect

NAFTA passes

1969

Native Americ are divided by border; thus c indignation wit community. “W I need to pres documents to around my tra land. Division of Tr Land

2000

1994

1924 Mexico Excluded from the Immigration act

Texas Annexed Large migration of Mexicans occured South of the border.

Larg e

1917

17 18

1996

1929

18451900

Mexican Immigration Encouraged Shortage of farmers and manual labor in the U.S. encouraged Mexican immigration to overcome the problem.

Great Depression After Great Depression, thousands of Mexicans were repatriated by the federal government and sent from the U.S. back to Mexico.

1980’s Brief lull of border enforcemet Pedestrians and cars are stop intermittently crossing the border. Americans travel South to visit Mexican Beaches.

President Clinton sign the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsib Act Increasing fines for illegal entry and approving funds for patrols and fence construction

1993

1965 Civil Rights Reform President Johnson changes immigration laws from country of origin to family ties within the U.S. Thus aiding Mexicans with large number of family memers alredy living in the U.S.

President Clinton orders a border fence Construction of a 13-mile long “Border Wall” between San Diego and Tijuana. Projected to reduce apprehensions from 100,000 to 5,000 per day. Costing

$39M


can lands y the creating thin the Why would sent my move aditional

raditional

325 DEATHS

Crossing the border in 2004. U.S. Border Patrol reports. ‘No More Deads’ is founded Agreeing to 700 miles of fencing along the 2004 border, and a virtual wall along the 2,000 mile border President Bush signs the Secure Fences Act

2006

30+

51 ILLEGAL TUNNELS

under the wall in Nogales, AZ are dicovered. tunnels mainly for drug trafficking.

2010

463 BODIES

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

ns n bility

2005 More than 1M people arrested crossing the border;

500 2001

DEATHS

9/11 Planes crash into WTC. Border security becomes a national issue. President Bush approves increasing border patrols. Everyone should present documentation when crossing the border.

Were found by patrols. Border crossing fatalities doubled in the last year.

Were circumvented in order to get a fence constructed. Congress approved Homeland Security

2012

Have been found on the Arizona border since the wall’s construction began.

2008

2011

2007 Extra funding for “alternate methods” to the wall

$12M

2009

3,000 BODIES

Homeland Security completes 649 miles of barriers, including 350 miles of pedestrian fencing. costing

2015

$6.5M / MILE

Great Recession The U.S. kicks in the first outflow of Mexican since the annexation of Texas. Reducing the 12M illegal immigrants by 300,000 per year.

President Donald Trump renews his vow to build “a great, great wall” across the rest of the 2,000-mile border.

2017


border fence in tijuana, mx


border fence in el paso, tx


U.S.

BORDER TIMELINE

MÉXICO

Rio Grande as Divisive Agent

1836

“RIO GRANDE

Larg e

ESTABLISHED AS THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN U.S. - MÉXICO”

21 22

“RIO GRANDE

SHIFTED

600

By 1873 the river mo exposed land became was incorporated a U.S.

ACRES BY

1873”

Settlem agricultural land. on the boundar transferred tr

“BORDERWALL

WOULD CREAT


6

Texas Revolution Large population of American settlers rebelled against the growing centralized Mexican government.

18361846

Republic of Texas After the revolution, Texas became a sovereign republic. Its borders were based upon the Treaties of Velasco.

1845

Texas is Annexed Texas becomes the 28th State of the Union. Mexican American War The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war and gave the U.S. the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, the ownership of California, part of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. Mexicans were given the option of becoming U.S. Citizens or migrate back to México.

18461848

18521868 1873

Rio Grande Shifted Most radical shifted occured after the 1964 flood.

1889

El Chamizal oved by 600 acres. The newly e known as “El Chamizal” and as part of El Paso, TX. Both and México claimed the land.

1884

Border Convention ments along the river sprang to develop Both countries came together to agree ry when the river changes its courseand racts of land from one side of the river to the other.

TE FLOODINGS”

Creation of International Boundary And Water Comission Founded to maintain the boundary between the two nations but with subsequent treaties its functions expanded in order to allocate river waters between the two nations, and provide for flood control and water sanitation.

