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The Ultimate Frontier
A Regenerative Open Co-Nation and Bi-National Socio-EcoTone
The 19th century brought us boundaries, the 20th century we built walls, the next will bridge nations by creating communities based on shared principles of economic resiliency, energy independence and a trust based society.
Otra Nation is the regenerative co-nation shared by citizens of both Mexico and the United Stated and co-maintained by respective governments. Physical land and the initial investment will be provided by both countries and the infrastructure and services will be built with a workforce of 50% Mexico and 50% American. Otra Nation is the worlds’ first continental bi-national socio-ecotone.
Since the end of WWII the planet has seen a massive increase in physical borders. These visual scars are deeper even when nations share a rich and vibrant history together. Mexico and the United States have always prospered when they see each others strengths by working together. We propose a trans-national ’New Deal’ to build an innovative shared co-nation based on local economic empowerment, energy independence and revolutionary infrastructure and transit. The next centuries technologies at the cost of the last.
2. Key words
Regeneration, co-nation, open system, biometrical control, resilience, interconnection.
Create a resilient response to the current issues surrounding the border between the United States of America and Mexico, through the creation of the world’s first Regenerative Open Co-nation.
Within the lifespan of the U.S.-Mexico frontier, physical boundaries have existed for less than one third of the time. Nowadays, it works as a dualistic boundary that hosts an important gateway to economic opportunity but also creates an equally important amount of social inequality and environmental degradation for both countries.
The paradox of a border being a conduit and an obstacle has become an important affair for the two nations that share it. However, instead of becoming an asset to potentialize both nations’ economy, reduce social gap and improve environmental conditions, the border has been treated as a no man's’ land territory.
At the present time, the border brings together important issues that act as a drag on the competitiveness of the region, the United States of America and Mexico in their entirety:
Acting against the main principle of globalization, which ignores boundaries and takes out barriers, the current border wall socially and politically disaggregates and segregates all those who pass through it.
The existence of the border wall has become more a signifier of status than a barrier that each population sustains in its own form of isolation towards the opposite side. While the compelling natural forces of regional integration and social cohesion yearn to make two parts a whole, the border forces them apart; creating the perfect scenario for illegal practices.
Findings are consistent with other studies that suggest the effects of Hispanic concentration on the foodscape may be positive (beneficially healthy) in border urban settings and negative in non-border; implying that the effects of the food environment on Hispanics are location-dependent, reflecting the unique attributes (e.g., culture, infrastructure, social networks) of specific urban settings.
More than 80 million people in four U.S. and six Mexico States, extending nearly 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, comprising the border region. Its combined annual GDP is approximately $3.8 trillion and the bulk of U.S.-Mexico trade passes through its many land crossings. The border region is and has been a source of commerce, tourism, and student-exchange which has proven vital to both countries. The region harbor intense binational integration and cooperation including issues of shared importance, such as transportation infrastructure and the environment. Key law enforcement efforts to counter transnational crime occur in the border region.
According to the former president George W. Bush White House Archives, the almost 2,000 miles U.S.-Mexico border is the busiest in the world.
Since the implementation of NAFTA twenty-one years ago, trade between the United States and Mexico has grown sixfold. It now totals more than a half-trillion dollars each year, with approximately 80% of that, more than a billion dollars each day, crossing at the U.S.-Mexico land border. More than six million U.S. jobs—and probably an even greater number of the U.S.-Mexico border jobs— now depend on bilateral trade.
The agricultural production along the border States in the US, represents more than half of the US National total in fruits and nuts production (16.7 million ton); including counties like Yuma, AZ which ranks 4th in all US counties producing. The production in all the counties near the Border in these States accounts for 4.3 ton. However, the number goes as little as 1.52 million ton on the south side of the border which comprises 6 States in Mexico.
The nature of the existing border ecosystems points out the importance of meaningful cooperation between the two countries to protect shared natural resources and habitats.
On July 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency awarded over $8.6 million in grants to fund environmental improvement projects along the U.S.–Mexico border; the collaboration is known as the Border 2020 program.
The Borderlands Restoration Leadership institute promotes restoration, programs, education and research facilities, but its impact remains in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands at the moment.
The Ultimate Frontier: a regenerative open co-nation.
Otra Nation will be the world’s first shared co-nation open to citizens of both countries and co-maintained by Mexico and the United States of America. Physical land and the initial investment will be provided by both countries.
Otra Nation will integrate social infrastructure for healthcare (nutrition advising, family planning, rehabilitation clinics), community, sports and leisure centers as ways to appoint and generate a healthy social fabric by engaging the inhabitants with their milieu.
Besides sharing the same geographical conditions, the continuous exchange of information, knowledge, artistic expression and migration between sides will produce fertile ground to bring forth a hybrid sense of identity. This new sense of self will be clearly embedded with a borderless narrative present in language, food, and different modes of artistic expression and cultural production. This overlap of identities will strengthen a sense of belonging to the synergic scenario. By establishing nodes of cultural production (libraries, museums, galleries, workshops) based on the main twin cities of the current border (Tijuana-San Diego / Mexicali-Caléxico / San Luis - Yuma / Nogales-Nogales / Naco-Naco / Agua Prieta- Douglas/ Puerto Palomas-Columbus / Juárez-El Paso / Ojinaga-Presidio / Cd. Acuña-Del Río / Piedras Negras-Eagle Pass / Nuevo Laredo-Laredo / Reynosa-McAllen / Cd. Rio Bravo-Weslaco / Matamoros Brownsville) and landscape interventions such as sculptural parks, land art interventions, and acupunctural social art dynamics, Otra Nation proposes an all along cultural corridor that will foster a more cohesive and empathic relationship as a way of healing historical and current conflicts so to generate a friendly and cooperative mindset.
