Transcript: Ep. 2 - Mexico City | Nov 11, 2018

(music plays)

A animated yellow map of North America with a country highlighted in orange appears. A caption reads "Mexico City. Mexico."

Mikael Colville-Andersen walks towards a monument in an important avenue. He is in his early fifties, with a short goatee and graying hair. He wears a gray shirt and black trousers.

Mikael says AT THE HEART OF A CHALLENGED
BUT FIERCELY PROUD NATION
LIES ITS CAPITAL.
THIS IS MEXICO CITY.
THIS IS A MEGACITY.
THE FIFTH LARGEST IN THE WORLD:
21 MILLION INHABITANTS.
IT'S ALSO THE EIGHTH
RICHEST CITY IN THE WORLD,
AND YET 30 percent OF THE POPULATION
LIVE IN POVERTY.
WHAT A VAST SPECTRUM
IN WHICH I GET TO WORK
IN MY SEARCH FOR
THE LIFE-SIZED CITY.
BUT I KNOW THAT THERE ARE
PEOPLE HERE, LIKE IN CITIES
EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD,
WHO ARE WORKING POSITIVELY
TO FORCE URBAN CHANGE. I WANT
TO HEAR, SEE AND EXPERIENCE
WHAT THEY'RE DOING
TO IMPROVE URBAN LIFE
IN THIS VAST ARENA
OF CONTRADICTIONS.

Mikael stands barefoot as an animated city in the shape of an electronic circuit crawls up his leg and arm. Amazed, he looks at his arm and then shows the palm of his hand to the screen. On his hand and in yellow letters, the title of the show reads "The Life Sized City." He turns his hand to show an animated skyline popping up. The title of the show reads "With Mikael Colville-Andersen."

(music plays)

Mikael says THIS IS A CITY THAT IS
FLOOD-PRONE. IT'S POLLUTED.
IT'S A HOTBED FOR EARTHQUAKES,
AND IT STRUGGLES WITH
ITS FAIR SHARE OF INEQUALITY.
BUT MAN! MEXICO CITY'S
GOT THAT THING YOU JUST
IT APART, THAT MAKES YOU WANT
TO KEEP ON COMING BACK.

A man polishes a male customer's shoes.

Mikael continues BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THIS CITY
FIGHTS EVERY DAY WITH
IN INGENUITY AND CREATIVITY.
YOU CERTAINLY CAN'T TELL
IT NOW,
BUT THIS WAS ONCE AN ISLAND
CITY, AS IN
"SITTING-IN-THE-MIIDDLE-OF-A
A-HUGE -LAKE" ISLAND CITY.
BY ITS FIRST INHABITANTS,
THAT WOULD BE THE AZTECS,
DWARFED MANY EUROPEAN CITIES
AT THE TIME, BOTH IN SIZE
AND IN INVENTIVENESS.
THEN, THE SPANISH KIND
OF RUINED IT ALL IN 1521.
THE LAKE WAS DRAINED,
BELIEVE IT OR NOT,
AND MEXICO CITY ROSE
FROM...
WELL, THE DUST.
EXPLOSIVE POPULATION
GROWTH HAS BEEN DRIVING
THE CITY EVER SINCE.
BETWEEN 1960 AND 1980,
ITS POPULATION HAS MORE
THAN DOUBLED. YES,

Fast clips show a crowded street and a network of highways.

He continues IT'S A MEGALOPOLIS. MEGA.
BUT MANY HERE STILL
SEE IT AS A VILLAGE,
OR RATHER AS A PATCHWORK
QUILT OF MANY VILLAGES,
EACH PRESERVING
ITS OWN IDENTITY,
HOME TO A UNIQUE
URBAN SOLIDARITY.
THIS ONE HERE, THE BUSTLING
NEIGHBOURHOOD OF PORTALES,
FAR FROM THE TOURISTS,
SHOWS US JUST THAT.

An animated red circle appears on the map of the city. A caption reads "Mercado Portales."

Mikael and Areli Carreon walk down the street. Areli is in her mid forties, with short brown hair. She wears a red long sleeve shirt under a black T-shirt with a logo and brown trousers.

Areli says THIS IS REAL MEXICO.
IT'S NOT FOR TOURISTS.
IT'S NOT THE BEAUTIFUL FACE
THAT MOST POLITICIANS
LIKE TO SHOW.
IT'S REAL MEXICO.
THIS IS A CITY, A BIG,
HUMONGOUS CITY, THAT HASN'T
LOST ITS HUMAN SCALE.
WE HAVE BUILT THE CITY
OVER ITS ANCIENT LAYERS,
LIKE AN ONION, YOU KNOW?
HERE, ALL THE CENTURIES
LIVE TOGETHER.
HERE, YOU CAN FIND PEOPLE LIVING
IN THE ANCIENT AZTEC TIMES,
WITH THE WAY THEY THINK,
THEY EAT AND THEY BEHAVE.
AND AT THE SAME TIME,
YOU CAN MEET MEXICANS
OF THE FUTURE, YOU KNOW?
PEOPLE WHO SPEAK
A LOT OF LANGUAGES,
HAVE TRAVELLED A LOT,
HAVE NEW IDEAS.
THE TWO ARE MIXING,
THEY'RE LIVING TOGETHER.

In a slow motion clip, Areli walks and stops to look at the camera. A caption follows her. It reads " Areli Carreon. Cofounder of Bicitekas."

Mikael says ARELI CARREON, CO-FOUNDER
OF BICITEKAS,
AN ACTIVIST GROUP HOPING
TO SPREAD THE GOOD WORD
ABOUT THE NECESSITY
OF URBAN CYCLING.
AFTER LIVING ABROAD,
SHE DECIDED SHE WANTED
TO RAISE HER TWO CHILDREN
HERE, IN HER HOMETOWN...
WELL, HER HOME METROPOLIS,
DESPITE THE COUNTLESS
CHALLENGES THAT IT FACES.

Mikael says HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY
THE MOST IMPORTANT
ISSUE OF THE CITY RIGHT NOW?

Areli says THE PROBLEM THAT SOMEHOW
EMBODIES IT ALL IS INEQUALITY.
BUT IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT
PROBLEM TO ADDRESS,
BECAUSE HOW DO YOU START
CHANGING ALL THIS,
ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE?
WE NEED TO FACE POVERTY,
WE NEED TO FACE INFRASTRUCTURE
PROBLEMS, WE NEED TO FACE
CHALLENGES WITH POLLUTION,
WITH CORRUPTION.
I MEAN, WE HAVE IT ALL.
THE SIZE OF THE CHALLENGE
NEEDS US AS CITIZENS.
THE GOVERNMENT ISN'T STRONG
ENOUGH. IF WE WANT SOLUTIONS
AND PROPOSALS THAT REALLY
REFLECT OUR HEARTS,
OUR FEELINGS AND OUR
NEEDS, WE, THE PEOPLE,
NEED TO REALLY BE OUT THERE,
BUILDING THOSE FOR OURSELVES.

A clip shows smiling faces of various citizens.

Mikael stops to look at a plastic bag hanging from a tree.

Mikael says THAT'S NOT AN OFFICIAL MEXICO
CITY GARBAGE CAN?

Areli says NO, NO.

Mikael says SO SOMEBODY JUST PUT THAT UP
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD?

Areli says YES, TO SAY:
"PLEASE DON'T LITTER."

Mikael says THERE ARE NO GARBAGE CANS.
I WAS LOOKING FOR ONE EARLIER.
IT WAS HARD TO FIND,
SO SOME LOCAL SAID:
"YEAH, WE NEED ONE THERE."

Areli says YOU KNOW, THIS IS HOW
THE CITY FUNCTIONS.
IT'S THE PEOPLE.
IT'S NOT THE GOVERNMENT.
IT'S THE PEOPLE
FIXING THEIR BLOCK.
CITIES ARE MADE UP
OF MOSTLY PEOPLE.
IT'S NOT STREETS AND BUILDINGS.
THAT'S JUST PART OF IT.
THE MAIN THING IS FLESH
AND BLOOD. IT'S PEOPLE.
AND OUR BEST-KEPT SECRET
IS OUR TIES WITH EACH OTHER.
AND THAT IS SUCH A STRONG
NETWORK OF REAL POWER.
WE'RE NOT WHINERS.
WE ARE DOERS.

Mikael says YOU GUYS SEEM TO MAKE EVERYTHING
YOURSELVES, LIKE A NON-STOP
LABORATORY OF EXPLORING AND
EXPANDING ON IDEAS.

Areli says I THINK THAT MEXICO CITY'S
SOMEHOW LIKE A LABORATORY
OF URBAN FUTURE.
ARE WE GOING TO BE ABLE
TO LIVE TOGETHER WITH
OUR DIFFERENCES?
HOW MUCH GOVERNMENT,
HOW MUCH SOCIETY?
WHAT IS VERY NICE IS THAT
THERE'S ISN'T ONE WAY
OR ONE MODEL TO RUN A CITY.
IT'S LIKE EVERYTHING IS GOING ON
AT THE SAME TIME.
WE'RE KIND OF FIGURING OUT
WHAT IS GOING TO WORK.

Mikael says IN THIS LABORATORY OF THE
ONE CRITICAL PROBLEM STANDS
OUT: THE WATER CRISIS.
NOW, WE'LL ALL AGREE
BUT CITIES AROUND THE WORLD
ARE RUNNING OUT OF IT,
AND MEXICO CITY TOPS
THAT UNFORTUNATE LIST.
THE PROBLEM HERE HAS TAKEN
ON EPIC PROPORTIONS.
IN THE REMOTE NEIGHBOURHOOD
OF SAN GREGORIO,
ONE LOCAL INITIATIVE
IS TACKLING THE GREATEST
URBAN CHALLENGE IN HISTORY.

Now, Mikael meets Enrique Lomnitz. Enrique is in his early forties, clean-shaven with short wavy brown hair. He wears a checked black and white shirt under a pink hoodie.

