Sustainability is the most significant issue of our century, also in the field of Architecture, as demonstrated by the existence of a large number of initiatives leading the way towards healthier and greener places to live. Notable among them is Reinventing Cities, an international competition that invites architects, neighbourhood groups, artists and other collectives to explore different ways of dealing with the challenges posed by climate change and urban density. With participating cities including Paris, Chicago, Vancouver, Milán and Madrid, this action aims to promote the implication of all actors and sectors concerned and shares the idea of Think Globally, Act Locally.
JOY Juriquilla: the community of the future
Another example of this is JOY Juriquilla, the first sustainable residential building of its kind in Mexico and a precedent for future housing developments in Latin America. This project, located in Santiago de Querétaro, integrates the top ten elements for smart and sustainable housing; that is to say, sustainable water management, protection of biodiversity, cultural integration, equity and fair trade, family environment, solar energy, waste management and recycling, local transport, edible garden and use of sustainable materials. And all this without leaving aside the aesthetics of the place.
An innovative example of sustainable urban development
Each residence is designed to maximise natural light and ventilation. To this end, The Miami Milan Studio has studied in detail the orientation of the houses, using large windows, warm tones and natural materials to provide a comfortable and healthy domestic environment. Moreover, all units have two solar systems, one with panels connected to the electrical grid and another with collectors for water heating. All these elements increase the functional efficiency of the apartments and reduce the use of fossil fuels, responsible for most greenhouse-gas emissions.
Better use of water resources
Furthermore, JOY has a water treatment plant that recycles 100% of the residential complex’s wastewater and purifies it to be used to irrigate green areas, including the edible garden. This space is intended to bring families into the valuable experience of farming their land and discover the benefits of consuming fresh and healthy food.
Returning to traditional life
All in all, the sustainable developments incorporated in this project are inspired, particularly, by the ancient ways of local life. But, it also recognises the needs of modern families. We can, therefore, say that JOY brings together the traditional values and progressive aspirations of Mexican society, setting an example to the rest of the world.