1909 Taft-Diaz Summit First meeting in history between the presidents of both nations. It was held in “El Chamizal”, the only “physical link” between El Paso and Juarez at the time. El Chamizal was perceived as neutral territory. The dispute of El Chamizal continue for 50 years.

1964

2017

Boderwall would cause flooding issues The International Boundary and Water Comission advocates that a concrete wall would create flood issues due to the obtruction of the water and the edification of a concrete structure on a floodplain

Chamizal Dispute Ends The land becomes a binational park.


BORDER WALL

T

he first 13-miles of fencing along the border were constructed in San Diego-Tijuana border under the Clinton administration costing $39M. Such action was projected to reduce the apprehensions of illegal immigration along the border from 100,000 to 5,000 per day1. Such event was the catalyst for enhancing

the physicality of the border. In 1996 President Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act which increased the fined for illegal immigration and approved funds for patrols and fence construction. Since

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then, millions of dollars have been invested in such barrier and thousands of deaths have been registered along the border. Currently the border fence expands over 650 miles of the 2,000 miles border. The following maps show the existing fence that divides both nations and the number of illegal immigrants “apprehended� for each of the border patrol sectors.

23 24

2. Cromer, A . (2017, January 28). Brief History: A Timeline of the U.S. Border Wall. Worldstir. source: Border Patrol.


+

san diego, ca E XI SI NG F E NC E +

[ 6 5 0 mi l e s ]

tijuana, m x +

el paso, t x

+

UNI TE D STAT ES

j uár ez, m x

MÉ XI C O RIO GRANDE

san diego

150,0 00

50,00 0

10,00 0

NEVA DA

yum a

CALIF ORNIA OKLA HOMA

el cent ro ARIZO NA

NEW MEXIC O

san dieg o tucs on UNITED STATES MÉXICO

big bend

el paso

lare do

TEXA S

del rio

rio gran de vall ey san diego

Apprehensions per Border Patrol Sector.


+ san diego + el paso cd. juárez +

+

tijuana

MEDIUM

[CITY]

Cities along the U.S.- México border exchange values and cultures despite the hard edge of the borderwall. El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua share a very particular relationship. Both cities developed their downtowns along the Rio Bravo and connected their city cores with the Bridge Of The Americas. During the 1990s, crossing the “international” bridge was merely a formality; the change in the built environment was not evident. Even though the built environment tries to establish a defined boundary; the border is being blurred by the cultural exchange between the two cities. San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California developed differently. Tijuana developed all the way up to its border, while San Diego does not exhibit a dense development right against the border. In such case, the border is acting as a patch within the urban fabrics.

image credits: “Lincoln Park: El Corazón de El Paso ” in El Paso, TX by César Rodarte on May 18th 2017.


“lincoln park: el corazón de El Paso”


EP-JRZ

E

l Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua share a very particular relationship. Both cities developed their downtowns along the Rio Bravo and connected their city cores with International Bridges. Even though the built environment tries to establish a defined boundary; the border is being blurred by the cultural exchange

M edium

between the two cities.

27 28

image credits: “Chicano Art Under the Highway” in El Paso, TX. by César Rodarte on May 18th 2017.


chicano art under the highway


‘BORDERPLEX’

T

he North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 in conjunction with the accessibility in transportation between both cities led to the maquiladora movement in the 1990s. Therefore,, Ciudad Juárez has become one of the major contributors of México’s GDP according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía

M edium

while El Paso was No.9 of the Strongest Cities for Projected Job growth according to Forbes in 20081.

29 30

The main focus of the mapping was to understand the intensity of crossing the El Paso-Juárez border. There are (5) international ports of entry between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, (3) of which can accommodate commercial shipments. Ten years ago the daily crossing at the international ports was 23,210 pedestrians and 43,922 Private Owned Vehicles and 2,284 commercial trucks2.

1. Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (n.d.). Datos por entidad federativa. Retrieved June 17, 2017, from http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/app/areasgeograficas/?ag=08# 2. Regional Stakeholders Committee (2009), “The Paso del Norte Region, US-Mexico: Self-Evaluation Report”, OECD Reviews of Higher Education in Regional and City Development, IMHE, http://www.oecd.org/edu/imhe/regionaldevelopment


downtown El Paso


downtown El Paso


80%

el paso’s

populaton is hispanic

E L PA S O

T

RACIAL DOT MAP

he map displays the racial distribution across El Paso, Texas. Hispanics (orange dots) cover almost 89% of El Paso’s total area. Such statistic and map support the strong cultural attachment between this city and its

M edium

sister city across the river: Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

33 24

image credits: Cable, D. Racial Dot Map. University of Virginia Retrieved June 17, 2017, from https://demographics.virginia.edu/ DotMap/


c e n t r o d e t r a b a j a d o“rdeosw natgorwí cno lEals Pfarsoon”t e r i z o s i n E l P a s o


Juรกrez colonia


S D -TJ

S

an Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California developed differently than El Paso-Juárez. Tijuana developed all the way up to its border, while San Diego does not exhibit a dense development right against

M edium

the border. In such case, the border is acting as a patch within the urban fabrics.

37 38

image credits: “Mexican Public Art” in San Diego, CA. by César Rodarte on May 25h 2017.


mexican public art


S D -TJ

L

ong waiting times to cross the San Diego-Tijuana border has always been an issue. Perhaps the cause is poor Port of Entry design. Traffic surrounds the San Ysidro Port of Entry; the line to cross the border interferes with the everyday vehicular circulation of the city. Police redirect all major intersections along the way. But

M edium

how long does it take to cross the border? Could long waiting times start to create economic losses?

39 40

1. Instituto Nacional de EstadĂ­stica y GeografĂ­a (INEGI). (n.d.). Datos por entidad federativa. Retrieved June 17, 2017, from http://www.beta.inegi.org.mx/app/areasgeograficas/?ag=08#


t i j u a n a p u b l i c s p“ da oc ew nnteoawrn aEl lo nPga st oh ”e p a c i f i c c o a s t


tijuana beach


45% 28%

san diego ’s

populaton is white

san diego ’s

populaton is hispanic

SAN DIEGO

T

RACIAL DOT MAP

he city of San Diego is more diverse than El Paso. White constitutes the majority of the population with 44.5%

M edium

while Hispanic, Asian and Black have 28.3%, 16.0% and 6.9%, respectively1.

43 44

image credits: Cable, D. Racial Dot Map. University of Virginia Retrieved June 17, 2017, from https://demographics.virginia.edu/ DotMap/


C I T Y C O M PA R I S O N

S

an Diego-Tijuana and El Paso-Juรกrez are the largest bi-national metropolitan areas along the border with 3.3 million and 2.7 million, respectively. But how these metropolitan areas compare to other American

M edium

cities?

45 46

sources: Census Data.


CI T Y

+ san d i e g o , c a

P O P U LAT IO N

AR EA [sq. miles]

DE NSITY [p e rs o n / s q . mile ]

3, 3 0 0 , 0 0 0

618.5

5, 340.56

2, 7 0 0 , 0 0 0

380.81

7, 105.86

2,704,958

234,14

11, 898.29

319,294

66

4, 800

+ tijuana, mx

+ el paso, tx juรกre z , mx

+

+ chigago, il

+ st louis, mo


art murals along the border fence in tijuana


art murals along the border fence in tijuana


SMALL

[PORTS OF ENTRY]

The last scale deals with the intensity that happens in the physical access points between bi-national cities. This analysis is more focused on understanding the social and cultural activities that occur at the ports of entry: the human scale and cultural behavior.

image credits: “Zaragoza Port of Entry ” in El Paso, TX by César Rodarte on May 20th 2017.


zaragoza port of entry


BORDER LIFE SURVEY

A

border life survey was conducted at The International Bridge of the Americas in El Paso, TX - Ciudad Juårez. The survey consisted on asking (4) questions to people crossing the border with the purpose of discovering people’s stories and experiences that currently live in a bi-national region: What are you

crossing the border for? How often do you cross the border? Do you think the two cities are connected or

S m al l

divided? How do you think the two cities are dependent on each other?

51 52

The responded were organized in word clouds, the bigger the word the more responses obtained.