Enrique says THE MORE YOU LOOK AT THE WATER
SITUATION IN MEXICO CITY,
THE MORE SHOCKING IT IS
AND THE MORE YOU REALIZE
THAT WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING
AND WE HAVE TO DO IT NOW.

The caption changes to "Enrique Lomnitz. Cofounder of Isla Urbana."

Mikael says HE HAS BEEN
SETTING UP
HARVESTING SYSTEMS THROUGHOUT
THE CITY FOR ABOUT A DECADE.
THAT'S SOMETHING LIKE
7000 OF THESE LOW-TECH,
BUT VERY EFFICIENT
LIFE-CHANGERS.

An animated map of Mexico appears on a cart that carries water containers. A caption reads "Mexico city. 300 km. Pacific Ocean. 200 km. Gulf of Mexico."

Enrique says MEXICO CITY HAS ONE OF THE MORE
COMPLEX WATER PROBLEMS
IN THE WORLD. FIRST OF ALL,
IT'S VERY FAR AWAY FROM
ANY COAST OR FROM
ANY BODY OF WATER.
AND IT'S VERY HIGH UP.
WE'RE 2200 METERS
ABOVE SEA LEVEL HERE.
IN A VALLEY, ANY WATER
THAT YOU'RE POTENTIALLY
GOING TO BRING INTO THE CITY,
YOU'D HAVE TO PUMP
ENTIRELY UPHILL AND LIKE
ACROSS THE SIERRA,
WHICH IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

Mikael says AT LEAST 250 000 PEOPLE
HERE AREN'T EVEN CONNECTED
TO THE GRID. MILLIONS MORE HAVE
SCARCE ACCESS TO RUNNING WATER,
SOMETIMES JUST FOR
A FEW HOURS A DAY.
MANY, MOSTLY IN POOR AREAS,
RELY ON WATER DELIVERY TRUCKS
FOR THEIR SHARE
OF DRINKING WATER.
BUT THINGS HAVEN'T ALWAYS
BEEN THIS WAY.
THE AZTECS ACTUALLY HAD IT
ALL FIGURED OUT LONG BEFORE
THE SPANISH CONQUERED
THEM IN 1521.

Enrique says MEXICO CITY USED
TO BE A CITY OF LAKES.
IT WAS LIKE THE VENICE
OF AMERICA, AND THE AZTECS
HAD A VERY, VERY SOPHISTICATED
WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM,
BUT THE WAR WITH THE SPANISH
DESTROYED EVERYTHING.
THEY SOMEHOW WERE DETERMINED
TO RECREATE MADRID.
SO THEY DECIDED TO DRAIN
THE VALLEY OF MEXICO.
SO MEXICO CITY IS NOW A BIG
FLAT CONCRETE WILDERNESS,
BUT THIS LAND IS VERY
FLOOD PRONE.

Mikael says AND THEREIN LIES
THE IRONY IN ALL OF THIS.
WHILE MEXICO CITY
IS RUNNING DRY,
AMOUNT OF RAIN,
MAKING IT EXTREMELY VULNERABLE
TO FLOODING. PICTURE THIS:
DURING THE RAINY SEASON, MEXICO
CITY GETS ONE AND A HALF TIMES
MORE RAIN THAN LONDON
DOES IN AN ENTIRE YEAR.

An animated bar graph shows the comparison mentioned.

Mikael continues THAT'S A LOT
OF WATER.
BUT IT HEADS STRAIGHT
INTO THE SEWERS,
AND THAT'S NOT
THE ONLY PROBLEM.

Cars drive in a flooded street,

Enrique says MEXICO CITY IS ON A VERY SOFT
GROUND, BECAUSE IT WAS A LAKE,
SO THE CITY SINKS VERY QUICKLY.
PARTS OF MEXICO CITY TODAY SINK
40 CENTIMETRES A YEAR.

Mikael says REALLY?

Enrique says YEAH, WHICH IS MIND-BOGGLING.
AND THE AQUIFER WHICH IS FURTHER
DOWN, WHAT WE DEPEND ON,
IS JUST VERY, VERY QUICKLY
GETTING DEPLETED.
SO 50 YEARS AGO,
WELLS IN MEXICO CITY
WERE 30 OR 40 METERS DEEP.
TODAY, THEY'RE 300
OR 400 METERS DEEP,
AND THE NEWEST GENERATION OF
WELLS ARE 2000 METERS DEEP.
IN ORDER TO TRY
TO MITIGATE THIS,
WE STARTED PUMPING WATER INTO
THE CITY FROM OUTSIDE.
WE BUILT THIS MASSIVE SYSTEM,
WHICH STARTS IN MICHOACÁN
ABOUT 150 KILOMETRES
AWAY AND PUMPS WATER
1,1 KILOMETRES UPHILL, PUMPS
FROM ONE DAM TO ANOTHER DAM,
TO ANOTHER DAM, TO ANOTHER DAM,
AND THEN FINALLY MAKES IT
OVER THE MOUNTAINS
IN THE WEST OF THE CITY
AND PUTS THE WATER
INTO THE GRID.

Mikael says GRAVITY WORKS.

Enrique continues IT'S INSANE. IT'S ONE OF
THE MOST ENERGY-INTENSIVE WATER
SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD.
SO THE GRID IS WRECKED,
AND THERE'S MAYBE 40 percent TO 50 percent
OF THE WATER THAT GETS PUT
IN THE GRID THAT
IS LOST AND LEAKS.

Mikael says TODAY, IT'S DON LAURO'S TURN.
LIVING ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THIS
MEGACITY, HE AND HIS FAMILY
HAVE BEEN COLLECTING
RAINWATER
WITH WHAT THEY HAVE:
AN OLD WASHING
MACHINE AND A TARP.

The caption changes to "Lauro García Castro. Resident." Lauro is in his mid-sixties, clean-shaven with white hair. He wears a white T-shirt under a plaid shirt.

Mikael says THAT'S BECAUSE THEY HAVE
ACCESS TO THE GRID FOR
ONLY TWO SHORT
HOURS A DAY.

Enrique speaks Spanish.

Subtitles read "SO WHAT'S THE
WATER SITUATION IN YOUR HOUSE?"

In his backyard, Lauro says WE KNOW THAT
WE'RE RUNNING OUT
OF WATER.
SO WE HAVE TO RATION OUT
OUR WATER.
WE HAVE WATER SAVING SHOWERS.
THE PIPE IS THE SIZE
OF A BOTTLE CAP, VERY SMALL.
BECAUSE WE KNOW
OUR BROTHERS NEED WATER TOO.
IT'S GREAT THAT ISLA URBANA
IS DOING THIS NOW.
IF NECESSARY, WE'LL TALK
WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS SO THEY
CAN SEE THIS TECHNOLOGY
AND REGISTER WITH THE GOVERNMENT
OF XOCHIMILCO TO GET IT.

Enrique says SO RIGHT NOW, WE'RE GOING
TO HARVEST THE WATER
THAT FELL ON THE ROOF
OF THE HOUSE.
AND THEN, WHAT WE'RE DOING
IS CONNECTING TUBES
THAT ARE CHANNELLING
THE WATER FROM THE ROOF
AND BRING THEM HERE TOWARDS THIS
WATER TANK THAT WE JUST PUT IN.
SO, FIRST, THE WATER
IS GOING TO COME INTO
THIS BLUE THING HERE.
THIS IS A FIRST-FLUSH SYSTEM.
EVERY TIME IT RAINS,
IN THE FIRST MAYBE 10 MINUTES
OF THE RAIN EVENT, THE WATER
IS GOING TO BE DISSOLVING SMOG,
AND IT'S ALSO GOING
TO BE WASHING DUST
AND THINGS OFF OF THE ROOF.
AFTER THAT HAS SEALED,
WATER IS GOING TO START
COMING INTO THE TANK.
AND THAT WATER, THEY'RE
STILL GOING TO USE IT.
THEY'RE GOING TO USE
IT FOR TOILETS,
THEY'RE GOING TO USE IT FOR
WATERING THEIR PLANTS,
BUT THEY'RE GOING TO USE IT
FOR THINGS THAT DON'T NEED
SUCH HIGH WATER QUALITY.
AND THEN, THE TANK WILL FILL UP
WITH THE WATER THAT FALLS
AFTER THAT, WHICH IS GOING
TO BE YOUR CLEANER WATER.

Mikael climbs a ladder and cuts a tube to help in the installation.

Mikael says THE TINY MUNICIPALITY
OF SAN GREGORIO
IS EXPERIENCING THE CRISIS
FIRST HAND.
THEY'VE HAD ENOUGH OF PAYING
TO MAKE MIRACLES HAPPEN.
SO THEY DECIDED TO PAY
FOR ISLA URBANA SYSTEMS FOR
THE WHOLE NEIGHBOURHOOD.
THIS ONE HERE WILL GIVE LAURO'S
FAMILY FIVE TO SIX MONTHS
OF FULL AUTONOMY A YEAR,
WITH THIS ONE SIMPLE TANK.
AND THEY COULD EVENTUALLY
BECOME FULLY AUTONOMOUS
YEAR-ROUND BY BURYING
A CISTERN IN THE GROWN.

Enrique says HAVING THE TOOLS TO BE
FULLY WATER AUTONOMOUS
IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
NAKED IN THE STORM
AND BEING EQUIPPED FOR IT.
AND THAT'S WHAT THIS PROJECT
IS ALL ABOUT.

Lauro, Mikael, Enrique and his team pose for a picture.

Mikael says MEXICO CITY STRUGGLES
WITH WIDESPREAD
AND PERVASIVE POLLUTION.
AND ALTHOUGH THE PLACE
IS NOTORIOUS FOR ITS SMOG,
ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY,
I MIGHT JUST BE ABLE
TO SEE IT FROM ABOVE.

Now, Mikael flies in a helicopter.

