Regeneration project deemed unnecessary and in danger of over commercialisation

Backlash begins for Mexico Citys linear park

Critics have spoken out against plans for a new cultural corridor along one of Mexico City’s arterial roads, Avenida Chapultepec.

As reported on the Landscape Institute website last month here, the Corredor Cultural Chapultepec (CCC) offers a new landscape solution for the chaotic and traffic-congested Avenida Chapultepec in the form of a 1.3km linear park. This will include raised walkways, water features, shade-giving planting, commercial premises, and public spaces and activities, as well as a reoganisation of traffic with dedicated lanes for busses, pedestrians and cyclists.

Talking to The Atlantic magazine’s CityLab, David Ortega, a former employee of the Mexico City Ministry of Urban Development and a planning scholar at the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterey, said that the Roma district through which the CCC runs is already well provided with transport infrastructure and does not need such a dramatic overhaul. ‘They just needed to fix the street and the crosswalks. In terms of priorities for constructing something like this, there are so many other places that need urgent intervention,’ he said. He also criticised the city’s uneven distribution of regeneration projects, largely in areas that are already well developed.

A giant shopping mall?
CityLab also reports that there are concerns that the commercial and cultural zones may be more shopping mall than public park and a Twitter hashtag #NoShopultepec has been started by opposers. There are also fears that the CCC will raise property prices in adjacent neighbourhood, displacing some long-time residents.

CCC has been designed by internationally known Mexican architect Fernando Romero (FR-EE) with Juan Pablo Maza (FRENTE) and Ruysdael Vivanco (RVDG). Landscape elements have been designed by Mario Schjetnan’s Grupo de Diseño Urbano, also responsible for the ongoing rehabilitation of Chapultepec Park.

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