This month, Rebuild and Ciudad Juarez’s Resilience Office hosted a community feedback session for the Juan Gabriel Plaza Design Competition. Out of the nine teams that submitted design proposals for the plaza, the top three respondents were chosen by a jury to present their concepts to local residents and businesses, there they will share their ideas and gain a further understanding of how their proposal can be enhanced. 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. 

Prior to the community feedback session, the first phase included researching the challenges and opportunities of the plaza from the perspective of residents and local businesses. Students from the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juárez used Gehl public life observation methodology and community surveys to create the research portion of the citizen-informed Design Brief. After over 150 surveys of local businesses and users of the space, as well as 100+ hours of public observation, students pulled together a research document that articulated what people liked about the space and the challenges that prevent them from utilizing it for its full potential.