He says WHEN, IN 1992, THE UNITED
NATIONS DECLARED MEXICO CITY
TO BE THE MOST POLLUTED CITY
ON THE PLANET,
ACTION WAS TAKEN,
REGULATIONS WERE PUT INTO PLACE
TO TRY AND REDUCE
POLLUTION LEVELS.
BUT NOW THE CITY IS ON PAR
WITH LOS ANGELES.
THINGS HAVE BEEN PROVED,
BUT I DON'T KNOW
IF THIS IS THE KIND OF CLUB
YOU WANT TO BE IN.
ON AVERAGE, I SPEND NO MORE
THAN FIVE HOURS A YEAR,
IN TOTAL, IN A CAR.
HERE, THE CREW AND I, GOING
FROM LOCATION TO LOCATION,
LOSE ABOUT FIVE HOURS A DAY
STUCK IN TRAFFIC.
MEXICO CITY IS FIRST
AND WORST IN THE WORLD
ON THE TRAGIC LIST
OF CAR-CONGESTED CITIES.
IN THE 1950'S, THERE WAS ONE
CAR PER EVERY 82 PEOPLE
IN MEXICO CITY. TODAY, THINGS
HAVE CHANGED DRASTICALLY.
NOW, THERE IS ONE CAR
FOR EVERY FIVE CITIZENS
200 000 NEW CARS HIT
THE ROADS OF MEXICO CITY
EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
WHILE EFFORTS ARE BEING MADE
TO IMPROVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT,
THIS IS STILL
THE MOST MASSIVE
TRANSPORT CHALLENGE
THAT MEXICO CITY FACES.
CITIZENS HERE CAN COUNT ON
AN IMPRESSIVE METRO SYSTEM
WITH 12 LINES.
IT MOVES 4,6 MILLION PEOPLE
EACH AND EVERY DAY.
BUT IT WAS BUILT IN LARGE
PART IN THE 1970'S.
THE CITY HAS SINCE
EXPANDED SO HEAVILY
THAT ITS VAST METROPOLITAN
AREA NOW SUFFERS GREATLY
FROM AN INSUFFICIENT
PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM.

An animated orange area covers part of the map of the city. The caption changes to "Urban sprawl."

He continues THE RESULT IS A SOCIALLY AND
SPATIALLY SEGREGATED CITY,
DIVIDED BETWEEN THE CENTRE
AND THE PERIPHERY.
TRAVELLING TO AND FROM
THE CENTRE FOR THOSE LIVING
ON THE OUTSKIRTS TAKES
FOUR TO SIX HOURS DAILY,
AND SADLY WASTES ALMOST
A THIRD OF THE AVERAGE
SALARY.

The caption changes to "Andrés Sañudo. Urban planner." Andrés is in his late twenties, with a blond beard and short curly blond hair. He wears a white shirt, beige jacket and black trousers.

Mikael says ANDRÉS IS THE GO-TO GUY
WHEN IT COMES TO MOVING
PEOPLE AROUND. HE'S BEEN
AN ACTIVIST AT ITDP,
AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY,
FOR YEARS. AND NOW,
HE'S A REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER
CONCERNED WITH URBAN DENSITY
AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
HE BRINGS ME TO THE
PANTILLAN
METRO STATION LOCATED
ABOUT 10 KILOMETRES OUTSIDE
THE CITY'S CENTRE.

Mikael and Andres walks in a metro station.

Andres says ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH
THE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
IN MEXICO IS THAT IT'S NOT
COMPLETELY INTEGRATED.
A PERSON WHO WANTS TO GET
TO THE STATION PROBABLY
HAS TO TAKE EITHER
A TAXI OR A BUS.
THEN, YOU GET INTO THE STATION
AND YOU NEED TO MAKE
A NEW PAYMENT TO TAKE THE TRAIN.

Mikael says TO A NEW SYSTEM.

Andrés continues YEAH. AND THEN YOU GET OUT,
AND YOU'LL PROBABLY
MAKE A TRANSFER TO THE BRT
SYSTEM AND YOU NEED TO MAKE
A NEW PAYMENT
TO A DIFFERENT ENTITY.
THE WAYFINDING SYSTEM OF
THE CITY IS NOT VERY GOOD,
AND OBVIOUSLY, IT GETS WORSE
AS YOU MOVE FURTHER AWAY
FROM THE CITY CENTRE.

Mikael says IT'S KIND OF FUNNY. WE'VE COME
TO THE TRAIN STATION HERE, AND
WE'RE TALKING AND WE'RE DOING
OUR JOB, BUT WE DON'T KNOW WHERE
WE'RE GOING AND EVERYBODY'S
DISCUSSING. WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY
NO IDEA. SO THE WAYFINDING
OF THE STATION IS LACKING.
IT IS ALSO MASSIVE. I DON'T
KNOW WHERE THE HELL I AM NOW.
MEXICO CITY HAS RELENTLESSLY
TRIED TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION
BY ADDING A BRT SERVICE.

On a red bus door, an animated caption reads "Bus Rapid Transit. Line 5, plus 20 kilometers. Line 7, plus 15 kilometers."

He continues IT EXPANDS EVERY YEAR,
BUT FOR ANDRES, THE CITY
LACKS A TRANSPORT-ORIENTED
VISION IN ITS DEVELOPMENT,
ESPECIALLY
AROUND THE EXISTING
METRO STATIONS.

Back in the station, Mikael says THE CITY HERE,
WITH THEIR PUBLICLY
OWNED LAND AND WITH
OPPORTUNITIES
THAT THEY HAVE,
ARE THEY DOING ENOUGH?

Andrés says THEY HAVE THE FIRST PART RIGHT,
WHICH IS THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE
AND THE JUSTIFICATION. WE NEED
TO CREATE MORE DEVELOPMENT
AROUND THE STATIONS,
WE NEED TO CREATE DENSITY,
WE NEED TO CREATE
THIS COMPACT CITY.
THE THING IS THAT THEY'RE
USING ALL THIS LAND
AND PRIVATE INVESTMENTS
TO CREATE MALLS.

Mikael says MALLS.

Andrés says MALLS.

Mikael says THAT'S SO LAST CENTURY.

Andrés says YEAH. HELP IS NEEDED WITH THINGS
THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT ABLE TO PAY
IN OTHER WAYS. THAT'S AFFORDABLE
SPACES. AFFORDABLE SPACES
OBVIOUSLY FOR HOUSES, SCHOOLS,
HOSPITALS, BAKERIES,
SHOPS OBVIOUSLY,
SMALL BUSINESSES.

They take the metro.

Mikael says WE HEAD BACK INTO THE CITY
CENTRE TO GO TO...
MANY PARKING LOTS
LINING THE STREETS
OF MEXICO CITY.
BECAUSE CARS ARE
AN ESSENTIAL PART
IN THIS CAR-CENTRIC CITY.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT?
UNTIL RECENTLY, BUILDING
A NEW CONSTRUCTION WITHOUT
A PARKING LOT WAS ILLEGAL.
THE LAW ACTUALLY REQUIRED
ONE PARKING SPACE
FOR EVERY 30 SQUARE METERS
OF NEWLY BUILT OFFICE SPACE.
AND THAT LED TO A CRAZY AVERAGE OF
OF 40 percent OF BUILDING SPACE
DEVOTED TO PARKING.
NOW I'VE BEEN AROUND,
AND LET ME TELL YOU:
PROVIDING MORE PARKING
IS OFTEN AT THE CORE
OF THE PROBLEM.

Now, they stand in a terrace.

Andrés says THERE'S PARKING ON TOP
OF THAT APARTMENT BUILDING.

Mikael points and says OH, WAIT. RIGHT THERE?

Andrés says YEAH.

Mikael says OH, YEAH.

Andrés says ALL OF THESE BUILDINGS,
ESPECIALLY BUSINESS
AND CORPORATE BUILDINGS,
THEY HAVE AT LEAST 1000
PARKING SPACES EACH.

Animated yellow arrows that read "Parking" pop up on top of different buildings.

Mikael says WOW. O.K.

Andrés says IF YOU CREATE PARKING ON EVERY
LAND TO EVERY DESTINATION,
PEOPLE START DRIVING. AND WHAT
HAPPENED IS THAT CAR USE
HAS BEEN GROWING EXPONENTIALLY
IN MEXICO CITY.
SO, WE HAVE AN INCREASINGLY
CONGESTED CITY.
WE'RE BASICALLY CREATING A HUGE
PARKING WITH SOME AMENITIES...
YEAH... WHICH IS THE CITY. AND IT
SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
WE SHOULD BE CREATING
A CITY AND MAYBE,
IF IT'S VERY JUSTIFIABLE,
SOME PARKING.

Mikael says WITH A LOT OF WORK, ANDRÉS
FINALLY CONVINCED
CITY OFFICIALS
TO GET RID OF THIS SURREAL
REGULATION.
IN FACT, IT'S BEEN REVERSED;
INSTEAD OF A MINIMUM
PARKING SPACE, THE CITY
NOW IMPOSES A MAXIMUM.
NOW IT'S EVEN LEGAL
TO PROVIDE
NO PARKING SPACE AT ALL.
THIS, OF COURSE, WON'T
REDEFINE THE ENTIRE CITY
IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE,
BUT IT'S STILL AN IMPORTANT
SHIFT IN MENTALITY FOR THIS
EXTREMELY CAR-CENTRIC CITY.

Andrés says PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HAVE
A DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE,
WHO DON'T WANT TO SPEND
TWO AND HALF HOURS A DAY
IN A METAL BOX, STRESSED,
AND WHO JUST WANT TO BIKE
TO WORK OR WALK TO WORK EVEN.

Mikael says BUT YOU ALSO, IN A WAY, FREED UP
THE CREATIVITY OF ARCHITECTS.

