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Le modèle de la Garden city, un réservoir de précédents pour inspirer la transformation de la ville mexicaine

Benoît d'Almeida 1 
1 Cultures Constructives - Cultures Constructives
AE&CC - Architecture, Environnement & Cultures Constructives
Abstract : The Garden City has an immense influence on the theory of urbanism, influencing urban planning in numerous Latin American countries, including Mexico. A group of architects and engineers – such as Carlos Contreras, Ignacio Bancalari, José Cuevas Pietrasanta – use the Garden City model to plan a post-revolutionary Mexico fitting with its principles. Inspired by the Garden City Association, they create the National Association for the Planning of the Republic of Mexico, which aims both to promote the model and to put it into practice at a national scale.The government, intergovernmental organization – including UN-Habitat – and numerous think tanks all agree on a set of urban challenges faced by Mexico. This Thesis is based on the hypothesis that the Garden City could constitute a “reservoir of precedence” those implicated in this Urban Reform in Mexico could use as inspiration to push forward the transformation of their cities and territories. Although certain research accentuates the idea of the compact city and increasing the density of the existing urban fabric, this work defends the idea that it is possible to extend the city in a manner that is virtuous. Reflections inherited from the Garden City such as the Neighborhood unit or the more contemporary New urbanism are used to support the claim.More than a century after Howard published his proposals, our cities seem to be confronted by very similar issues. The ideas of Howard have never been effectively practiced at a large scale, despite the great success of the first materialization of the ideas in the English city of Letchworth. In the face of a status quo that has lasted for decades, the author asks if it is it not time to shake up our conception of the city as well as our current practices.The demonstration of such a hypothesis is separated into three parts:First, the research questions the theoretical notions of the model and its dissemination, thus defining the Garden city not only as a model of urban planning, but also as a social project that can propose new ways to imagine the cities and communities of tomorrow.Second, the research studies the dissemination of the model on the Mexican context. This phase of the work analyses the conduits of dissemination, their most important materializations, and certain legal limitations faced by these cases. The research shows that to reference the Garden City in the Mexican context is not only reasonable but recognizant of the importance of the model in the history of Mexican city planning.Third, the work imagines how this reservoir of precedence can transform Mexican cities today. Here, the architectural and urban project is used as a means of inquiry capable of creating knowledge. It is an inquiry that can produce an understanding of a certain place, and then, imagine a prospective future for this place. This last part of the research is focused on the creation of possible scenarios who can be compared and can be used to help inform the planning process.This last part of the research project elicits the creation of a methodology and the novel research tool of the project. The research questions if the pertinent transformation made of one space could be equally pertinent in another? Rather than relying on an existing site as the locus of exploration of the various scenarios, this research fabricates an urban environment constructed of elements typical of Mexican cities in which to set the experiment. This process necessitates the observation of multiple Mexican cities and the identification of generalities and typical traits. The research thus creates a site that does not exist – ou topos – that combines these characteristics. This site is used both as an illustration of the complexities of these urban environments and as a context for the experimentation of the proposed transformations – notably through the process of drawing.
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Benoît d'Almeida. Le modèle de la Garden city, un réservoir de précédents pour inspirer la transformation de la ville mexicaine. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Grenoble Alpes [2020-..], 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021GRALH027⟩. ⟨tel-03627048⟩

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