Parklife has trumped division with the news that a binational river park will be built on land once earmarked for part of the US-Mexico border wall.
The border town of Laredo in Texas had been resigned to the construction of a concrete and steel wall which threatened to separate the city and its people from the Rio Grande river – but building contracts have been cancelled following a spirited campaign by the No Border Wall Coalition.
Instead Laredo officials are working with colleagues over the border in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, on a shared vision (pictured) to create an ecological restoration zone between the two cities.
The 1,000-acre project will encompass a mile-long stretch along the river’s urban cores, framed by bridges and an amphitheatre, plus a three-mile recreation area.
A binational bridge will link US and Mexican citizens to a shared community space – subject to checking through customs.
San Antonio-based urban architects Overland Partners have been working on designs for the project, which aims to stimulate trade, enhance tourism and improve habitats along the river.
“It reclaims our shared history, spurs the economy, promotes security on both sides of the river, and restores the ecological treasure we call home,” the company said. “The first of its kind, this international conservation project enhances our quality of life and serves as a prototype for border cities around the world to follow.”
Main image: Artist renderings of the park. Credit: Overland Partners Architects
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