Andrés says WE'RE REVERSING THAT LINE OF
THOUGHT. BEFORE THE REGULATIONS
WERE CHANGED, AN ARCHITECTURE
STUDENT WOULD START A PROJECT
FROM THE PARKING, AND
THEN THEY WOULD SEE
WHAT THEY COULD FIT ON TOP.
AND NOW, IT'S GOING TO BE
THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

(background music plays)

Mikael says THERE ARE OVER 30 000 PEOPLE
INVOLVED IN TRAFFIC INCIDENTS
EVERY SINGLE DAY IN
THIS MEGACITY. I'M GOING TO MEET
SOME PEOPLE HERE,
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF NAPOLES,
WHO ARE TRYING
TO DO WHAT THEY CAN
TO SOLVE A VERY
PRESSING PROBLEM.

Mikael walks into a building and goes up to the terrace.

Mikael says IT'S OFTEN FROM A ROOFTOP
WE GET A CLEARER PICTURE
OF THE PEDESTRIAN CHALLENGES.
FROM UP HERE, YOU CAN
SEE IT ALL HAPPEN.

The caption changes to "Luz Yazmin Viramontes Fabela and Luis Gómez Theriot. Cofounders of Camina." Luz is in her mid-twenties with long straight black hair. She wears a brown shirt and blue jeans. Luis is in his twenties, with a beard and short hair. He wears a beige beret and a white T-shirt with printed bicycle.

He continues YAZMIN AND LUIS, COFOUNDERS
OF THE CAMINA PROJECT,
SIMPLY WANT PEOPLE
TO BE ABLE TO WALK
IT'S THAT SIMPLE.
PROBLEMATIC INTERSECTION,
AND IT'S EASY TO SEE
WHY THEIR WORK
IS SO IMPORTANT.

Luis says WHAT WE SEE HERE,
IS A VERY CONFUSING
AND DANGEROUS INTERSECTION.
WE CAN FIND THIS TYPE
OF INTERSECTION ALL
OVER MEXICO CITY.
THIS IS VERY COMMON.

Mikael says YEAH. THIS IS WHAT I CALL THE
"ARROGANCE OF SPACE," RIGHT?

Luis says YEAH.

Luz draws lines in a notebook that shows a drawing of the intersection.

Luz says ONE OF THE PROBLEMS
WITH THIS INTERSECTION
IS THAT THE CARS MOVE
FASTER AROUND THIS CORNER
IN OPPOSITE MOVEMENT.
IT'S JUST ONE-WAY HERE.

Mikael says THE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING
COMES FROM NOWHERE
AND IT GOES INTO
TREES AT THE CURB.

Luz says YEAH.

Mikael chuckles.

Luis says YEAH. IT DISAPPEARS.

Mikael says HOW SERIOUS IS THE PROBLEM
OF TRAFFIC INCIDENTS
IN MEXICO CITY?

Luz says IT'S VERY SERIOUS.
THERE ARE ABOUT THREE PEOPLE
A DAY DYING ON THE STREETS.

Mikael says THREE A DAY.

Luz says YEAH.

Mikael says TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE
TRYING TO DO
ABOUT IT.

Luis says WE REDESIGN THE STREETS IN ORDER
TO MAKE THEM SAFER
FOR PEDESTRIANS AND OTHER USERS.

Luz says OUR TOOL IS TACTICAL
URBANISM AND WE DO THIS
BECAUSE THE FIRST THOUGHT
THAT PEOPLE HAVE IS THAT
TRAFFIC IS VERY NORMAL,
AND IT'S VERY NORMAL
TO WALK AROUND THE CITY
WITHOUT A CARE.
SO WE JUST WANT
TO DEVELOP THIS PROJECT
TO START CHANGING
PEOPLE'S MIND.

Mikael says YOU'RE GOING TO PUT ME TO WORK?

Luz smiles and says YES.

Luis says YOU'RE READY?

Mikael says LET'S GO. LET'S GET DOWN THERE.

Mikael meets a group of people wearing yellow safety vest in the street.

Mikael says HOLA AMIGOS!

Luz hands him a vest.

Mikael says ALL RIGHT.

Luz says WE'RE GOING TO MAKE
TWO GROUPS.
THE FIRST IS GOING TO SEP UP
THE CONES IN THE NEW REDESIGN
AND THE SECONF HROUP WILL GO
WITH LUIS.
THE FIRST GROUP IS WITH
ME FOR THE CONES
AND THE SECOND GROUP IS WITH LUIS
AND WILL PLACE THE NEW TILES.

Mikael points to Luz's notebook and says YOU'RE GOING TO BLOCK IT OFF,
SO THE CARS WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO DO THAT SHORTCUT NOW.

Luis says YES.

Luz says EXACTLY.

Luis says NOW, WE'RE GOING TO MAKE
SOME DESIGNS,
LIKE MEXICAN CLASSIC TILES
TO MAKE IT PRETTIER.
WE'RE GOING TO USE A TAPE
THAT GLOWS IN THE DARK.

Mikael says O.K. WOW. COOL!

Luis says SO AT NIGHT, WE'RE GOING TO SEE
ALL THE TEXTURES WE MADE.

Mikael says IS THIS LEGAL?

Luz says YEAH...

Mikael says AM I GOING TO BE IN A MEXICAN
JAIL BY 7 O'CLOCK THIS EVENING?

Luz chuckles.

Luis says I DON'T KNOW.
IT'S NOT REALLY ILLEGAL.

Mikael says THAT'S LIKE THE BEST
ANSWER EVER.
I DON'T KNOW!
I THINK THE REAL ANSWER IS:
"IT ALL DEPENDS."
FOR THIS SPECIFIC INTERVENTION,
THEY'VE OBTAINED THE BLESSING
OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES,
WHO EVEN LENT US A TRUCK
TO TRANSPORT THE TRAFFIC CONES.
BUT OTHER INTERVENTIONS HAVE
OFTEN BEEN CARRIED OUT
IN A MORE GUERILLA STYLE.

Luis says WE WANT THEM TO CHANGE
THE DESIGN OF THIS...

Mikael says YEAH, YOU'RE SHOWING THEM HOW
IT SHOULD BE, RIGHT?
CAMINA WANTS TO DEMOCRATIZE
ACTIONS LIKE THIS ONE.
THEY'VE PRODUCED A DIY
MANUAL EXPLAINING
HOW TO REDESIGN PROBLEMATIC
USING WHATEVER IS AVAILABLE:
BUCKETS, WOODEN CRATES, BOXES,
ANYTHING.

Animated icons of the objects mentioned flash by.

Mikael says THE IDEA IS TO SHOW CITIZENS
THAT IT'S CHEAP AND EASY
TO MAKE THEIR STREETS SAFER.
AND TO ME,
THAT BEATS WAITING FOR
THE GOVERNMENT
TO SOLVE IT ALL.
AS WE RESHAPE
THIS STREET CORNER,
ONE OF MY PERSONAL HEROES
SHOWS UP.
THIS IS PEATONITO.
HE IS THE LUCHA LIBRE
DEFENDER OF ALL PEDESTRIANS.

The caption changes to "Peatónito. Pedestrian activist."

Peatónito hugs Mikael. He is in his twenties, with a blond beard. He wears a black, white and green mask, a black outfit, a striped black and white cape and matching long socks.

Peatónito says THIS IS A FIGHT AGAINST RECKLESS
MOTORISTS ON THE STREETS
IN ORDER TO SAVE
THE PEDESTRIANS.
FOR EXAMPLE, I GO OUT ON
THE STREETS AND STOP THE CARS.
I PUSH THE CARS BACKWARDS WHEN
THEY ARE ON A CROSSWALK.
ALSO, MY MOST
CONTROVERSIAL ACTION,
MIKAEL, IS WHEN I WALK
ON TOP OF CARS WHEN THEY PARK
ON THE SIDEWALKS BECAUSE
THAT'S A SPACE FOR PEDESTRIANS.

Mikael says SO HOW DO THE MOTORISTS REACT?

Peatónito says MY FIRST TIME OUT ON
THE STREETS, I WAS AFRAID.
THE MOTORISTS LIKE IT.
80 percent OF THE MOTORISTS SMILE.
THEY UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE.
THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO BUILD
THIS CITY,
THIS HUMAN-SCALE CITY
FOR PEDESTRIANS.
THAT'S WHY WE SHOULD SHIFT
THE PARADIGM, YOU KNOW?
NOW, WE ARE FULL OF CARS.
IF WE BUILD INTERSECTIONS
LIKE THIS, PEOPLE WILL
FEEL SAFER TO WALK.
AND THAT'S WHY I FIGHT
FOR PEDESTRIAN RIGHTS.

Mikael and Peatónito carry cones and place them on the street. Michael chuckles.

Peatónito stops a car and says YOU PUT THE CONES AND I WILL
DEFEND IT HERE.

Mikael says YEAH.

Peatónito says I WILL SAVE YOU FROM THE CARS.

Mikael says O.K.

Peatónito says ALL RIGHT?

Mikael says ALL RIGHT.
COOL.

Meanwhile, Peatónito signals the cars to keep moving.

Peatónito says ALL RIGHT.

Mikael says NAILED IT.

Peatónito says YEAH.

Mikael says BOOM!

They high-five.

Peatónito says LAST YEAR, THE ACTIVISTS CHANGED
THE TRAFFIC LAW IN MEXICO CITY.
WE REDUCED THE SPEED ON
THE STREETS, AND NOW, WE HAVE
REDUCED 18 percent OF ALL
THE FATALITIES ON THE STREETS.
AND NOW, THE GOVERNMENT
HAS IMPLEMENTED
MORE THAN 100 SAFE
CROSSWALKS IN MEXICO CITY.
WE HAVE REDUCED 50 percent
OF ALL THE FATALITIES
ON THOSE CROSSWALKS.

Mikael says 50? WOW.

Peatónito says 50 percent, YEAH.
SO IT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE
THAT WE ALREADY HAVE SAVED.

Animated captions with the figures mentioned build up on an aerial view of the intersection with cones.

Peatónito says IF WE BUILD A CITY FOR
THE PEDESTRIANS,
IT'S SAFE FOR EVERYONE:
FOR THE PEDESTRIANS,
FOR THE CYCLISTS AND
ALSO FOR THE MOTORISTS.

The team keeps taping the street until nigh time. Mikael writes the name of the show on the pavement.

(soft electronic music plays)

Mikael says NOT A BAD LITTLE GIG YOU'VE GOT
GOING ON UP HERE.

Gabriella is in her early forties, with long straight brown hair and bangs. She wears sunglasses, a black shirt and a colourful necklace.

Gabriella says I KNOW! RUMOUR HAS IT THIS IS
THE LARGEST GREEN ROOFTOP
OF THE MEXICO CITY CENTRE,
WHICH IS WHERE
THE CITY STARTED, ACTUALLY.

Mikael says WOW.

Gabriella says YOU KNOW,
MORE THAN 600 YEARS AGO.

The caption changes to "Gabriella Gomez-Mont. Head of Laboratorio para la ciudad."

Mikael says GABRIELLA GOMEZ-MONT
IS THE DIRECTOR AND COFOUNDER
OF
LABORATORIO PARA LA CIUDAD,
THE LABORATORY FOR THE CITY.,
MEXICO CITY'S OFFICIAL CREATIVE
AND EXPERIMENTAL THINK TANK.
AND TRUST ME.
SHE ISN'T AFRAID OF FACING
URBAN CHALLENGES HEAD-ON.
FIRST HALF OF TWENTY IS VERY
DIVERSE.
HALF OF THEM COME FROM
DISCIPLINES YOU'D EXPECT:
GEOGRAPHERS, DATA ANALYSTS,
SOCIAL SCIENTISTS.
THE OTHER HALF, HOWEVER, COME
FROM THE CREATIVE WORLD.
THEY'RE WRITERS,
FILMMAKERS, ARTISTS.
AND TO THEM, CREATIVITY
IS A POWERFUL TOOL.

Gabriella says IF YOU ASK ME WHAT
THE LABORATORY SPECIALIZES IN,
BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A WIDE AGENDA,
FROM MOBILITY
TO EXPERIMENTING DEMOCRACY,
I THINK WE SPECIALIZE
IN THE GAPS, LIKE WHAT
ARE THE CONVERSATIONS
THAT ARE NOT BEING
HAD, THE THINGS
THAT ARE NOT BEING SAID,
THE PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED
IN THE CONVERSATIONS,
THE DISCIPLINES, THE FRAMINGS,
THE POINTS OF VIEW THAT HAVE
NOT NECESSARILY BEEN PART
OF POLICY-MAKING
AND CITY-MAKING
FROM WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I FIND
REALLY INTRIGUING ABOUT
MEXICO CITY, NOT ONLY
FOR OURSELVES BUT ACTUALLY
FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD,
IS THAT WE FUNCTION
AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN
THE EMERGING WORLD AND
THE DEVELOPED WORLD,
BECAUSE WE ARE ONE
OF THE LARGEST CITY ECONOMIES
IN THE WORLD, JUST LIKE
THE MEXICO CITY ECONOMY IS
EQUIVALENT TO THE ECONOMY
OF THE WHOLE OF FINLAND.

Mikael says WOW.

Gabriela continues THIS IS ALSO A VERY DIVIDED CITY
IN MANY WAYS:
GEOGRAPHICALLY, SOCIALLY.
SO WE HAVE SOME OF THE WORLD'S
RICHEST MEN, BUT WE ALSO
THE LOWEST MINIMUM WAGE
OF LATIN AMERICA.
SO AS A LAB, HOW DO
YOU DEAL WITH THIS?
HOW DO YOU THINK IN VISIONS
THAT INCOMB AS A CITY,
BUT ALSO START TRAVELLING
THE SCALES OF THE CITY,
AND TO BE ABLE TO GROUND
PROJECTS AND IDEAS
IN VERY SPECIFIC
NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT ARE VERY,
VERY DIFFERENT
FROM ONE ANOTHER.
IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA
OF MEXICO CITY, THERE ARE ALMOST
5 MILLION KIDS, SO I BELIEVE
THAT'S MORE OR LESS
THE POPULATION OF DENMARK.

Mikael says YEAH, GIVE OR TAKE, YEAH.

Mikael chuckles.

Gabriela continues GIVE OR TAKE, JUST OF KIDS.
JUST KIDS. YOU KNOW,
THAT IS WHAT IT'S LIKE.

Mikael says THAT'S A BEAUTIFUL
RESOURCE TO HAVE.

Gabriela says IT'S A BEAUTIFUL
RESOURCE TO HAVE
IF YOU DO SOMETHING WITH IT.
BECAUSE AGAIN, THIS IS WHERE
WE PLAY WITH PARADOXES.
PLACES THAT HAVE
A YOUNG COMMUNITY,
A YOUNG MUSCLE OBVIOUSLY
HAVE A LOT OF ADVANTAGES,
BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW
TO WORK WITH YOUR YOUTH,
YOUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND
YOUR CHILDREN, BECAUSE IF NOT,
IT BECOMES AN ACHILLES
HEEL AS WELL.
MANY OF THE CRIME INDEX AND
SUCH ALSO COME FROM THE SAME
POPULATION THAT COULD BE ONE
OF YOUR BIGGEST ASSETS.

Mikael says PEATONINOS
CALLED "PLAY
STREETS" IN ENGLISH IS ONE
OF THE LEANING PROJECTS
IS A WAY FOR THE CHILDREN
TO RECLAIM THEIR STREETS.
CITIZENS OF A MARGINALIZED
NEIGHBOURHOOD ARE CALLED ON
SO THE CHILDREN CAN
ACTUALLY PLAY IN IT.
BECAUSE THAT IS THE TRUE
NATURE OF THE PEOPLE HERE:
A PASSIONATE INVOLVEMENT IN
THEIR QUEST FOR A BETTER HOME.

A clip shows kids playing with a balloon, jumping rope and playing football in the street.

Mikael says 60 percent OF THE CITY WAS NEIGHBOURS
AND PEOPLE SAYING:
"OH! WE SHOULD CREATE
A NEIGHBOURHOOD HERE.
AND MAKE IT."

Mikael says AND BORROW YOUR HAMMER.
YOU HAVE A SAW AND THEN
WE'LL FIGURE IT OUT.

Gabriela says ABSOLUTELY.

Mikael says IS YOUR JOB FIXING A LEAKY BOAT
AND MAKING THIS BEAUTIFULLY
CRAFTED BOAT FLOAT AGAIN, OR
BUILDING A SHIP FOR THE FUTURE?

Gabriela chuckles and says I THINK A LOT OF THE URBAN
PLANNING FOR PLACES SUCH
AS MEXICO CITY IS, YES,
FIGURING OUT WHAT OUR
URBAN FUTURE LOOKS LIKE,
BUT PART OF THAT URBAN FUTURE
MANY TIMES IS ACTUALLY
LOOKING BACK INTO
OUR HISTORICAL DNA.
CAN WE RECREATE URBAN
LANGUAGES IN POLITICAL FORMS
AND HAVE PLACES SUCH AS
THE LAB BE A MEETING
SPACE AND A COMMON GROUND
BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO WANT
TO BE PART OF THE CITY LIFE,
EVEN IF THEY DON'T
TRUST BUREAUCRACY?
EVERY TIME WE HOST A WORKSHOP,
EVERY TIME WE HOST
ANY TYPE OF CALL, WE SEE PEOPLE
COMING IN IMPORTANT NUMBERS.
SO THIS IS A LITTLE BIT WHAT
I'M VERY EXCITED ABOUT
IN TERMS OF THE FUTURE OF
CITIES. HOW CAN GOVERNMENTS
BE MORE OF THAT AND
LESS OF MY PAIN,
WHICH IS BUREAUCRATIC AND
STUBBORN, AND OBTUSE,
AND NOT NECESSARILY ALL THAT
INTEGRATED INTO
WHAT THEIR SOCIETY WANTS?
THE ULTIMATE RIGHT
TO THE CITY IS THE ABILITY
TO IMAGINE THE CITY AND THEN
MAKE IT COME TRUE, BECAUSE FIRST
WE MAKE THE CITIES, AND
THEN THE CITIES MAKE US.
HOW DO WE LIVE TOGETHER?
HOW DO WE MOVE TOGETHER?
HOW DO WE STAY
HEALTHY TOGETHER?

Mikael says FOR ME, A CONVERSATION
ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CITIES
ON A HUMAN SCALE OBVIOUSLY
INCLUDES...BIKEABILITY.
REMEMBER MY FRIEND ARELI?
WELL, SHE'S BEEN AWARDED
THE TITLE OF "BIKE MAYER."
BY FELLOW BIKE ACTIVISTS.
WE'RE TESTING THE STREETS
OF THIS CAR-ADDICTED
CITY ON TWO WHEELS.
ACCORDING TO HER, IT TOOK 10
YEARS FOR AUTHORITIES TO ACCEPT
THAT URBAN CYCLING WAS
MORE THAN JUST A HOBBY,
AND ANOTHER 10 TO ACTUALLY
BUILD A FEW BIKE LANES.
ECO BICI HELPED
SPARKED THE CHANGE.
THE BIKE-SHARING SERVICE
IS NOW THE LARGEST YEAR ROUND
SYSTEM IN THE AMERICAS.

Mikael and Areli drive bicycles in the street.

Mikael says HAS THAT HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT
ON THE CITY?

Areli says FOR SURE. I THINK IT GAVE
A LOT OF PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO EXPERIENCE FIRST HAND
THAT BICYCLING, IT'S A THING!
IT WORKS, IT'S CONVENIENT,
LIKE IT SOMEHOW BROKE
A LOT OF PREJUDICE
AGAINST BICYCLING.

Mikael says EIGHT YEARS AGO,
WHEN I WAS HERE,
THERE WAS A LOT OF
POLITICAL PEACOCKING.
THE MAYOR AT THE TIME WAS
TALKING ABOUT BIKES.

