Work details
Application Number 0000801647
Author KING, MINDY , United States
Coauthors Acaron-Toro, Nicole , Puerto Rico
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Work title: Stitching the Border (0000801647)

The region comprised by the cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez is currently one of the largest bi-national metropolitan areas in the world, that consists of two regions separated by geopolitical borders. Each of these urban densities have proliferated on their own, with different infrastructure and networks; along with their own social and economic ideals. The Ciudad Juárez area being one of the most violent and dangerous places, yet in El Paso, it is just the opposite; it is regarded as one of the safest places to live in. Here, we imagine stitching these two networks together and capitalizing on untapped resources, so that this conurbation can actually work as one intelligent system, rid of violence and benefiting in social, economic and even cultural levels. By stitching together Ciudad Juárez with El Paso, Texas we begin to create a network of infrastructure, density on a social and economic scale that can be maintained along a healthy network of constant trade and programmatic relationships that support a twenty-four hour, seven day a week system. By injecting programs that feed off each other, into “hot spots” that already exist within the urban fabric of Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, we begin to blur the line between these two areas. They become no longer two cities that stand at opposite ends of the spectrum, but one true metropolitan area, rid of dramatic swings in violence, economy and density. Ciudad Juárez itself has a large industrial center which according to the New York Times (2007 article), Ciudad Juárez, “is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city.” In addition to being one of the fastest growing cities, it is also one of the most violent areas in the world, second to places of war. Meanwhile, El Paso, with a smaller network of systems, feeds a population that is defined by sprawl and limited programs, defined by large military complexes with training areas extending up into New-Mexico. By expanding a net over these two areas, we can begin to build a prototype that could be multiplied over the US-Mexico border, redefining these cities crippled by border issues into a stronger more vital area. In 2008, FDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez as “the City of the Future,” while in 2010, El Paso was awarded the “All-American City Award,” recognizing it as the most prestigious and oldest community recognized program in the nation. Perhaps we can begin to break down these big block programs and limitations to create an even greater metropolitan area for generations to come.