During his visit to Monterrey, architect, and urban developer Maurice Cox analyzed the lessons he has learned about the equitable development of cities through society.
In his talk, “The Equitable City: Notes from the Field,” held on November 13 at the Monterrey Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO), Cox shared his experience of the revitalization of cities in Chicago, Detroit, and New Orleans.
“The soul of any city is in its neighborhoods and people, and too often we think of them as taking second place.
“Equitable development requires inhabitants to have an interest in the appropriation of urban spaces and environments and allowing communities to drive the process,” he said.
Maurice Cox was the planning commissioner of Chicago and Detroit, as well as director of the Tulane City Center in New Orleans.
He led economic development, city planning, and zoning and promoted community improvement initiatives throughout the city.
The talk was organized by the Center for the Future of Cities, the School of Architecture, Art, and Design (EAAD) at the Tec, and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) College of Architecture through the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP).
“Cities have a heart and a soul, both of which are equally important.” - Maurice Cox
Revitalization in Detroit
Cox spoke about the contribution he made in Detroit and provided a strategy for overcoming challenges such as racial redlining, which became an urban landscape design in urban geography.
“In Detroit, bike lanes were proposed not because there was a large cycling culture, but to give people more mobility options,” he said.
This project, which involved collaboration with communities, highlights the importance of strategies such as Fitzgerald gardens and homes, linear rain gardens, and daycare programs.
“Cities have a heart and a soul, both of which are equally important. We focus a lot of work on the heart, which is usually the center of the city, but not on the soul, which is the neighborhoods,” he said.
About the event
As part of the event “The Equitable City: Notes from the Field”, a panel discussion was held to address issues of social justice and equity.
Participants included Maurice Cox, María Villalobos, associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and coordinator of the Master’s in Landscape Architecture and Urbanism; Alejandro Echeverri, professor of Urbanism at the Tec and fellow of the Center for the Future of Cities.
Also participating were Martha Montemayor, Undersecretary of Territorial Planning for Nuevo León, Edgar Olaiz, General Director of IMPLANc Monterrey, and Nélida Escobedo, EAAD professor.
“This act of collaboration is not only a crossing of geographic boundaries and between academic groups, but also a bridge to urban equity.
“Together with renowned architect Maurice Cox, we explore how the design and development of our cities can be engines of inclusion, diversity, and social justice,” said José Antonio Torre, Director of the Center for the Future of Cities.
The Center for the Future of Cities is a Tec think-and-do tank focused on the planning and transformation of cities as sustainable, humane, and prosperous environments.