01 02 03

w h a t a re y o u c ro s s i n g t h e b o rd e r f o r ?

h o w o f t e n d o y o u c ro s s t h e b o rd e r ?

ice

biweekly /w e

monthly e k yearly

daily weekly ry to his

how do you think the two cities a re c o n n e c t e d ?

tw

language


v i e w a f t e“ rd ocwrnotsoswi nng Eiln tPoa scod”. j u á r e z


zaragoza port of entry


PORT OF ENTRY

S

MARKET

imilarly to the El Paso-Juárez, the San Diego-Tijuana fieldwork consisted on a photo essay of both cities and an analysis of the border crossings. The SD-TJ fieldwork was conducted at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and consisted in crossing the border by car and documenting the activities that took place at the Port Of Entry.

It took 0:35:52 to cross from San Diego to Tijuana, while crossing from Tijuana to San Diego took 3:25:30. During those 3+ hours, the Port of Entry became an informal market: dozens of street vendors operated between car

S m al l

lanes and sold goods. Such goods included, but were not limited to: information (which line is faster), newspaper, automobile accessories, elote, churros, candy, ice cream, Mexican cold beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), toys, ceramics, religious statues, seafood, hot dogs, and puppies. The structure of such informal market was almost like a gradient: the vendors started with simple everyday goods like newspapers and magazines and as you moved into the line they progressively start selling a wide variety of goods. Almost at the end of the line, where cars start to move slower, more formal adjacent structures (souvenir stores and restrooms) became evident. The informality of the “market” did not mean that such organism lacked of a structure but quite the opposite since the street vendors have a well-connected network. Any car could ask for any good to any vendor and they would call the vendor selling the requested good and bring it to the car.

55 56


puppies puppies

ceramics ceramics

auto-accessories

mexican snacks

information beverages newspapers

0:15:00

0:30:00

1:00:00

toys

religious statues puppies

beggers alcoholic bar

1:30:00

2:00:00

beggers

car journey

sea food

2:30:00

3:00:00

3:30:00 time

The diagram shows the intensity of the informal market in relationship to the progression along the waiting line to cross into the United States and the time at the waiting line. The size of the circles demonstrates the intensity of the goods and vendors during a time span.

45’

5’ 9’

9’

9’

5’ 9’

The cross section through the San Ysidro Point of Entry shows the spatial relationship between the cars in the waiting line with the informal vendors.

9’


s a n “ yd so iwdnr too w p on r tE l o Pf aesnot”r y


s a n “ yd so iwdnr too w p on r tE l o Pf aesnot”r y


APPENDIX

[SPECULATION + FURTHER RESEARCH]

Today, the border acts as a divisive line. But what if the border were re-imagined as “zone?” Could there be a future where sister cities are not separated, but work as a single organism, with a single economic, political & infrastructural system? Perhaps we are closer to that day than we could ever imagine.

image credits: “Border Crossing Sculpture by Luis Jiménes” at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA by César Rodarte on May 24th 2017.


border crossing sculpture by Luis JimĂŠnes


N AT I V E A M E R I C A N

A ppendix

D

61 62

RESERVE

uring the preliminary analysis of the border, one strange case about the border was found: The division of Native American lands. The Tohono O’odham Nation resides south of Tucson, Arizona in the Sonoran Desert and expands into Mexican territory. The wall would separate their sacred burial lands which would

then create a division of the land, impeding free-flow within their land1. The aforementioned strange border case reflects how the border wall physically separates communities or public spaces, the case can help emphasize the division of symbiotic spaces at a micro scale. Such case was not investigated in detail due to the concentration on metropolitan areas but it was important enough to mention in order to open the possibility for further exploration.

1. Morales, L . (2017, February 23). Border Wall Would Cut Across Land Sacred To Native Tribe. National Public Radio.


+ Tohono O’odham Indian Reserve U N I T E D S TAT E S MÉXICO

+ Traditional Tohono O’odham land


FR-EE:

A ppendix

F

63 64

BI-NATIONAL CITY

ernando Romero is a Mexican architect and founder of ‘FR-EE’ (Fernando Romero Enterprise). Romero has long envisioned a bi-national city instead of erecting a wall between two strong mutually dependent economies. He envisions a Border City lying between Texas/New Mexico and Chihuahua, borrowing positive

economic principles from the strong economic relationship between El Paso-Juárez but not limiting the potential of the city to currency exchange rates and mobility restrictions on studying/working on the other side of the border. Such project was presented at the London Design Biennale in 20161.

