This group of architects from Mexico is dealing with two of the most pressing issues of today: on the one hand they are dealing with violence and insecurity associated with poverty, inequalities, corruption, and the drug cartels; on the other they are trying to operate in the crowded front of a megalopolis—that is, a city with more than twenty million inhabitants, which will become all too common throughout the world in the years to come.
Their intervention can be seen in the intersection between violence and overcrowding, in an empty site that is neither private (subject to immediate development) nor has yet been accorded the status of a public park. This uncertain territory may be very familiar to most of the cities in underdeveloped countries: a leftover or remainder that has not yet been swallowed up by the city, a no man’s land that is a dangerous, disputed territory but that at the same time has the capacity (or potential) to bring together the people of the community. They propose a strategy to procure this piece of land and claim it as a public good for the city. To do so, they propose to start with the most obvious operation, which is consequently also the easiest to implement: to take advantage of its emptiness and use it as a connection (shortcut) within a densely occupied urban footprint. If the void can be transformed from a site of fear and danger into a safe place through use, then other services and urban amenities may be added over time. We might think of this strategy as incremental urbanism.