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The city design and the new Urban Revolution : conceptualizing catalytic, sustainable development in Mexico's Second Tier

Allison Albericci's (MCP/SMArchS '12) thesis questioned what is the present role of technical change - particularly change in integrated Information-Communication Technology (ICT) - in facilitating sustainable urbanism in the developing world? Technological advancements are altering consumer demand and behavior, transforming the products, services, entertainment and information consumed as well processes related to consumption. Technical change is further altering the production processes of goods, services, entertainment and information, and therefore the spaces of those processes, allowing industry to be reintroduced into the city. As the first two points suggest, technical change thus alters the use of urban space, eroding traditionally suitable adjacencies or separations, public/private distinctions, and the conventions of the public realm. Collectively, these and other trends are most apparent in 'New Century City' (NCC) Projects, where technological innovation as industry, as method, as place-maker and as way of life are being fused to create a new type of urban experience. This project surveys current discourses in sustainable urbanism and international development, using lessons learned from several NCC projects to derive a flexible model for advanced industry cluster development in second tier Mexican cities. This prototype is demonstrated via a projective proposal for Ciudad del DiseƱo (the City of Design), a development initiative recently launched by the city of Puebla. The objective of this study is to use design to develop and demonstrate principles for catalytic, sustainable development in the mid-sized cities of Mexico, and Latin America more broadly.