12/12/2012

Invisible borders…

I'm over busy these recent days so that some posts have been delayed including an interview, a new edition of The Architecture Post Review, and three book reviews. Saying this…

I just discovered a tumblr tweeted by Archis Volume, earlier this morning on an event, named Invisible Borders, currently in Mexico City. This event explores the concept of borders: borders in megacities, borders in neighborhoods, borders between rich and poor, between dense and sprawl, ecological borders, moral borders, urban borders. The location: Mexico City, which, as Archis Volume describes,
seems to be full of telling borders that generate ideas on the past, present and future of the city.
Border is a symptom, a dilemma of spatial, social, cultural, economic, moral, ecological, and urban disequilibrium. Quoting the case of San Diego and Tijuana borders, Teddy Cruz, probably one of the best specialists of the problematic of borders, says:

[The] border region is emblematic of a crisis that will redefine the world's cartography in the next decades: the emerging conflicts across shifting geopolitical boundaries, natural resources and communities, the politics of water, the re-definition of density and the meaning of citizenship everywhere.
Another example of borders is the border conditions of current states of ecological systems and desired states of ecological systems. 
The hydrologic basin of Mexico | © Rodrigo Remolina / Ciudad Futura
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisibles

Ecological borders generate critical conditions and heterogeneity from landscape degradation to water issues, to habitat and spatial fragmentation, amongst others. Vulnerable areas to flooding events, or drought. High risk of habitat and landscape deterioration prone to be sensitive to increasing random events, pushing human, and other species to flee for better places. 

Urban borders reveal new forms of inequalities, urban disconnection, lack of interaction between people, isolation, urban tensions, physical degradation of areas and its components. In the recent LSE/Urban Age conference The Electric City (December 2012) in London, Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, claimed that bad cities usually provide inequalities. Pushing people to live far from the center reducing mobility, interaction and access to jobs and leisure, inequalities generate clusters of disconnected spaces coinciding in reinforcement of invisible borders between cities and peripheries, rich and poor. 
As Eyal Weizman (See Weizman, 2007; Brown, 2010) pointed out, the border,
has become a discontinuous and fragmented series of self-enclosed barriers that can be better understood as a prevalent 'condition' of segregation — a shifting frontier — rather than one continuous line cutting the territory in two.


Dominant Housing Type by AGEB neighborhoods in Mexico City, 1990
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisibles
Housing shortage, difficult access to basic infrastructure and water supply, are other forms of outcomes to urban borders. 'Invaded buildings' with precarious system of electrical and water supply, and a very basic form of waste and garbage disposal in areas initially occupied by neighborhood disrupt these areas into a series of discontinuous areas leading to emergence of invisible borders, worse, untenable tensions between 'illegal settlers' and local residents. An example: a series of destruction by local residents of illegal Romani settlements in France.

Back to Invisible borders event in Mexico City, I will finish with, below, a series of pictures and maps from this tumblr Fronteras Invisibles
Build-up area of Mexico City and Metropolitan Area.
Graphic design © Flor Martin
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisibles
Border Machine San Jeronimo 04 © Wissel
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisibles.
> "The fence as a machine for managing 'personal border-conditions' (1). An architectural invention found in San Jeronimo, Tecamac, State of Mexico in 2009.
(1) Sennett, Richard. 2012. Together: the rituals, pleasures, and politics of cooperation.
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Border map mx
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisibles

Casas en Tecamac | © Moritz Bernoully, 2011
Originally appeared on Fronteras Invisible



References:
Weizman Eyal, 2007. Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation, (London: Verso books).
On the concept of borders but in a political viewpoint, I suggest to read Wendy Brown's Walled States, Waning Sovereignty:
Brown Wendy, 2010. Walled States, Waning Sovereignty, (New York City: Zone Books).


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