BUILDING THE WALL? BY ED MAZRIA, AIA

May 10, 2017 by

Apart from building a wall or physical barrier along the United States–Mexico border that was conceived with malevolent intentions, there are two additional issues, which have received little attention that our profession should bring to the attention of the American public.

First, Texas has the longest border with Mexico and only 100 miles of fencing – a 1,254-mile border along the Rio Grande River, or the flying distance between Boston and Miami. A border wall and access road would be built on the U.S. side of the river outside the flood plain. In some sections the wall would be miles from the river because the Rio Grande twists and snakes through the region and the barrier would not follow the actual border.

This would cut the entire United States and state of Texas off from 1,254 miles of the Rio Grande River and essentially cede access to the river, its reservoirs, and the land from the river to the wall, to the Mexico side.

People, animals, and livestock on the U.S. side of the wall would not be able to reach the river, its water, recreation areas, reservoirs, or wildlife. It would take place in a hot semi-arid region, expected to get hotter and drier with climate change, where water is a precious and life sustaining resource.

Second, and more important, a wall or barrier that prevents people from passing through, would also disrupt all animal migration corridors along the Rio Grande border, isolate animal populations, fragment and decimate wildlife and habitats, threaten one of the most biodiverse areas in the U.S., and destroy hundreds of millions of dollars in wildlife tourism for towns on both sides of the border.

In other words, planning and designing a physical barrier that causes irreparable harm to both people and wildlife is both a shameful and immoral act.

— Edward Mazria FAIA

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Edward Mazria FAIA
Founder And Executive Director
Architecture 2030
Santa Fe NM

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