Chronicles of an Acritical City: The Forum Effect

By Alberto Canavati Espinosa.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Monterrey has been transformed exponentially in the last thirty years, even more than in its previous 415 years as a settlement. The eve of the new millennium has been a particularly defining period of huge-scale urban projects in cities across the country and the world. Due to the increasingly intense and rapid exchange of information, many urban centers, including paradigmatic metropolises like Paris, London, Berlin, New York, and, in this particular case, Barcelona, have updated their organizational systems according to models and based on management methods in urban architecture that were tested, applied, promoted, and carried out in medium-sized cities like Monterrey. As a result of a “sister cities” relationship, established in 1977, with the Catalan capital, Monterrey reached a technical transit cooperation agreement in 1990 and a trade and strategic cooperation agreement in 2001. In 2004, the “Barcelona model” surged as an influence, as evidenced by the government of Nuevo León’s bid for the candidacy to celebrate the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2007, as well as the release of the supposedly urban and architectural rehabilitation programme called “Regia Metrópoli”, which emulated the already effective and proven “Posa´t Guapa” (“get pretty”) programme established in Barcelona in the early nineties. It is essential to understand the background of these events as well as some of the immediate visual results that local architectural and urban facts allow us, for better or worse, to observe, before analyzing in a more detailed way all the issues raised by the cartography of complex, dynamic and fragmented Monterrey. With a purpose to make even clearer the Monterrey phenomenon, some of the most representative signs will be exposed, as well as some of the aspects that have provoked this polis to be a peculiar model at a regional scale, not pretending to fix them up, but to place them as an analogic case with some of the Root-Models, just as Barcelona, Bilbao, and inevitably the replica of the most geographically immediate American models like San Antonio, Houston and Dallas–Fort Worth.

Keywords: Model, Strategies, Forum, Rehabilitation, Expansion

The International Journal of Social Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.51-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.208MB).

Alberto Canavati Espinosa

Coordinator Master in Architecture, Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Architecture, UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA DE NUEVO LEÓN, Mexico

I am graduated architect by the Faculty of Architecture from the UANL (1996). I made my Master studies in History and Theory of Architecture by the Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain from 2008 to 2010, and I am aiming to enter the PhD program of the same institution. I collaborated as Project manager in several renowned local architectural studios as PLADIS and ARQUIPLAN and the experienced Eduardo Padilla. I am professor of the theoretical area and urban studies at the UANL and at the University of Monterrey (UdeM) since 1998 and 2009, as well as professor of the historical area at the CEDIM from 2004 to 2009. I have been visiting professor of the Master in Architectural Advanced Design at the ISAD of Chihuahua City since 2007, and visiting Professor of the Master in Architectural Design at the La Salle University, Victoria Campus since 2011 in topics about architectural appreciation and critics, too. Currently, I am collaborating with the project called Model Barcelona, headed by Josep Maria Montaner and to be published summer 2011 and developing a couple of books in process: Gordon Matta-Clark, Off the Edge, and Architecture-City-Celluloid, in association with Angeles Soriano.