Thursday, November 29, 2007

Literary Dose #20

"It is here [Baja California], in the Bay of Loreto, where developers are building a 5,000-unit resort designed by Andreas Duany, who is selling it to the world as 'the first ecologically friendly subdivision.' In a typical New Urbanist appeal, this mega development (PDF link) is customized by an authentic Mexican Village, completing the invasion of Loreto Bay by no only mono culture of upper-middle-class North American land owners who can afford this island of pleasure, but by 'Seaside' and 'Celebration' type of planning, making this the official arrival of New Urbanism in grand scale to the Mexican West Coast. Beyond issues of architectural style, however, it is tragic that these mega developments, as ecologically responsible and manicured as they can be, are indifferent to the social and economic inequalities they will engender, as these 'all inclusive' and gated environments might be eventually surrounded by the shanty towns built by their own service providers. This phenomenon will add to the strange asymmetry at the border and along the political equator's trajectory, as this will become another instance of the kind of neoliberalist urbanites worldwide that continue to be supported by cheap labor (service sector), on one end, and the emergence of expensive real estate (enclaves of wealth), on the other."
- Teddy Cruz, "Border Tours: Strategies of Surveillance, Tactics of Encroachment," from Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State (2008), edited by Michael Sorkin.

1 comment:

  1. It may be puffery (though I doubt it) and it remains to be seen whether they will be able to achieve their goals but the developers seem well-aware of the social conditions in the area. Their web page offers the following goals.

    To improve social welfare, we will:

    Implement a Regional Affordable Housing Strategy to ensure that people who work at Loreto Bay are able to afford to live in the area.
    Support the development of a full service medical center in Loreto.
    Dedicate one percent of the gross proceeds of all sales and re-sales, in perpetuity, to the Loreto Bay Foundation to assist with local social and community issues.
    To ensure economic growth, we will:

    Create significant new jobs in Loreto.
    Enhance the local economy through responsible tourism and new business development.
    Build a successful community that delivers a healthy rate of return to our investors, homeowners, and partners.

    ReplyDelete

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