Donald Trump seems to be holding on tight to his wall between the United States and Mexico. One more wall in the world and not one of the least. Faced with this regressive idea, a design collective came up with another solution and proposed it to the two governments concerned: to create an "ecotopia", i.e. a territory like nowhere else, where the inhabitants would live happily and travel on board the Hyperloop, this futuristic train born in the fertile brain of Elon Musk.
MADE is an American-Mexican collective of engineers, urban planners, architects and construction professionals. It proposes another option than the construction of a wall. An option that could seduce both countries, and perhaps even Donald Trump, between two moments of lucidity. The project is called Other Nation. It is a territory 3000 km long and 40 km wide, located exactly on both sides of the current border. This new territorial space, which would extend from the Gulf of Mexico to the Californian coast, would be home to 80 million people, i.e. more than the French population.
This Other Nation bets on innovation: "The 19th century saw the appearance of frontiers and the 20th century the construction of walls. The next will build bridges between nations through communities based on shared principles of economic resilience, energy independence and social trust. say the advocates of the project.
This ecotopy foresees the creation of 90,000 km2 of solar farms in the desert. These facilities would produce nearly 8 million GWH, enough to provide solar energy to the United States and Mexico. This will create wealth, jobs and, according to the project's promoters, generate as much as $3.8 trillion in GDP. This windfall will go first and foremost to the people of the territory.
The latter, made up of Americans and Mexicans alike, will have "e-resident" status and will benefit from the best educational, medical, social, sports and leisure infrastructures. MADE speaks of a "shared co-nation": "Otra Nation would be the first shared co-nation in the world, open to the citizens of both countries and maintained by Mexico and the United States. The initial investment and land would also be provided by both countries. »
In this ecotopia that aims to transform the border into a "regenerative" territory, a "cultural production node", without barriers, collaborative economy will be privileged and robots banned. As will be "competition between humans". The promoters of MADE warn: "The citizen principles of the Other Nation are built on sharing and dignity. Sharing services such as Lyft, Airbnb, VRBO will be promoted, but those that seek to reduce human employment, such as autonomous car services, will be banned".
On the other hand, the inhabitants of Otra Nation will travel aboard the Hyperloop, a very high-speed train that would link the two oceans and several American and Mexican cities.
To build this new virtual country, promoters estimate the needs at $15 billion, which is little compared to the cost of the wall Trump wants: nearly $22 billion. But they are aware that their project is a utopia and that they will have to fight hard to make it really see the light of day. But who knows? The team told The Verge magazine that they hope to generate enough interest to spark debate and votes on their project. The file is currently on the desk of the US and Mexican governments.