Brand Urbanism

This Bright Blue Sports Court Turns Dull Lot Into Vibrant Community Space

In the neighbourhood of Valle de Chalco, one of Mexico City’s most marginalised areas, architecture firm All Arquitectura designed a brand-new community space with a popping bright blue sports court at its core.

Valle de Chalco, together with the adjacent districts of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl and Ixtapaluca, forms the largest slum in the world with suffering high rates of violence and crime. The area counts dozens of underutilized and run-down spaces where nothing happens. All Arquitectura took this opportunity and turned the La Doce lot into an lush haven for the local community. With a splash of bright blue paint and bold graphics, it makes for a stark contrast with its surroundings, adding a lively atmosphere and brightness to the area.

The sports court is suited for a variety of sports, including football and basketball. The adjacent pavilion includes covered courtside seating for spectators, a pebbled courtyard with outdoor gym facilities, and a new building with restrooms, storage and indoor space for education and communal activities. The white-and-blue colour scheme of the court’s surface is also used in the building’s exterior in the shape of glazed bricks. “The project is based on a network and a proposal for change that arises from the need to develop quality public spaces in marginalised areas in various cities around the world,” the studio told Dezeen.

The project was carried out in cooperation with love.fútbol, a Brazilian non-profit that transforms sports fields and playgrounds around the world. Working from a basic belief in the power of sports as a generator of positive change, they aim to work jointly with the local community. The La Doce project is the second sports court that was developed with financial support from football club Manchester City, after the 2017 transformation of El Coyolito.

All Arquitectura’s La Doce is a prime example of brand urbanism, an urban phenomenon which involves commercial companies transforming urban spaces, with the use of their marketing budget. The iconic Paris basketball court created by Ill-Studio and fashion brand Pigalle is especially reminiscent of the Mexican court, in terms of both design and its origin.

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A growing number of consumer brands are investing in the city, working together with cities to find solutions for urban issues. In a time of austerity, brand urbanism provides local governments with more possibilities in realizing ambitious projects, while giving brands a one-off opportunity to show their involvement in and responsibility for the city.

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