“This substantial and multi-faceted plan, delightfully illustrated with nontraditional graphics, marries robust analysis with beautiful design interventions for the sustainable development within a lagoon community in the Yucatan Peninsula. The power of the plan, whose design elements focus on natural and human-made jetties in a lagoon, is comprehensive in of tackling eco-tourism, environmental protection, economic development, and community building. The jetty concept reduces development pressure on the fragile beach ecosystem and creates a framework connecting the coast, lagoon, and mainland in a way that not only fulfills sustainability goals but also helps foster the economic and social opportunities necessary to support an inclusive regional community.”
– 2019 Awards Jury
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ASLA | “Y” Shape Jetty System | University of Texas at Austin
“Y” Shape Jetty project, located the Rosada Lagoon in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, provides an alternative for the coastal development in Mexico. It establishes a new Coast-Lagoon-Mainland-based life circle instead of putting all stress on the narrow beach zone. This is not only a new circle of life but a circle of environment protestation and sustainable tourism development. The salt ponds industry, fishing, boating, eco-tourism, restaurant, hotels will be available around this jetty project in the middle of the lagoon, which serves as a transition joint connecting opportunities on the coast and mainland. Within this new stretched life circle, more local people, groups, and parties can be a part of it together contributing to the development of social justice.
▲形成与现状： 图表展示了尤卡坦半岛周边沙坝岛的形成与现有开发模式。Formation and Existing Condition: This board shows the formation of Barrier Island along the Yucatan Peninsula and the existing development conditions.
▲环境修复策略：受到项目周边本地社区的启发与综合，环境修复通过三步实现。Environmental Restoration Strategy: This board shoes how the environmental restoration is achieved through 3 steps which inspired by local reference case studies nearby the project site.
▲滨海-泄湖-内陆生活圈：一个基于生态修复的新生活圈被提出，促进了从依托于沙滩发展的单一生活方式向基于滨海-泄湖-内陆的综合生活方式的转变。Coast-Lagoon-Mainland-Based Life Style Structure: A new life style based on the restored ecosystem is proposed and a transition is accomplished from coast-based life style into coast-lagoon-mainland-based life style.
▲现状平面图：现状平面图显示了Rosada泄湖内的古代玛雅遗址，盐池，与红树林等旅游资源。Existing Plan: The existing condition shows the existing lagoon condition including Maya ancient site, salt ponds and mangrove.
▲平面图： 为了更好地促进沉积物转移，规划组件被分期运用了三次。Proposed Plan: In the proposal, the component is applied three times to achieve the sediment transitions by stages.
▲阶段设计与责任方：展示阶段设计旨在通过资料收集，整理出在墨西哥开发模式下，所有的相关责任方以及彼此相互的运作模式，来更好的保证方案的可行性。Phasing and Responsible Parties: This board shows the phasing design and the relative responsible parties for every phase based on the research of Mexico development networks.
▲评估-内陆生活圈：通过对墨西哥可持续旅游开发的指标资料整理，所有的相关指标被列在“折叠图”中，并且直接与设计干预相对应。Evaluation-Mainland: Based on the relative research of indicators for sustainable tourism development in Mexico, all interventions are listed in this Terrace Plan and connected with the indicators from the research.
▲效果图-新镇：水彩展示了与当地文化拥有相同历史村镇“DNA”的新社区。Rendering-Colonial Town: Watercolor shows the proposed town sharing the similar colonial “DNA”.
▲评估-泄湖生活圈：分析图展示了在泄湖内“Y”型堤坝系统的层级关系，一个在国际旅游开发背景下的社区引擎。Evaluation-Lagoon: This plan shows the evaluation for the “Y” Shape Jetty system in the lagoon zone, which is the new engine for the proposed life style for local community and global tourism.
▲效果图-“Y”型堤坝： 盐池，泄湖，商店都通过堤坝平台结合在一起。Rendering-“Y” Shape Jetty: This rendering shows the new life in and around the “Y” Shape Jetty system. Salt ponds, lagoon, and shops on the jetty are all combined together.
▲效果图-“Y”型堤坝的港口与盐池：人们可以通过堤坝港口坐船到达沙坝岛，居民还可以在堤坝平台上为自家的晚餐而休闲垂钓。Rendering-“Y” Shape Jetty harbor and salt ponds: People could go to the barrier island through the harbor on the “Y” Shape Jetty and even go fishing for their dinner, which is really common in local families.
▲评估-生态生活圈：沙坝岛被堤坝与新河道保护，这些河道不仅减缓了城市扩张，还提供了海鸟，虎虾的重要栖息地。Evaluation-Coast: Barrier island is protected by the jetty and the proposed channels on it. Those channels not only slow down the urban expansion but also provided habitat for shorebirds and tiger shrimp which is the major fishing industry in Yucatan.
▲效果图-沙坝岛河道：这些新河道带回了红树林，增加了新的水面交通选择，同时具有了极大的生态旅游潜力。Rendering-Barrier Island Channels: Those proposed channels bring mangrove back and work as transportation system which has strong potential for Eco-tourism.
