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Clap arrived in Chihuahua: we create new opportunities from north to south

In recent years, the city of Chihuahua has grown at great speed, becoming a key link for the industrial sector in Mexico. However, it still offers few opportunities for its girls, boys, adolescents and young people to prepare for the challenges they face.

Big advances mean big challenges

Thanks to its strategic industrial and economic growth, today the municipality of Chihuahua has become the fifteenth most important industrial zone in Mexico. Part of this success lies in the fact that it has opted for alternatives with a great future in the country, such as the aerospace industry, in which Chihuahua is currently a national benchmark.

Although it obtained first place in economic growth indicators in 2019, that same year it was among the top five places in crime incidence at the national level, concentrating most of the crimes and violence in the north and south of the city. .

What could it be? To determine how safe or not a city is, many factors must be taken into account, however, as far as the city of Chihuahua is concerned, it is worth stopping to think about its urban growth as one of them.

Having expanded to the north, -an area previously reserved for the industrial sector-, caused a rapid increase in housing areas, without the social and service infrastructure growing correspondingly.

A similar phenomenon occurs in the south, which, due to the concentration of economic and social activities in the north and in the center of the city, falls behind in terms of improvement of some public services and urban mobility strategies, making it difficult access to educational and cultural alternatives for the population of the area.

Why does this phenomenon seriously affect young people, boys and girls?

The differentiated growth within cities implies that new obstacles arise in terms of habitability and mobility within spaces. In Chihuahua, urban growth with little social infrastructure, coupled with increased insecurity, are two elements that converge in an important problem for youth: they limit their access to recreation and learning alternatives outside of school on a daily basis. day.

The increase in the distance between places of residence and parks or cultural sites, as well as insecurity in the streets, has meant that fewer and fewer boys and girls can go to safe spaces to play and carry out attractive activities, as well as Chihuahuan adolescents and young people in danger of becoming involved in criminal activities. In both cases, with serious implications for their future.

The spaces with the greatest potential to transform

It was from this problem that we started to identify the two priority work areas in the city of Chihuahua, in the north and the south. We gave ourselves the task of selecting the places with the greatest impact for the project.

After analyzing the different options, we chose to intervene in two municipal public libraries located within these areas of recent growth, and well connected to large housing areas. In both cases, the social and economic activity of the areas is limited by problems of insecurity or lack of activities that make them a benchmark for their communities.

However, thanks to their location, team in charge and potential for change, they present a great opportunity to generate positive changes in security and social dynamics in their immediate environment.

Both spaces have significant limitations in terms of making use of the areas, in addition to offering very few activities and resources that are really attractive to their users, especially children and young people. Therefore, the libraries remain deserted most of the day.

Our strategy to transform them

After visiting each of the spaces and having some first conversations with the librarians and inhabitants in both areas, we obtained important clues about clear interests and needs for children, young people and their families.

Based on this, -and coupled with our experience in the best learning practices-, we create architectural design projects that are close to becoming a reality.


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