Urban Design and Landscape


Amairani Valdez Segura, Mariano Aguado, Mariana Juárez
ITESM, dep. of architecture

Project idea

As a result of the analysis of our context, we found many of the issues that impact our daily lives are due to a poor urban planning. In our country, the concept of density is usually associated to congestion and therefore is generally avoided. Horizontal growth in Toluca results in underused and underproductive ground, as well as longer distances, traffic jams and a dependancy of the vehicle.
Our approach on densification takes place in the block within two streets in a centrical neighborhood in Toluca, Alejandro Von Humbolt and Leon Guzman. Seeking to build a city centered towards people, our intervention suggests the extensions of sidewalks in order to favor pedestrian mobility, based on traffic-calming strategies, as well as a series of projects that will benefit this section of the city.

Project description

Considering unused land as one of our main problems, we selected seven properties that now serve as parking lots to be replaced by projects focused towards people, as an attempt to prioritize people over vehicles.
The first four are destined to collective housing, all with an active ground floor where commerce where trade seeks to open the building to the city and serve it as so, favoring some of the city's main needs, as security and proximity.

Our fifth selected lot is a two-story parking lot situated across a public hospital. As an answer to its needs, we propose CENTRO 118, a mixed-use complex that will house different services as well as a residence for the elderly and temporary stay apartments, intended for the relatives of people hospitalized in the clinic, which are currently concentrated on the sidewalks, in front of this facility hospitable.On the ground floor, commercial premises are proposed, including a mini-supermarket, cafeteria, restaurants and free premises, while the residence for the elderly is located on the upper levels, which also takes advantage of the proximity of the hospital for needs health care for the elderly.

To pay in favor of intelligent densification, the development proposal must not only stimulate the multiplication of residential buildings and vertical constructions, but it must also be accompanied by more and better public spaces, hence the introduction of two public spaces (lots 6 and 7) as well as the reconfiguration of the streets and sidewalks of the industrial estate, in an attempt to underline that the primary importance in the urban hierarchy is given to pedestrians and not cars.

Hence, the project is concerned with inverting the asphalt-sidewalk relationship, currently dominated by private cars, so in this project said relationship operates in the opposite way; sidewalks are expanded and the asphalt surface is reduced, to facilitate people's walks and guarantee their safety, in addition to these new sidewalks serving as a connection to articulate housing projects, mixed-use buildings and new public spaces proposed in this intervention.

In lot number 6, behind a preserved historical facade, a cultural and gastronomic market was created, in order to favor local commerce.
The space also has a garden space for recreation, coexistence and a plarground, as well as a central esplanade open to different recreational uses, such as exhibitions, bazaars, presentations, among others.

In terms of materiality, the handmade partition stands out, which is recovered from the original façade, replicating its warmth and essence in the interior.

Finally, the proposal considers replacing an existing convenience store (lot number 7) with a public square that aims to fulfill some of the area's needs:
1. Extension of vegetation in space.
2. Generation of shadows
3. Designate a waiting space in favor of public transportation and for hospital visitors.
4 Flexible furniture that allows the following activities.

Technical information

All the projects in the intervention consist of a steel structure, with apparent concrete, brick or wood, according to the specific needs of the project, as well as the relationship with the immediate context.
This in order to generate light structures in sight, which do not impact the environment too much, but rather adapt to it.
Materials that contemplate the passage of time as well as the use and appropriation of public space were chosen for walls, and for floorings we thought of permeable materials that allow the reabsorption of water into the subsoil and adapt to the growth of vegetation, which represents an important part of the intervention.


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