Combining landscape design and waste management to improve Tijuana’s informal settlements public space.
Parque Xicoténcatl was built over a former debris-filled ravine, located in the outskirts of Tijuana. This informally urbanized area is characterized by cardboard and cinder block constructions standing over steep slopes.
This project was originally meant to address the construction of sidewalks and the cleaning of the ravine to guide a water runoff. After visiting and understanding the community’s pressing need for public and recreational spaces, the scope changed.
Through the use of a popular and vernacular construction system to build contention walls called llantimuro or tire-wall, this project takes advantage of the existing on-site debris and the millions of used tires that are yearly imported from the USA to Mexico, uselessly piled in border cities such as Tijuana, to build a series of earth and concrete platforms, held by tire-wall contention walls. These now serve as public and recreational spaces that also connect people living at both sides of the ravine. The intervention also considers a climate risk reduction strategy that consists on the construction of canals to guide rainwater runoff away from the inhabited areas, towards lower lands, where the landscape has not yet been impacted, and then into the sea.