Ideation, innovation and knowledge and its production are not bound by national borders. In an increasingly complex and interconnected global ecosystem, collaboration is key to push these frontiers and maximize its economic and societal impact. Thus, creating a better urban future begins with trusting collaborations and partnerships across borders. This is even more evident in the world today with COVID-19 changing the way we live in cities.
As part of the Latin American Partnership between Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Colombia, which was established at the international summit BUILD BACK BETTER at BLOX in 2020, BLOXHUB, BLOX Global and a wide range of BLOXHUB members and key stakeholders have joined forces to support the development of international dialogue and share and scale urban innovative solutions across borders. The first step on this journey is a 4-hour virtual ideation workshop facilitated by BLOXHUB, Urban Partnerships which involves a selected group of BLOXHUB members and the authorities driving urban development in Mexico City.
Transforming the historic Azapotzalco in Mexico City
As in Chile, Colombia and Argentina, Mexico is struggling with increasing inequality as a result of rapid urbanization due to domestic migration: High population density, inadequate infrastructure, spatial inequality, congestion, poverty and crime. Challenges which are not easily overcome. In Mexico City, a strenuous effort is made to deal with these challenges and as a result they have launched an ambitious and emblematic project regarding the urban renewal of the Azcapotzalco, a historic center which dates from the 13th Century and one of the 16 municipalities in which Mexico City is divided. The Project includes improving its infrastructure, accessibility and livability, boosting the local economy and projecting it as a cultural destination.
Co-creation despite social distancing
On Friday, February 26th, stakeholders from Azapotzalco Municipality and a selected group of BLOXHUB members such as GivRum, Gehl, Out-sider, Schulze+Grassov, Technolution, Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Smart City Insights will participate in the first of a series of ideation processes where they are to work with a specific challenge brought forth by the Municipality, led by Janet De Luna General Director of Urban Development in Azcapotzalco. The overall aim: to create a framework on how a value-based approach centered around the values of inclusiveness and social equality can inform the architectural design and urban planning decisions for developing two underpasses adjacent to the Camerones Metro Station into vibrant public spaces.
“In Urban Partnerships we actively work with global stakeholders to promote the Build Back Better agenda – creating partnerships to address the challenges of global urbanization. Our Latin American Partnership is a great example of that. One might reasonably predict that the COVID-19 crisis has caused a significant decline in international collaborations, however, we have found the opposite. The collaboration with the Municipality of Azcapotzalco and our BLOXHUB members testify to a great willingness to engage into collaborations and co-creation of value across borders.” – Torben Krab, Program Manager, Urban Partnerships, BLOXHUB
In a time where remote collaborations, social distancing and virtual fatigue have become the norm, all partners involved have shown a willingness and eagerness to co-create and engage with the Municipality in creating a solid starting point for their further work on developing and transforming the Azapotzalco. The interdisciplinary perspectives and the professional competencies that BLOXHUB’s members bring to the collaboration help to ensure a holistic approach in the aim to ideate frameworks, generate ideas and potential solutions promoting equal access and social mobility: whether in terms of business or social opportunities for increased life quality.
The Mexico City challenge is a sub-project belonging to the greater collaboration, BLOX@LatinAmerica, launched by BLOX GLOBAL at the ”BLOX – BUILD BACK BETTER SUMMIT 2020”. The initiative will take a deep dive into several Latin American urban development challenges and innovate on; How a value-based approach centered around the values of inclusiveness and social equality can inform the architectural design and urban planning decision in specific intervention areas of the challenges.
The concepts developed during the ideation workshops will be integrated in the BLOX@LatinAmerica collaboration including a funding process led by BLOX GLOBAL in 2021. Selected BLOXHUB members and other partners will be able to participate in this process. The urban challenge in Mexico City is in ‘the planning phase’ and will be implemented as part of a broader vision of the city’s urban development.