Beset by construction and funding problems, Mexico City’s new international airport is also a point of contention among environmentalists. However, writing in The Conversation, Professor Gabriel Diaz Montemayor suggests a solution to save the airport and protect and regenerate the surrounding area.
Mexico City’s new international airport is under construction and while it’s not slated to open until 2020, it’s already proving to be a subject of contention, reports The Conversation.
While the design of the terminal itself is hailed as a collaboration between Norman Foster and local Mexican architect Fernando Romero, there are widespread concerns over the environmental impact that the new airport will have on its surrounding environment.
Writing in the outlet, Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, explains, “The new airport is located on a semi-dry lake bed that provides water for Mexico City and prevents flooding. It also hosts migrating flocks and is home to rare native species like the Mexican duck and Kentish plover.”
However, Professor Montemayor has a suggestion to salvage the situation and simultaneously protect the local environment. “I think there’s a way to save Mexico’s new airport and make it better in the process: create a nature reserve around it,” he writes.
Professor Montemayor’s suggestion – when taken in conjunction with the new airport’s masterplan – would see part of the site, once home to Lake Texcoco, revived. The airport will take up 17 square miles of the 46 square mile former lake, leaving the rest free for potential regeneration.
While the airport plans, writes Montemayor, propose creating lakes, restoring rivers and planting trees, the rest of the mileage not taken up by the airport site could, he says, be given over to, “…a huge natural park consisting of sports fields, forests, green glades and a diverse array of water bodies – both permanent and seasonal – punctuated by bike paths, walking trails and access roads.”
“Nobody can entirely turn back the clock on Lake Texcoco,” Montemayor admits, but hopefully adds, “the 27 square miles of lake bed not occupied by the airport could be regenerated, its original habitat partially revitalized and environmental functions recovered in a process known as restoration ecology.”