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Notebook on Cities and Culture S3E19: Nothing Works, Everything Moves with Juan Carlos Cano and Paloma Vera

Colin Marshall sits down in Mexico City’s Colonia Condesa with Juan Carlos Cano and Paloma Vera, founders of the architecture and urbanism practice CANO | VERA. They discuss how everything in Mexico City’s built environment exists “behind,” being interesting in irregular ways; all the untrue superlatives you hear growing up about how Mexico City is the biggest in the world, and what an abstract concept “the biggest city” turns out to be anyway; the miracle of Mexico City’s continued improvisational operation, especially as regards garbage collection; the amount of architect-less building going on in Mexico City, and what they’re doing to help make it easier and more efficient; the creation of cities through the creation of connections, rather than through the building of beautiful things; where best to walk in the giant soufflé that is Mexico City; the intrinsic sense that Mumbai, Bangkok, or São Paulo make when you come from Mexico City, and how you feel at  home when you have to discover, anonymously, what a place is about; the meaning of Condominio Insurgentes to the urban environment, and the question of who built the thing in the first place; the city as a mirror of society’s favorite ideas in one particular moment; the contradictory image of Mexico as a place where nothing works, but everything moves; the historical Mexican relationship to space as it appears both in Teotihuacan and Ciudad Universitaria, in pre-Hispanic markets and downtown today; how Mexico City grew and ego; and the Zócalo, the best place in town to both feel and fill the void.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed or on iTunes.

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