Areli says EAH, WELL WE HAVE 151
KILOMETRES AND WE,
AS ACTIVISTS, HAVE CALCULATED
THAT WE NEED 600 KILOMETRES.

Mikael says 600.

Areli continues SO WE'RE RUNNING BEHIND. AND
THIS IS HAPPENING VERY SLOWLY
AND PIECE BY PIECE. WE ALREADY
CONQUERED PEOPLE'S IMAGINATION,
LIKE BIKES ARE NOT SEEN AS
THE POOR'S CHOICE ANYMORE.
AND THIS IS LIKE A BIG,
BIG CULTURAL STEP FORWARD.

Mikael says SO THIS, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN,
LOOKS LIKE A BIKE LANE IN A WAY.

Areli says YEAH.

Mikael says IS IT?

Areli says IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ONE,
BUT IT'S NOT,
BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE
FIGHTING AGAINST IT.

Mikael says YEAH, IT'S PARKING.

Mikael chuckles.

Areli says YEAH. THEY FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE
THE RIGHT TO PARK.
THEY HAVE DONE IT FOREVER, AND
THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO CHANGE.
IT'S NOT EASY.
PEOPLE ARE NOT WILLING
TO SHARE THE SPACE.
FOR SO MANY YEARS, WE'VE BEEN
A CITY WHERE THE CAR IS KING.
WE NEED TO REALLY FOCUS
ON INFRASTRUCTURE,
BECAUSE THAT WAY,
WE WOULD BRING PEOPLE
WHO HAVE BICYCLES AND WHO WANT
TO USE IT ON A DAILY BASIS,
BUT ARE SCARED TO TRY
BECAUSE OF TRAFFIC.
YOU COULD HAVE
A BEAUTIFUL CYCLE PATH,
BUT IF PEOPLE DON'T RESPECT IT,
THEN IT WON'T SERVE ITS
PURPOSE. WE NEED BOTH:
INFRASTRUCTURE AND CONSCIENCE.

Citizens use the public bike service around the city.

Mikael says WHAT IS THE ENDGAME
FOR YOUR ACTIVISM?

Areli says WHEN EVERYBODY STOPS TALKING
ABOUT US AS "CYCLISTS" AND FEEL
LIKE: "WELL, I'M GOING
TO TAKE A BIKE," YOU KNOW?
I'M NOT A CYCLIST. I'M JUST
A CITIZEN MOVING AROUND THE CITY
AND USING IT ONCE IN A WHILE,
OR WHENEVER I WANT.

Mikael says EQUAL ACCESS TO THE ROAD,
THAT'S A FIGHT YOU CAN HOPE
EARTHQUAKES, UNFORTUNATELY,
ARE ONE OF THOSE THINGS.
AND HERE, THEY'RE ALSO
A PART OF DAILY LIFE.
THE QUAKE THAT CHANGED
LEFT PROFOUND SCARS
ON THE COLLECTIVE MEMORY
AND ON THE CITY ITSELF.
IT KILLED MORE
THAN 10,000 PEOPLE,
AND SERIOUSLY DAMAGED
SOMETHING LIKE
100 000 BUILDINGS.
THE LAST BIG ONE, IN SEPTEMBER
2017,HAPPENED EXACTLY
23 YEARS LATER...
TO THE DAY.
BUT ALL NEIGHBOURHOODS
ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
HELP AND RECONSTRUCTION.
AND THAT'S PRECISELY WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN SANTA CRUZ,
IN THE DISTRICT OF
XOCHIMILCO.

Now, Mikael walks next to Pia and Emiliano.

Pia is in her early thirties, with short brown hair. She wears glasses and a yellow T-shirt and black trousers.

Pia says WHEN THE EARTHQUAKE HIT,
WE WERE WORKING IN MORE CENTRAL
PARTS OF MEXICO CITY AND
REALIZED THAT THERE WAS
A LOT OF HELP OVER THERE
AND VERY LITTLE OVER HERE.
IN ONE DAY, IN ONE DAMAGED
AREA IN MEXICO CITY,
I FOUND ABOUT 600
VOLUNTEERS OVER THERE.
YOU COULD EVEN CHOOSE
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD
YOU WANTED TO EAT, YOU KNOW,
THERE WERE PEOPLE PASSING
WITH PASTA OR TACOS.
AND ON THE SAME DAY,
I CAME TO XOCHIMILCO AND FOUND
LESS THAN 20 VOLUNTEERS.

Mikael says YEP. LESS THAN 20 VOLUNTEERS.
FOR ONE OF THE REGIONS THAT HAS
SUFFERED THE MOST FROM
THIS DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE.
THIS MADE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE
TO EMILIANO AND PIA.

The caption changes to "Pia Watson and Emiliano García. Reconstruir, MX."

Mikael says HE'S AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER,
SHE'S AN ACTRESS AND
A VERY INVOLVED CITIZEN.
TOGETHER, WITH ARCHITECTS,
URBAN PLANNERS
AND STRONG-WILLED FRIENDS,
THEY FOUNDED
RECONSTRUIR MEXICO,
REBUILD MEXICO.
INSTEAD OR TEARING DOWN
EVERY DAMAGED HOME, WHICH SEEMS
TO BE A MUNICIPAL TREND HERE,
THEY HELP REBUILD HOUSES WITH
NEW AND SUSTAINABLE TECHNIQUES.
MORE THAN 80 PEOPLE
OF VARIOUS BACKGROUNDS
ARE NOW PART OF THE GROUP.

Emiliano is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with wavy brown hair. He wears a pale blue shirt and green trousers.

Emiliano says THERE'S A NEED TO UNDERSTAND
HOW TO BUILD RIGHT AGAIN.
AND NOT TO DO THE SAME MISTAKES
WITHIN THE BUILDING PROCESS.
ALL YOUR LIFE'S SAVINGS
ARE IN YOUR HOME.
IT'S NOT A DECISION YOU
CAN TAKE RIGHT AWAY,
TO BUILD FAST OR
TO BUILD WRONG AGAIN.

Pia says THE IDEA IS TO KNOW HOW
THE COMMUNITY LIVES,
AND WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO THEM AND
WHAT ARE THEIR ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
AND THEIR LIFESTYLE IN ORDER
TO ADD UP TO THAT INSTEAD
OF TRYING TO IMPOSE ANYTHING.

Emiliano says SEE, YOU HAVE THIS HOUSE
THAT HAS BEEN MARKED
"TO BE DEMOLISHED."

Mikael says RIGHT.

Emiliano says AND ON THE OTHER SIDE,
YOU WILL SEE ALREADY TWO HOUSES
THAT HAVE BEEN DEMOLISHED.

Mikael says WOW. SO THERE WERE HOMES HERE
ON THE SAME SCALE,
THE SAME LEVEL AS THE OTHERS,
AND THEY JUST DROPPED.

Pia says THIS WHOLE AREA IS GOING
TO BE DEMOLISHED.
AND THE LANDSCAPE USED TO
BE SO DIFFERENT A COUPLE
OF MONTHS AGO. LIKE
YOU WOULD HAVE HOUSES
THAT AREN'T HERE ANYMORE.

Mikael says YEAH.
IN SUCH A TIGHTLY KNIT
NEIGHBOURHOOD.
I MEAN, A BIG HOLE
LIKE THAT IS REALLY...
IT'S LIKE A SCAR.

They stop near debris.

Pia says IT'S DISHEARTENING,
YES.

They continue walking down the neighborhood.

Emiliano says BECAUSE THIS IS GOING
TO KEEP HAPPENING.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE AGAIN.
SO HOW CAN WE GET
PREPARED FOR THAT?

Pia says ONE OF THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT
WE WERE LOOKING AT WITH
THE PROJECT WAS
BUILDING WITH BAMBOO
OR ANY OTHER TYPE
OF LIGHTER MATERIAL,
BECAUSE TWO AND THREE-STORY
BUILDINGS IN THIS AREA...

Mikael says OH, YEAH...

Pia continues AREN'T A GOOD IDEA AT ALL.

Mikael looks up and says AND IF THAT GOES,
THAT GOES THIS WAY, RIGHT?

Pia says YES.

Emiliano says YEAH.

Mikael says YOU CAN SEE IT.

Emiliano says IT'S TO MAKE BUILDINGS THAT WILL
BREAK BUT WILL NOT COLLAPSE,
RIGHT?

Mikael says YEAH.

Emiliano continues SO WE NEED A CODE THAT WILL
ALLOW THAT IN ORDER
TO SAVE LIVES, BUT NOT AS
EXPENSIVE AS THE JAPANESE
CODES OR BUILDING TECHNIQUES.

Mikael says ARASELI'S HOUSE WAS DECLARED
DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR.
AND THE CITY, PRONE
TO TEARING EVERYTHING DOWN,
SAID IT NEEDED
TO BE DEMOLISHED.
THAT'S PROBABLY GOOD MONEY
FOR THE DEVELOPERS,
BUT THIS IS RARELY THE BEST
SOLUTION FOR THE PEOPLE.
THIS HOUSE PERFECTLY EMBODIES
WHAT RECONSTRUIR IS ALL ABOUT.

Araceli is in her late fifties, with short light brown hair tied-up. She wears a white blouse and hoop earrings.

Araceli stands in deteriorated house.

She says THE GROUND ROSE UP
LIKE A VOLCANO OR A
MOUNTAIN,
AND THE CRACKS OPENED
AND CLOSED.
IT WAS PRETTY REMARKABLE.

Pia says HOW MANY YEARS
DIT IT TAKE YOU TO
BUILD IT COMPLETELY?

Araceli says 20 YEARS.

Pia says 20 YEARS.

Mikael says 20 YEARS.

Pia says SO IT'S AN EFFORT OF 20 YEARS.

Araceli says FROM ONE DAY
TO THE NEXT...

She gestures a demolition.

Pia says AUTHORITIES COME AND SAY:
"YOU HAVE TO TEAR IT DOWN,"
WHEN THERE ARE PEOPLE
WHO ARE TOTALLY SURE
THAT IT CAN BE SAVED.

