“The slums of Tijuana can teach a lot to the sprawl of San Diego”

Architect and urbanist Teddy Cruz looks for clues to the ‘city of the future’ in the emerging urban areas of today. In his recent TED talk at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Guatemalan born Cruz spoke of his work on the Tijana-San Diego area spanning the US-Mexico border, where he studies how the creative retrofitting of homogenous American single-family neighborhoods by Mexican immigrants could provide the DNA for new land-use policies in cities.

A professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego, and principal of Estudio Teddy Cruz, Cruz believes that communities of scarcity, like those in Tijuana, can teach us how to rethink the selfish urbanization that characterizes the energy-guzzling, wealthy cities of today.

I don’t want to romanticize poverty. But I want to suggest that this informal development … is a set of social and economic procedures that we can translate.

In other words, there are other ways of constructing cities. Watch the video or read the complete recap at TED Blog.

“Behind this façade of poverty, there is an amazing creative process”

For more on Teddy Cruz, watch this video created to honor the Ford Foundation Award that the architect was granted in 2011 for his innovative efforts to transform the poor and overlooked neighborhoods of the Tijuana-San Diego border region by breaking down physical and cultural barriers-mixing wealthy and poor, old and new, and public and private. In collaboration with community-based nonprofits such as Casa Familiar, Cruz and his team also explore new visions for affordable housing, in relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city.

One Comment

  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay says:

    You know if we seriously destine for a corruption-free (and pollution-free) society with decent Politics, has to put genuine commitment in our own mindset. Most of the communities (Bengali or Tamil) in this sub-continent are captured by ‘Culture of Poverty’(Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or strata, dwells in pavement or in apartment. We are not at all ashamed(or hurt) of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying quality of life, bad Politics, poor work place, weak mother language, continuous consumption of common Social Space. We use to become parents only by self-procreation (animal instinct supported by cheap consumerism) deliberately depriving the incoming children’s fundamental rights of a caring society, fearless & dignified living. Never think of other positive alternative, passionate parenthood – stop giving birth to any child till the society improves fundamentally, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. Let’s start it from our own household. One desperate attempt is required to touch the core of the society, take part in the reform process. There has to be a chemical change. If a pure freedom is desired from vicious cycle of poverty, nasty pollution need to launch a movement of ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), quality Politics would certainly come up. Howrah, India.

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