Embracing their binational nature, border communities surely do seek to be connected, and as such, efficient transportation networks remain a vitally important dimension of economic development. But the aspiration to add value, to create jobs and strengthen quality of life demands more. It demands an integrated, binational approach to economic development, which involves a partnership among the business community; educational institutions; and the local, state and federal governments on both sides of the border. With binational economic development as the goal, Otra Nation will become an opportunity to achieve a great step into a more robust economic system through the development of specialized clusters . In fact, the very unevenness of development and the multiple jurisdictional boundaries that are regularly understood as challenges to economic development in the region are also the keys to its advance.
The linguistic, cultural and economic diversity within the border communities provide them with a collection of assets unmatched anyplace else in the world and allow them to articulate a unique value proposition and strong case to attract industries looking for a place to invest.
A clean energy approach will make Otra Nation an extraction free zone (zero oil and mining) by grounding its energetic solutions in solar farming and electric transportation (Hyperloop for cargo and people, electric cars) Eg. Solar Farming: With 90,000 km2 of solar farms along the deserts of Otra Nation we can produce 7,942,811 GWh of clean energy, enough to provide with solar power both Mexico and the United States combined.
Restorative Habitat and Border Eradication
In order to fully restore the wetlands, forests, and natural habitats of the boundary line we are looking to disable hard borders between Mexico and the United States. Integrating regenerative, both ecological and social systems as core strategies to be applied as a capability building model throughout the common territory region.
Flows must increase wellbeing inside and related eco-social universes, generating watershed by watershed interventions for a restorative ecosystem development. Connections enabled by the Hyperloop, city to city, will leave the ground available for the application of a series of strategies that integrate cultural and agroecological development for the region.
Working from a bioregional perspective, we aim this to start a new way of relating to land management, a border outside this area should be treated as both edge and link towards the regions north and south. Disabling hard borders, enabling permeable flows, increasing exchange and distributing both knowledge and a series of different applications towards place regeneration, based on each sub-watershed and their individual identities. The watersheds will be manifested as ecological and social systems, uplifting whole benefits biological assessments and providing identity, permeability, living flows and shared outcomes.
Otra Nation will host inhabitants within a region where bonded ecosystems, natural protected areas, twin cities, and cultural expressions will become worldly unique.
There has been few improvements to Passports for the past decade. This has led to antiquated systems that are often easily manipulated. Global Entry has shown that biometric card systems are the way forward. Once we couple this with the incredible advancements in iris scanning and speech pattern recognition, we believe law-abiding North American citizens (Canada, Mexico and the United States) should have the right to cross the continent through an open border system, unhindered by any barriers.
OTRA ID System
By bringing together the latest advancements in vocal, iris and biometric recognition systems, Otra Nation will be the engine for a continent wide cross border solution. At the major hyperloop station hubs and on the boundaries Otra will be a series of non-intrusive checkins allowing North Americans to pass freely using the OTRA ID system. This OTRA ID system will be co-created with and managed by the Otra Nation. Similar systems are being utilized in Jordan for newly resettled residents.
E-Residency Smart Chip
In addition to creating a secure system for fluid border crossing the OTRA ID also gives e-residency advantages. The ID card and services are built on state-of-the-art technological solutions, including 2048-bit public key encryption. The smart ID card contains a microchip with two security certificates: one for authentication, called PIN1, and another for digital signing, called PIN2. PIN1 is a minimum 4-digit number used for authorization, and PIN2 is a minimum 5-digit number for digital signing.
The ID system will allow free movement between Mexico and the United States. As Otra will fully restore the wetlands, forests, and natural habitats of the boundary line we are looking to eradicate ALL existing physical borders between Mexico and the United States. By the time of full implementation of the OTRA ID system we expect to have full open boundaries between our countries.
22T Hyperloop Transportation System
Collectively the United States and Mexico will spend over $1T on infrastructure construction and renewal over the next ten years. By utilizing pioneering US built technologies we can create the fastest and most sustainable transportation corridor in the world. Starting at San Diego/Tijuana and running between the new trans-national boundary.
The 22T will be one of the fastest and most sustainable transportation systems will traverse the 10km wide regenerative agricultural zone of Otra Nation and through Mexico and the United States.
The citizen-centric principles of Otra nation are built on sharing and dignity. While sharing services will be promoted, such as Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO and others, companies that look to minimize human employment with autonomous vehicles will be prohibited.
Political and Legal Framework
We believe in creating a shared nation with political co-dependence between Mexico and the United States. Otra Nation will be listed as an unincorporated organized territory of both countries, allowing citizens the freedom to live and work in harmony. The self-governing territory with have locally elected governors and territorial legislatures. Additionally a non-voting resident commissioner will be elected to the U.S House of Representatives and another will represent Otra Nation within the Mexican Government.
Otra Nation will sign the Compact of Free Association (COFA), however will have its’ own independent healthcare, education, taxation and free trade agreements. While self-governing we understand that we need broad support of the people, institutions and governments of Mexico and United States. Therefore we are calling for a special bilateral constitutional referendum by citizens of both countries to fund and build Otra Nation together.
A co-nation strategy allows us to build an “Everyman’s Land”, a 10KM wide transnational regenerative agriculture system that will become the bread basket of our two countries. Unlike a No Man’s Land, this “Everyman’s Land” will create tens of thousands of jobs. As a transnational subsidy free special economic zone we will ensure that both the United States in the North and Mexico in the south will have sustainable healthy food for generations to come.
MADE Collective is a cross-disciplinary national team of Architects, Builders, Designers, Engineers and Urban Planners from Mexico and the United States. Together they have provided natural and built environment solutions in more than 40 countries. Members of the team have advised and been recognized by the last three Presidents of the United States and two of the last three Presidents of Mexico.