They all walk into the house. A wooden structure supports the roof and walls.

Mikael says WHAT MAKES THIS HOUSE NOT JUST
WORTH SAVING, BUT ALSO SAVEABLE?

Emiliano says THE LIGHTNESS OF THE ROOF.
WE WANT TO BRING BACK
THE TYPOLOGY OF
THE HOUSES IN XOCHIMILCO,
AND THIS WILL HELP
US UNDERSTAND HOW
WE CAN MAKE THIS HOUSE
A DEMONSTRATION OF WHY
LIGHT STRUCTURES WORK BETTER.

Mikael says MARIA AND PABLO'S HOUSE
WAS BY FAR THE MOST AFFECTED
IN THE ENTIRE NEIGHBOURHOOD.
SO A PLAN TO REBUILD IT
WAS DRAWN UP
BY THE VOLUNTEERS,
AND THE RECONSTRUCTION
IS NOW WELL UNDERWAY.

Pablo is in his mid-sixties, clean-shaven with short graying hair. He wears a pale shirt and blue jeans.

Pablo says WE WERE REALLY AFFECTED
BY IT BECAUSE WE LOST EVERYTHING.
WE LOST PRACTICALLY
EVERYTHING.
FORTUNATELY, WE ARE STILL ALIVE.

Emiliano says YOU CAN SEE THAT THIS BALCONY
IS DETACHING FROM THE HOUSE.

Mikael says OH MY GOD, YEAH!
LOOK AT THAT! WOW!

Maria is in her forties, with a long braid and bangs. She wears a pink shirt.

Maria says THIS HOUSE IS THE RESULT
OF A LIFETIME OF WORK.
WE'VE SPENT OUR ENTIRE
LIVES WORKING ON IT.
WE INVESTED IN THIS HOUSE
FOR THE WELL-BEING
OF OUR FAMILY.

A clip shows a broken tile wall in a kitchen.

Pablo says WHEN THEY GOT HERE
THEY TOLD US THAT IS A COMPLETE
WRITE-OFF.
BUT THEY NEVER CAME INSIDE.
THEY ONLY SAW IT FROM
THE OUTSIDE.

Mikael helps the team in the construction work.

Mikael says SO THE GUYS HERE SEEM
TO HAVE IT ALL UNDER CONTROL.
EVEN THOUGH I'M CLEARLY
A GREAT ADDITION TO THE TEAM,
DUTY CALLED...
TO THEIR GREAT RELIEF.
SERIOUSLY.

Mikael and the family pose for a picture.

A woman says ONE, TWO, THREE!
ALL GOOD!

Mikael says AS SOON AS I SHOW UP IN
THE LE MERCED NEIGHBOURHOOD,
ILIANA SO PUTS ME TO WORK.
THERE'S LOTS TO BE DONE.
WE HAVE TO BUILD THE RING
BEFORE THE WRESTLERS ARRIVE.
ILIANA IS NOT ONE OF THEM,
ALTHOUGH SHE CLEARLY
HAS ENOUGH WILLPOWER
TO TACKLE ANYTHING.

The caption changes to "Iliana So. Founder of Lucharte." Iliana is in her late twenties, with curly blond hair. She wears a white and red cap and a matching hoodie.

Mikael continues SHE'S A MURALIST AND
A PAINTER, AND AN ALL-AROUND
INSPIRING HUMAN BEING.
SHE CREATED LUCHARTE,
BRINGING THE QUINTESSENTIAL
MEXICAN TRADITION
OF ACROBATIC WRESTLING,
WILD COSTUMES AND MASKS
CALLED
LUCHA LIBRE
TO THE PEOPLE WHO
CAN'T AFFORD
THE BIG-ARENA EVENTS.
SHE'S TAKING THE WRESTLERS
TO THE STREETS OF LOW-INCOME
NEIGHBOURHOODS,AND
SHE'S THROWING ART INTO
THE MIX
TO GIVE IT ALL
AN EDGE.

In the street, Iliana says WE'RE TRYING TO BRING
CULTURE TOO, TO NOT ONLY SHOW
THE WRESTLING. WE'RE TRYING
TO PUT SOMETHING ARTISTIC
IN THEIR HEARTS
AND THEIR MINDS.
WE CAN DO SOMETHING LIKE
GRAFFITI, SOMETHING LIKE THAT,
AND WE ALSO BRING BANDS
TO PLAY ROCK.

A young man paints a graffiti on the lower part of a ring.

Iliana continues THIS OTHER TIME, WE BROUGHT
IN WRITERS WHO WROTE
ABOUT WRESTLING MOVEMENTS AND
THEY DID PUBLIC READINGS.

Mikael says BUT WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU
TO EXPAND THAT TO ART AND MUSIC?

Iliana says BECAUSE IN MEXICO CITY,
IT'S NOT SO COMMON FOR PEOPLE
TO GO TO THE GALLERIES
OR THE MUSEUMS.
THEY DON'T DO ARTISTIC
ACTIVITIES.
WITHOUT A COST, YOU KNOW?
PEOPLE CAN FEEL FREE
TO ENJOY IT.
ALL OF THIS IS FREE.
WE'RE TRYING TO EDUCATE PEOPLE.
WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY
WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF VIOLENCE.
WE NEED TO BRING PEACE.
AND I THINK ART
IS A LITTLE BIT OF PEACE.

Mikael uses black spray to write the name of the show on the ring.

Mikael says THE SHOW IS ABOUT TO START.
YOU CAN FEEL THE CROWD'S
EXCITEMENT.
THE WRESTLERS ARE IN THEIR
MAKESHIFT CHANGING ROOMS,
PUTTING ON THEIR CRAZY
COSTUMES AND MASKS.

Iliana walks into a tent and says COME IN, MIKAEL.

Mikael says BUENOS DIAS!
EVERYBODY'S HERE FOR A GOOD
CAUSE. THE WRESTLERS ARE
ALL VOLUNTEERS,GIVING
BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.
EVERYBODY'S READY?

Iliana says O.K.

Mikael says THEY'RE READY?

Iliana says THEY DO IT WITH HEART, YOU KNOW?
RIGHT NOW, I HAVE WRESTLERS
WHO WORK AROUND THE WORLD,
AND THEY TAKE SOME TIME OFF
TO COME TO FIGHT FOR FREE,
FOR THE PEOPLE. JUST FOR
THE PEOPLE'S ENJOYMENT.
THAT'S A BEAUTIFUL THING.
AND WHO KNOWS,
IN THE FUTURE, ONE OF THE KIDS
WHO ARE HERE RIGHT NOW MAY
WANT TO BE A WRESTLER, OR
WANT TO BE A VOLUNTEER, OR WANT
TO BE DOING SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
AND THAT'S A GREAT THING,
I THINK.

Mikael points to a wrestle standing in the ring and says HE'S READY TO GO.

The wrestling begins.

Mikael says YEAH. THIS IS A THEATRICAL
WRESTLING MATCH.
BUT IT'S ALSO SO MUCH MORE.
IT'S PROOF THAT THE CITY
ISN'T JUST ABOUT
STREETS AND BUILDINGS.
IT'S A PLACE WHERE
WE SHARE EXPERIENCES,
TRADITIONS AND CULTURE.
AND A PLACE WHERE
THE WORD "COMMUNITY."
TAKES ON ITS REAL MEANING.
THE LIFE-SIZED CITY SHINES
BRIGHTEST WHEN IT APPEARS
IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACES.
IF I TOLD YOU I WAS GOING
TO VISIT A SELF-GOVERNING,
SELF-SUSTAINING,
ALMOST CAR-FREE COMMUNITY,
YOU MIGHT THINK
I WAS TALKING ABOUT SOMEWHERE
IN NORTHERN EUROPE.

The animated map of the city appears. A red circle highlights an area. The caption changes to "Yuguelito."

He continues I'M AT THE EDGE OF MEXICO CITY
AND I'M GOING TO HEAR THE MOST
EXTRAORDINARY STORY.
BUENAS TARDES, SEÑORES!

Yolanda is in her mid-forties, with shoulder-length curly black hair. She wears a hat and a denim shirt over a black T-shirt.

Yolanda says BUENAS TARDES!

Mikael says THIS IS WHERE I HAVE
TO PULL IN MY LOCAL FIXER,
WHO'S GOING
TO TRANSLATE FOR ME.
AS I WALK THE STREETS
OF YUGUELITO WITH RAUL
AND YOLANDA, AS I SEE
CHILDREN BIKING AROUND US,
AS I NOTICE THE TIDINESS OF
OF IT ALL, IT DOESN'T FEEL
IN ANY WAY LIKE THE PLACES
OF REPURPOSED MUNICIPAL
DUMP. AND A MASSIVE ONE.
THIS IS WHERE THEY PILED
THE DEBRIS
FROM THE 1985 EARTHQUAKE.
AND THAT INCLUDED, SADLY,
HUMAN REMAINS
THAT HAD TO BE REMOVED.

The caption changes to "Raúl Trejo and Yolanda Cervantes. Leaders of Yuguelito." Raúl is in his mid-fifties, with a goatee and graying hair. He wears glasses, a pale shirt and a brown vest.

He continues RAUL, YOLANDA AND ABOUT 700
FAMILIES TOTALLY TRANSFORMED
THIS FORSAKEN PLACE
A DECADE AGO.

Yolanda, Raúl and Mikael walk down the street of a quiet neighborhood.

Mikael says HOW DO YOU START? YOU HAVE
MOUNTAINS OF GARBAGE AND DEBRIS,
AND NOW YOU HAVE
A VERY FLAT COMMUNITY.

Raúl says WE STARTED WORKING
TOGETHER AS A GROUP.
EVERYONE HAD CONTAINERS
AND THEY WOULD GO AROUND
COLLECTING SAND,
MOVING DEBRIS AND ROCKS
TO EVEN OUT THE LAND.
WE'RE TRYING TO FLATTEN
THE LAND OUT A BIT MORE.
WHEN WE GOT HERE,
WE LIVED WITHOUT WATER,
SEWAGE OR ELECTRICITY.

