The architecture of water infrastructures : strategies for urban growth in the Haitian-Dominican border
Author(s)De Lucena Schettino, Luisa
Strategies for urban growth in the Haitian-Dominican border
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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The uneven and underexplored landscapes of the border zone between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has become a promising frontier for capital accumulation, attracting industrial activity to the island's overlooked regions. This thesis focuses on the most populous border crossing in the island, where the implementation of a free trade zone in 2004 catalyzed rapid population increase on the Haitian side, and urban infrastructures were unable to keep up with the fast pace of informal growth. At this site, the borderline coincides with the River Massacre, a major source of water in the region, threatened by the current patterns of urbanization. Given the scenario of industrial expansion and increased migration to Ouanaminthe, investments in affordable housing are at the core of planning strategies to accommodate urban growth. The proposal sees the opportunity for a territorial strategy that integrates housing and water infrastructures to address uneven urbanization. While the zone exists in isolation to the urban fabric of both cities, its existence provides the opportunity to weave an alternative spatial order, countering the reproduction of spatial and social injustices. By seizing infrastructure's ability to act directly on the city, architecture mediates the complex flows of water and people to build a sustainable urban future. Water is drawn as the layer 0 to accommodate the diverse program, staging the sites for affordable housing units, public open spaces, industrial and agricultural activities. Essential to this scheme are aqueducts that position water not at the edge, but at the center of urban development. Together with other infrastructural artifacts, the aqueducts are mechanisms that forge new individual and collective identities.
Thesis: S.M. in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 118-121).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology