196,925 meters

Pictures by María Luz Bravo


Mapping the border of Mexico city as an event in the physical and virtual landscape.

Flows of exchange go across the artificial edge condition of Mexico City’s political boundary: natural systems, movement of people and goods, infrastructure and informality constantly violate the border perpendicularly. ‘196,925 meters’ is the systematic documentation by a two-sided geo-tagged panorama of the diverse conditions on the edge through walking along it. It would be both a performance and a statement: a performance since the act of us as individuals in a particular Landscape condition in a particular time would constitute a fundamental part of the work and its result, where time, space, our bodies and the relationship between them and the moving flows are the basic elements; a statement for it aims to be a call for a regional thinking in Mexico City and neighboring areas, which must acknowledge the necessity of understanding transversal landscape and infrastructural systems independently of political boundaries. While social phenomena, ecological systems and infrastructure should work organically thus respond to social and environmental natural dynamics, the geographic line that defines what is in and what is out, leaves in its place a field if not of battle, of great conflict.

The borderline can no longer be seen as merely a line, but as a place of exchange. Developing this new transversal panorama would urge a shift of representation; from plan view, to section; from linear to perpendicular. It would also require a shift in scale: mapping the complex regional scale panorama by tiny fragments of human-scale reality revealing the potential of the border as a system.

Visit the 196,925 m website for updates.

Penny White Award Fall 2010, Department of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

See the project on the GSD iSites

See the project on the GSD website


A project by Laura Janka and Víctor Muñoz Sanz

Photo-documentalist, Maria Luz Bravo

GPS/GIS advisor, Paul Cote, Geographic Information Systems Specialist at the Harvard Design School

The research- performance is taking place in sporadic stages since August 2011, having already walked and documented about 1/4 of the city limit.