(CNNMéxico) - For four years, the Mexican architect Enrique Norten led a revitalization project of Xochimilco, an area south of Mexico City famous for its canals, in 1987 declared a world heritage site.
The draft Norten goes around the area irrigated by canals and chinampas crops (a technique Hispanic), where 40% of the population lives below poverty levels. This is its glory back to the channels, which had already decontamination projects, and creating a flower market, sports centers, archaeological areas and research centers
"It is a very fragile right now. Therefore the project is holistic. There's a part that affects the physical space, but also work with the regeneration of the economic sustainability of the area to keep people, maintaining economic vocations traditional "Norten said in an interview with CNNMéxico.
Norten is also planning the construction of an aquarium and dolphinarium, an amphitheater, a water park, private participation in development, along with interaction and education programs for visitors and locals.
"Getting these agricultural convictions is not to lose what remains of Xochimilco with the messy real estate development," he said.
The curious gaze, the scraggly beard and vitality of the architect stressed this week between the Arab sheiks, Swiss billionaires and the hurried executives who gathered in Davos, at the annual meeting of World Economic Forum.
Born in Mexico City and lives in New York, chairman of the firm Ten Arquitectos , which he founded in 1996, Norten is the author of buildings like the National Arts Centre, designed from the perspective of the artist or designer.
But how does an architect became urban planner? "There is no difference, I've always called architecture of the city, I always liked the city. What I want to convey here is that architecture is not only to buildings 'beautiful', but we have an important social responsibility "said Norten to CNNMéxico