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Green and Bold: Lake Texcoco Ecological Park by Iñaki Echeverría Guitiérrez

Green and Bold: Lake Texcoco Ecological Park by Iñaki Echeverría Guitiérrez

Aerial view of the park Nabor Carrillo Lake, Courtesy PELT

This project is featured in NESS.docs 2: “Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas.” The issue takes its name from a project led by the Office for Urbanizationation at Harvard GSD. It explores the potentials for landscape as a medium of urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts of Latin American cities. The issue will be available very soon. Sign-up to our newsletter to be the first to know!

In 2019 the Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the National Commission of Water (CONAGUA), created the Parque Ecológico Lago de Texcoco (PELT), a team in charge of developing a 12,300-hectare ecological park at the eastern side of the Valley of Mexico. The main object of the project by Iñaki Echeverría Guitiérrez is to take advantage of a non-renewable urban resource to create a space of great beauty that will imagine and build a better future for all citizens.

Aerial view, Courtesy PELT

The Parque Ecológico Lago de Texcoco (PELT) intends to direct the future of the eastern side of the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area towards a sustainable environmental development that will help meet the commitments to welfare and social justice proposed by the Federal Government of Mexico. At the same time, it will be closely aligned with the 2030 Agenda Declaration and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.   

The PELT area located within the sub-basin Lake Texcoco and Zumpango of the Moctezuma River Basin will serve as a shelter for the water bodies that once formed the lake system in which the Mexicans founded Tenochtitlán. This project represents a unique opportunity to create a better hydrological balance as well as to mitigate health and environmental risks and offer new recreational spaces for both citizens and visitors.   

Aerial view from the West, Courtesy PELT 

The project aims to establish rules that will ensure optimal future development of a unique natural area. It will do so by meeting environmental demands and improving the physical conditions for all citizens in the area, particularly the eastern side of the city as it is a region that lacks green spaces, suffers high levels of violence, and has more than 50% of its population living in poverty.   

With a 12,300-hectare footprint, representing 11% of the whole metropolitan area, the PELT will become one of the five largest urban parks in the world. Its area will be almost the same size as 18 Chapultepec Parks, nearly 86 Hyde Parks, and around 36 Central Parks.

Park Nabor Carrillo Lake, Courtesy PELT

The project’s main goals are to improve hydrological management in the area, provide solar energy and its distribution, and contribute to the recovery of the landscape in the city. Additionally, the project will provide public spaces, agricultural and productive areas, and sports and cultural spaces. This recovery and renovation project will also serve to stop urban sprawl and to contribute to the improvement of mobility.  Its development will bring social, economic, and environmental benefits to the city and its inhabitants by:   

Preventing floods in the surrounding municipalities through the construction and water management of regulation lakes.  

Offering new environmental services to promote social, cultural, sports, and health benefits.   

Recovering native flora and fauna as well as primary migratory species to preserve other ecosystems in the region.   

Managing a better hydrological balance to generate a positive impact on the quality of life of the human population and the other species that co-exist in the Valley of Mexico.   

Mitigating environmental and health problems caused by the emission of PM10 particles to significantly reduce pollution rates in the Valley of Mexico and its surrounding areas.  

Increasing the absorption and retention of CO2 to allow the temperature in the area to be regulated and so that the green areas per inhabitant in the area can reach the 9 m2 as recommended by WHO.

LOCATION: Federal Area of Texcoco Lake, State of Mexico, Mexico / DATE: 2019 / SITE AREA: 12,300 ha / PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT DIRECTOR: Iñaki Echeverría Gutiérrez / ARCHITECTURE: Daniel Holguín Fernández / LANDSCAPE: Pedro Camarena Berruecos / INSTITUTION: National Commission of Water (CONAGUA), Parque Ecológico Lago de Texcoco (PELT) / CLIENT: Government of Mexico, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 

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