"The leftover parts of San Diego's older subdivisions--standard framing, joists, connectors, plywood, aluminum windows, garage doors--are being disassembled and recombined just across the border. A few miles south, in Tijuana, new informal suburbs--some call them slums--spring up from one day to another. This river of urban waste flows across the Tijuana-San Diego to make something dramatically new.
On the edges of Tijuana, rife with poverty, social upheaval and a severe housing shortage, the detritus of San Diego's suburbs is reassembled into a fresh milieu, a city made of waste. But not only small, scattered debris is imported and recycled into makeshift housing in Tijuana. Entire pieces of one city travel southward as residential ready-made houses are directly plugged in to the other city's fabric. This process begins when a Tijuana speculator travels to San Diego to buy up the little post-World War II bungalows that have been slated for demolition. The little houses are loaded onto trailers to travel to Tijuana, where they clear customs before making their journey south. On some days here, one can see houses, just like cars and pedestrians, waiting in line to cross the border." ~ Teddy Cruz
About 18 months ago I posted on Teddy Cruz, an architect who works at the border of Tijuana and San Diego. This evening I came across a short essay of his - "A City Made of Waste" - in The Nation. It is accompanied by a film (lifted here) of the same name made by Laura Hanna. Ironically enough, I wrote a post yesterday and called it Recycling the Suburbs? where I complained that "design ideas tend to be class-blind." Well, Cruz comments on the underlying class and ethnic basis of the processes by which suburban San Diego literally is being disassembled and recycled in Tijuana.