‘Landscales’ is an artificial landscape of earth retention structures that derives from the geo-morphological and hydrological conditions of an ecologically preserved site in Santa Fe, Mexico City. The land formations perform as water-catchments that protect the hillsides and the ravines from progressive erosion. At the same time, they generate ease of movement across the terrain for the formation of a cohesive, multi-cultural public space. The ‘landscales’ project addresses an existing pattern of urbanisation that was founded on the abandonment and subsequent opportunistic resettlement of the hillside that is repeatedly taking place within the context of Mexico City. This pattern has resulted in the deterioration of the natural ecosystem, the segregation of the urban fabric and, consequently, of the decline in the quality of the urban space.
The proposed urban landscape acquires its geometry from the traditional terracing system and derives the resources required for its maintenance from the practice of urban agriculture. While the terracing system functions as a tool for constructing the urban landscape, urban agriculture serves as a means of structuring and sustaining the urban landscape by securing its land-tenure stability and management. The density of the system of land formations is heterogeneous. Its variability permits the structures to define degrees of resistance to the erosive forces and constitute the ground for multiple recreational activities and agricultural production according to their distribution within the site.