Yolanda says I THINK WE LIVED LIKE
THAT FOR APPROXIMATELY SIX MONTHS.
WE WERE LIVING HERE,
BUT WE HAD NO SERVICES AT ALL.

The young female translator says THEY PUT THEIR TRUST
IN THIS PLACE.
THEY SAID THEY COULD LIVE HERE,
BUT HAD SIX MONTHS TO CLEAN IT
COMPLETELY AND START
TO BUILD HOUSES HERE.

Mikael says SIX MONTHS FROM LANDFILL
TO COMMUNITY.
THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL
INFORMAL SETTLEMENT
LIKE THE ONES I'VE SEEN
ALL OVER THE WORLD.
HERE THE COMMUNITY
HAS BOUGHT THE LAND
FROM THE MUNICIPALITY.
THEY'RE NO LONGER AFRAID
OF BEING EVICTED.
THIS MASSIVE
TRANSFORMATION, HOWEVER,
WASN'T ONLY ABOUT
LAND OWNERSHIP.
IT WENT MUCH DEEPER, WHERE
THERE WAS A NO MAN'S LAND
THEY'VE CREATED
A VIBRANT COMMUNITY.
HERE, PEOPLE WHO HAD
NOWHERE ELSE TO GO
GOT TO BUILD A HOME.

Raúl says THE IDEA IS THAT BY
WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN SOLVE
OUR PROBLEMS.
THERE'S NO ENOGH
HOUSING IN MEXICO CITY.

Yolanda says WE'RE AN ORGANIZATION
THAT HELPS LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
GET HOUSING.

Raúl says PEOPLE THAT ARE RENTING
OR LIVING WITH OTHER ARE ABLE
TO GET A DECENT HOME.

Mikael says WHEN I SEE THESE STREETS,
IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S VERY
ESTABLISHED AND HAS BEEN
HERE FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

Yolanda says IT WILL BE OUR
NINTH YEAR THIS YEAR.

Fast clip show the friendly daily life of neighbours.

Mikael says THIS COMMUNITY
OF 700 FAMILIES,
THAT'S ABOUT 3500 PEOPLE,
IS VERY ORGANIZED.
AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY.
THEIR WALLS ARE DECORATED
WITH THE WORDS OF CHE GUEVARA
AND OTHER GREAT REVOLUTIONARY
POETS. BUT IN FACT,
THEY CREATE THEIR OWN RULES,
THEIR OWN WAY OF LIVING.

Talking to Yolanda and Raúl, Mikael says SO THIS IS NOT JUST A GROUP
OF FAMILIES LIVING TOGETHER.
THIS REALLY IS A COMMUNITY WHERE
YOU TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER
AND YOU DECIDE
EVERYTHING TOGETHER.

Raúl says WE ALL HELP
EACH OTHER OUT.

Yolanda says WE HAVE INTERNAL REGULATIONS
THAT ENSURE WE ARE
ALL COHABITING WELL.
ANYONE WHO DOESN'T FOLLOW
THE RULES OR BREAKS ONE OF THE RULES
ISN'T KICKED OUT,
BUT THEY LOSE THEIR
RIGHT TO HOUSING.

Raúl says THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
HAS THE MOST SAY
AND DECIDES HOW WE COHABIT.
THE SECURITY COMMITTEE IS IN CHARGE
OF KEEPING
ALL THE NEIGHBOURS SAFE.
THE HEALTH COMMITTEE PROMOTES
VACCINATION CAMPAINGS
AND THERE'S ALSO THE PRESS
COMMITTEE.

Mikael talks to the camera and says IT'S REALLY A COMMUNITY.
THEY'RE TAKING CARE OF
THE FILM CREW AND EVERYTHING.
THERE'S A CAR COMING AND
THEY GO: "JUST BACK UP, DUDE."

(music plays)

Mikael says THE MUNICIPALITY DIDN'T
PROVIDE ANY SERVICES.
THE PEOPLE OF YUGUELITO
DID IT ALL BY THEMSELVES.
ELECTRICITYELECTRICTY, LAMP
POSTS,
SEWAGE, RUNNING WATER.
I'M TALKING... EVERYTHING.
THEY'VE INSTALLED A RAINWATER
HARVESTING SYSTEM.
THEY SOLD POTABLE WATER
TO SURROUNDING NEIGHBOURHOODS.
THEY HAVE A SMALL SOAP FACTORY,
A GARDEN AND A FARM, BECAUSE
MANY OF THE CHILDREN HAVE NEVER
LEFT THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AND HAVE
NEVER EVEN SEEN A COW.
THE COMMUNITY ALSO PROVIDES
ACTIVITIES FOR THE CHILDREN:
A PLAYGROUND,
A MUSIC SCHOOL,
A LIBRARY, CHESS CLASSES.
AND THEY ALSO HAVE
A FOOTBALL PITCH,
AND NOT A SMALL ONE.

Fast clips show the services and activities mentioned.

Now, they stand by a football pitch.

Mikael says EVERYBODY IS HERE.
TODO, TODOS!

He chuckles.

Yolanda says NO, THERE ARE JUST
A FEW PEOPLE!

Mikael says IT'S FANTASTIC.

A young woman shows Mikael how to use a broom to apply white paint to a brick wall.

Mikael says IN THE... O.K.
I GOT IT. YEAH, YEAH.
JUST STUCK IN THERE, RIGHT?

Then, Mikael marks a white line across the pitch.

Mikael says THE SELF-SUFFICIENT,
SELF-GOVERNED AND SUSTAINABLE
COMMUNITY THEY'VE DEVELOPED
HAS INSPIRED MANY.
15 SMALLER COMMUNITIES
HAVE ALREADY IMPLEMENTED
THE YUGUELITO MODEL.
THERE'S EVEN AN APARTMENT
BUILDING VERSION
IN THE WORKS DOWNTOWN.
YUGUELITO IS A STORY
OF STUBBORN DETERMINATION,
AND IT COULD AND
SHOULD SET A TREND
FOR THE MILLIONS FACED WITH
A SIMILAR QUEST FOR DIGNITY.

Mikael and local men play football.

Later, at night, Mikael sits outside a house. He talks to a female tattooist in her mid-twenties.

Mikael says THIS IS A PART
OF THIS COMMUNITY.
MEXICO CITY'S SO BIG, AND
HERE THEY HAVE A SMALL PLACE
AND THEY BUILT IT THEMSELVES.

He shows her a sticker and says SO DO YOU THINK IT
WOULD WORK THERE?

The tattooist applies the sticker on the lower part of his right shoulder.

She says SI.

Mikael says YEAH? IT WORKS?

She says SI, SI.

Mikael says ALL RIGHT.

Kids watch Mikael getting the tattoo done.

Mikael says ADDING YUGUELITO TO MY URBAN MAP
WAS A NO-BRAINER.
THIS COMMUNITY ROSE
ON THE RUBBLE
OF AN EARTHQUAKE AND
THE PEOPLE HERE REPRESENT
THE AMAZING RESILIENCE
OF EVERY CITIZEN OF MEXICO CITY.
FINISHED?
ALL RIGHT, COOL.
NEITHER OF US HAS TATTOOED
OUTDOORS BEFORE,
OR BEEN TATTOOED.
IT'S YOUR FIRST TIME TOO, RIGHT?

The tattooist nods.

He continues AND THE COMMUNITY'S
JUST HANGING OUT.
THEY'RE COMING BACK AND FORTH
AND THEY'RE CURIOUS ABOUT US.
THEY'VE SET OFF FIREWORKS
IN OUR HONOUR.
THEY'RE GIVING US TORTILLAS.
IT'S BEEN AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE
OUTSIDE WITH ALL THE KIDS
AND EVERYTHING.
AND WE REALIZED WE NEEDED
A MIRROR AND SOMEBODY
SAID: "I'LL RUN HOME
AND GET A MIRROR."
SO... THANK YOU, LAURA.
I'VE GOT A MIRROR TO LOOK
THROUGH, WHICH IS GREAT.

He grabs it and chuckles. The mirror has green decorations and the little Mermaid's head in cardboard on the top.

Michael says YOU WANT TO HOLD IT?

The tattooist holds it and he check his tattoo.

He says THIS IS THE KIND OF PLACE
YOU WANT TO TAKE HOME
WITH YOU IN WHATEVER
WAY YOU CAN.

The next day, Mikael walks in a crowded pedestrian street.

He says THERE IS SOMETHING
SO FASCINATING ABOUT MEGACITIES:
THE SHEER SCALE, THE BLIZZARD
OF SOUNDS AND SMELLS,
THE LONG LIST OF URBAN
CHALLENGES THAT THEY FACE.
MEXICO CITY TOOK
MY BREATH AWAY AND I FEEL
THAT THIS CITY HAS AN EDGE
OVER SIMILAR PLACES:
STRONG URBANISM, PASSIONATE
ACTIVISM... AND IT'S COHESIVE.
THIS WELL-CONNECTED NETWORK
OF CITIZENS WORKING
FOR A BETTER FUTURE IS A FORCE
TO BE RECKONED WITH.
MEXICO CITY DOESN'T SCURRY
ALONG WITH A WORRIED LOOK
ON ITS FACE AND
A FURROWED BROW. NO.
ITS CHIN IS UP.
IT'S STRIDING BOLDLY
INTO THE FUTURE AND
WHATEVER THAT MAY BRING.
THIS CITY IS PURE
POETRY IN MOTION.

Against a black screen showing electric pieces of city maps, the end credits roll.

Hosted by, Mikael Colville-Andersen.

Directed by Myriam Berthelet and Michel D. T. Lam.

Producer, Nicolas Boucher.

Executive Producer, Myriam Berthelet.

Logo: DBC2.

Copyright, 2018.

Watch: Ep. 2 - Mexico City