The Comprehensive Design Landscape Architecture Studio of the Spring 2015 semester worked in collaboration and support of the Municipal Planning Institute of Hermosillo (IMPLAN), in the State of Sonora, Mexico, developing a master plan project for the existing water management canal network converting it into a green, urban, and social infrastructural network. This is:
• Managing water in a sustainable manner for a (Sonoran) desert city of 800,000 people. Harvesting water to replenish over-exploited aquifers while alleviating pressure from the minimal existing traditional storm-water infrastructure.
• Assembling different modes of transportation –pedestrians, bicycles, public transportation- and urban development (commercial, mixed use, and housing) while addressing the consolidation and future growth of the city.
• Producing public space of quality and recreational amenities in what are mostly low income neighborhoods, providing enhanced opportunities for healthier lifestyles.
This project was commissioned by IMPLAN in order to advance design guidelines emanating from planning concepts already included in the Urban Plan of Hermosillo. As such, the role of this project is to fill the void between planning and implementation, condition of particular relevance in a professional context where there is little knowledge of the matter, techniques, and principles of Landscape Architecture which regulate a project of this nature.
The studio worked in an integrated project identifying specific characteristics leading to the determination of 3 main green corridor typologies. These were developed by 3 design teams composed by the following students at the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas Austin:
Lu Jiang, Kim Gilbertson, Jody Broccoli-Hickey, Amy Grossman, Shiqi Zhou, Quan Yin, Xiaomeng Ma, Xuefei Dong, and Melissa Sparks.
The Hermosillo Green Corridor Project was presented as one of the green initiatives being promoted by the City Government as part of their public works plan by the Director of IMPLAN, Architect Guadalupe Penunuri, during the past Green Infrastructure Forum organized by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) funded by the EPA and the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry of Mexico (SEMARNAT), which took place in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, on September 21-22, 2016.