1. Misra, T. (2017, September 19). Instead of Trump’s Wall, Why Not a Binational Border City?. CityLab. image credits: Fernando Romero Enterprise. Border City. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from http://www.fr-ee.org/project/73/Border City


binational border city


E P I LO G U E

[CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION]

The Divided Cities Grant helped me to understand my culture and origins on a deeper level. This research also allowed me to better understand the politics, history, economics, culture, and design intentions that led to the border conditions we see today. Although the US-Mexico border is the most politicized border in American society, I now see borders everywhere. I see political & cultural divides in my neighborhood. I see historical & infrastructural divides everday right here in St. Louis. As I enter my design thinking research, I intend to continue my questioning and analysis of borders & divides. What is a boundary? How are borders created & maintained? How are borders established, both visibly and invisibly? This “boundary” exploration could be continued along the county v. city line, or the Delmar divide, or the Mississippi River. The opportunity granted to me by the Divided Cities Initiative and the Mellon foundation has provided me with the background knowledge I need to continue exploring borders in our everyday lives and to reimagine borders as zones of exchange rather than division & exclusion. I will continue this research as I complete my Master’s of Architecture, and I hope to continue pursuing this research and I enter my career as an urbanist & architect.

source: “Boundaries Hypotheses” by César Rodarte on September 7th 2017.


01 02 03 [hypothesis]

boundary as (not) dividing line A boundary must NOT look like a boundary. Such thesis comes from the decostructive idea that a bank must not look like a bank, nor a park like a park.

[hypothesis]

boundary as a zone A boundary must act as a zone; an overlap between two conditions no matter how similar or different they appear to be.

[hypothesis]

boundary as a gateway A boundary must act as a gateway; a transition between two different zones with spots of intense and magnetic border activity.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Burnett, J . (2017, April 25). Mexico Worries That A New Border Wall Will Worsen Flooding. National Public Radio. Cable, D. Racial Dot Map. University of Virginia Retrieved June 17, 2017, from https://demographics.virginia.edu/DotMap/ Census.gov. Retrieved July 22, 2017, from https://www.census.gov/ Cromer, A . (2017, January 28). Brief History: A Timeline of the U.S. Border Wall. Worldstir. History.com. (2009). Mexican-American War. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/mexican-americanwar accessed on July 14th 2017. Human Development Reports. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://hdr.undp.org/en/2016-report Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI). (n.d.). Datos por entidad federativa. Retrieved June 17, 2017, from http:// www.beta.inegi.org.mx/app/areasgeograficas/?ag=08# Misra, T. (2017, September 19). Instead of Trump’s Wall, Why Not a Binational Border City?. CityLab. Morales, L . (2017, February 23). Border Wall Would Cut Across Land Sacred To Native Tribe. National Public Radio

S our ces

OpenStreetMap. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2017, from https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=4/38.01/-95.84 Paso Del Norte Mapa. (n.d.). University of Texas at El Paso Regional Geospatial Service Center. Retrieved May 22, 2017, from http://www.pdnmapa.org/HTML/datasets.html Regional Stakeholders Committee (2009), “The Paso del Norte Region, US-Mexico: Self-Evaluation Report”, OECD Reviews of Higher Education in Regional and City Development, IMHE, http://www.oecd.org/edu/imhe/regionaldevelopment U.S. Customs and Border Protection | Securing America’s Borders. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2017, from https://www.cbp.gov/

IMAGE CREDITS Fernando Romero Enterprise. Border City. Retrieved June 10, 2017, from http://www.fr-ee.org/project/73/Border City Federico Rodarte. “First Day of School Ever.” (1997, September 2)

67 68

NOTE: All other photos were taken and edited by César Rodarte during May 2017 in the San Diego-Tijuana and El Paso-Juárez regions.


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symbiotic cities along the u.s. - mĂŠxico border

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Blurring The Edge: Symbiotic Cities Along The U.S. - México Border  

Divided Cities Initiative Founded by the Mellon Foundation.

Blurring The Edge: Symbiotic Cities Along The U.S. - México Border  

Divided Cities Initiative Founded by the Mellon Foundation.

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