“San Diego architect Teddy Cruz, and his firm Estudio Teddy Cruz, have been working along the Mexican border for years. Cruz’s newest design is for two affordable housing and community center schemes for immigrants in the border town of San Ysidro, California. The plan was developed with non-profit community center, Casa Familiar, whose client base is mostly Spanish-speaking.

Cruz’s inspiration came first from discussions and brainstorming sessions led by Casa Familiar. It also came from a critical approach to the trends in new urbanism, which he says “only address aesthetics, creating a fake facade of difference without considering the lifestyle of the community.”  He says the downtown redevelopment of San Diego is an example of this kind of “suburban planning,” meaning that he feels it is dressed up in high-end urban aesthetics without addressing zoning policy for higher density or affordable housing options.”

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