This project is a vision of Guadalajara for the year 2042. The proposal shows a historic downtown that would be a central node of a regional network of middle cities, the network will be interconnected by a revitalized railway system, recycling and upscaling Guadalajara’s central train station located just south of downtown. The A perimeter of the will be closed off to cars and any other internal combustion vehicle, only electrical official or service vehicles will be allowed to transit the pedestrianized town center. A new network of electric public transportation will cross downtown and go around a closed circuit, streets are now public domain with larger green areas and open spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. The new downtown will be automobile free, pedestrian friendly and sustainable ecofriendly.
Guadalajara, Mexico existed before it had a territory. In 1593 the Spanish emperor Carlos V ordered the foundation of the city to have a political presence in western Mexico and gave the deed to the city to a group of colonizers tasked with the duty to find an ideal location to establish the new city. They tried to settle in three distinct territories before establishing where Guadalajara currently exists. The landscape where they established their settlement had a natural element that allowed them to separate the Spaniards settlement with the indigenous settlements. These conditions to this day marks Guadalajara’s evolution, where the western part of the city, the former Spaniard settlement, has a higher educated population and a higher income per capita than the eastern side where the population has less income and access to higher education.
During the first 400 years Guadalajara grew at a slow pace and maintained itself as a provincial colony but the second part of the twentieth century brought forth a strong spirit of redevelopment and modernity that incubated in both local politicians and urban planners. Change sprouted moderately until it reached its ultimate levels of transformation that we still endure consequences of to this day: the city could now grow disproportionately and it overflowed consuming farmlands, drowning out populations and ultimately increasing commute times of the entire population.
The public spaces of the Plaza Tapatia will be converted into a new park for the city, where the current structures built in the 80s will be demolished to make way to open green spaces for leisure and culture. At one end of the Central Park two icons greet visitors: the Cathedral and the Degollado Theatre, at the other end the Hospicio Cabanas and the Libertad Mercado close the visuals. The new park will be connected to the current Parque Morelos where a new University campus complex and an official protection housing project will detonate the gentrification of downtown. In a peripheral strategy a series of mainstreamed interventions compliment the totality of the system: cultural programs that had been since lost return to downtown, such is the case of the Biblioteca del Esado (State Public Library), a new concert auditorium is proposed as the final touch for the northern axis of Chapultepec, a natural history museum to recycle the modernist structure of the old central bus station, a portion of the patios of the train station will be converted into parks where social activities such as urban gardens and cultural tourism will become the main axles of these revamped spaces. A new real estate development on the south side of the park will help reach the density in population goals desired, dissuasive outer perimeter parking created by the tramway/trolley will also help shape the new greener transportation modalities within its perimeter. A “green” road will connect the northern part of Chapultepec avenue to Morelos Park turned into a grove with platforms surrounded by buildings of great historical value that will bring together the western side of town to its origin.