Multi-level cultural corridor to be created along Avenida Chapultepec

Major facelift for Mexico Citys historic thoroughfare

Mexico City's historic thoroughfare, the Avenida Chapultepec, is to be completely rebuilt with multi-level pedestrian walkways, a reorganisation of traffic, and the creation of a new cultural and commercial corridor.

This historic route was once used by Aztec emperors and was later the route of the city's main aqueduct; it has also witnessed military resistance, student demonstrations and the capital's first electric tram. But its character has long since disappeared, overcome by an impenetrable wall of incessant traffic dividing the neigbourhoods of Zona Rosa and Condessa-Roma.

The Cultural Corridor Chapultepec (CCC) will run for 1.3km from the Chapultepec Park down to the Glorieta de los Insurgentes and aims to stitch the urban fabric back together. It has been devised by the practice of 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

The road will be widened to a maximum of 57m and traffic pushed to the edge of the site, making room for bus lanes, a pedestrian zone and dedicated space for cyclists, skaters, and wheelchair-users. New pedestrian crossings will be built from the pavement over to this central zone, and the space will be enlivened with water features, including restoration of the remaining arches of the historic aqueduct.

Raised walkways, part-submerging the traffic, will form an elevated linear park with green landscape providing shade and mitigating the 'heat island' effect.

Commercial premises and public activities will also feature along the route, with the CCC divided into different arts zones and colour coded along its length.

Sustainability will also play a key part. Planting and services will use recycled rainwater and electrical energy will be provided by solar cells. Meanwhile bubble decks of recycled PET plastic bottles are intended to have a positive thermic and structural impact.

'This project will organise the surroundings, will double the green areas, will enhance connectivity and will celebrate the cultural diversity of the city,' said architect Fernando Romero, general director of FR-EE.

Work is expected to be complete in 2017.

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