Troubling Wall

The border between the U.S. and Mexico is being built into 700 miles of wall in Texas. Architect Lance Hosey looks at the environmental, ecological and sociological problems it creates.
February 15, 2009, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"The income gap along the U.S.-Mexico border is among the worst anywhere. Yet how are we addressing it? By building a wall: 700 disjointed miles of a 12-to-15-foot-tall barrier spanning parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. At $1.2 billion, it costs nearly $2 million per mile. A ragtag jumble of concrete, steel, and scraps, the completed segments look more like a detention camp than the entrance to a great nation. A far cry from the Statue of Liberty welcoming 'huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'"

"Worse, the barrier disrupts human communities. Nogales straddles the border between Arizona and Mexico, and for 125 years the only thing marking the line was a four-cable cattle fence. But now the wall cuts the city in half and isolates families and friends on opposite sides."

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Published on Thursday, January 1, 2009 in Architect Magazine
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