Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

The City of Juárez has dedicated significant resources to the redevelopment of the downtown district of the city center, transforming the area into a space featuring art, sports, and cultural events venue. Plaza Juan Gabriel, named in honor of Mexico’s most notable entertainer and local Juarense Juan Gabriel, is located in city’s downtown area, and acts as both a memorial of the person, and a signifier of the resilience of a city and people that have faced difficult conditions in recent decades.

Rebuild by Design is working with the City of Juarez, The Gehl Institute, and 100 Resilient Cities to develop a design competition to solicit ideas for site-specific improvements to Juan Gabriel Plaza. The competition will be oriented towards students and young professionals to increase the resilience value of the space, including heat mitigation, stormwater management, safety, and social resilience.

Students from the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juárez will use Gehl's public life observation methodology and community surveys to create the citizen-informed Design Brief. Selected top respondents to the brief will be invited to a public workshop to share their ideas and gain a further understanding of how their proposal can be enhanced by a deeper understanding of the needs and desires of local residents, users, and businesses. The top respondents will then have a chance to improve their brief based on citizen input before it goes to a final jury. Implementation of winning designs will begin in early 2018.