▲效果图-“Y”型堤坝沙滩：这些人造“Y”型堤坝可以捕获海洋与泄湖中外流的沉积物，促进沙滩修复，减缓沙滩流失，重塑生态形象。Rendering-“Y” Shape Jetty Beach: Those jetty could catch sands and form the new beach which provide the habitat for shorebirds and reshape the public towards the beach and sun.
This program is a lagoon-based sustainable development between tourism, environmental protection, and inclusive communities. The location is in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, and the lagoon name is Rosada, a 3000-hectare fragile natural topography with intense urban expansion pressure in the future.
The increasing global tourism industry is a major way to reduce poverty along the coastal zone at the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, but many of those valuable areas are developed to real estate resort destination for individual wealthy people from all around the world. In this way, the coastal development doesn’t stimulate the poverty reduction but increase the social injustice because that individual estate cut off the beach, a public resource, from the public and cause a serious beach erosion as well. Therefore, how to relocate the tourism pressure and build an inclusive community for different social classes means a lot to the initial goal: poverty reduction and sustainable tourism development.
The design method is to enforce the existing fragile eco-system first and then install a sustainable lifestyle on it. “Y” Shape Jetty is a mixed jetty system by natural jetties and manmade jetty joint along the Lagoon Rosada. This jetty system can provide lagoon multiple spatial layers for multiple developments, like environment protection, community construction, tourism relocation, and urban development retreat.
At the lagoon Rosada, many resources are disconnected due to poor accessibility. Like the salt ponds industry only exist one side of the lagoon, the population can only settle down one side of the lagoon with flooding threat and poor social services, the tourist can only visit the Xcambo, an ancient Mayan site, even though there is wonderful flamingo habitat nearby it. All reasons for that disappointment are because people cannot get to the other side of the lagoon conveniently. Therefore, the “Y” Shape Jetty system’s core is a transportation-based complex. It not only provides the transportation option but also an evident attraction at the middle of the lagoon which could serve as a transition and guide people to the other side, the inner side of the lagoon where has more opportunities in terms of urban development and tourism.
There are three big movements for the environmental restoration. First, are the new outlets on the barrier island to transit the sediments in the lagoon. This is specifically important in the lagoon system because the lagoon is shrinking due to the high sedimental rate. After opening the outlet, those sediments could be brought out of lagoon by the tidal effect and then go to the downside of the beach for the sand’s replenishment.
Second is to soften the barrier island by cutting channels on it. By doing so, we can not only bring mangrove back, but also provide habitat for fish, shorebirds, and tiger shrimps which is the most important fish industry in Yucatan.
The last is to connect the natural jetty pattern by jointing the manmade jetty system. This continuous jetty barrier can protect the loss of the sediment for the mangrove growth and could serve as jetty road, a transportation system.
All those interventions are inspired by the local community near the project site and they are specific evidence for the feasibility and possibility of this project.
Because of the flat karst topography formed millions of years ago, the material of the jetty construction is available, and the new karst limestone is relatively soft. Therefore, the jetty construction is pretty feasible even though it will last several miles. The lagoon Rosada forms its own natural jetty pattern due the falling tidal so that we don’t need to build a several miles jetty but to build a jetty joint to connect and enforce those natural jetty patterns. By doing so, the existing habitat can be preserved with low impact.
After this restoration, a new lifestyle based on this new ecosystem is proposed. “Y” shape jetty land is the new engine of this new lifestyle instead of the beach zone. “Y” Shape Jetty joint is not just a thin line but a jetty land with the capacity of house construction. Restaurants, shops, hotel, salt pond tourism, and lagoon boating, all those functions and activities can happen on the “Y” Shape Jetty land which opens a window to the people on the beach and tourism from the world: we have the sun and beach, we also have the lagoon with much more funs around you. Therefore, with development on the jetty land, the tourism pressure can transit from the coast to the lagoon so that the government and the local group can restore the beach ecosystem with less social and economic pressure.
Through the proposed jetty land and road around it, new towns could happen for the population from the barrier island and others works attracted by this new business from all around the world. Finally, there are three major components of this new lifestyle. The community-based life circle is the alternative towns which have higher space potential to support multiple social class than barrier island does. Then is the production-based life circle in which people could run their new business due to global tourism, like restaurant, shop, salt ponds and flamingo tourism, and local fishing industry. The tourist could stand on the jetty land and overlook and enjoy all those attractions. Comparing with the beach, lagoon now is more attractive and engagable. People could start their business here. The last is the ecology-based life circle where has less social and economic pressure than the past because lagoon and mainland share many of those pressures. With this new and flexible lifestyle, many parties have their own alternative to have a better life.
Ultimately, this project has two ideologies to share. One is to protect the natural resources for the next generation by learning from the local communities because they already test that intervention for many years which could help designers to evaluate the consequence. Second is that extending the life circle, instead of concentrating it in small space, could decrease the environmental pressure and let more people be a part of it, which does matter to the social justice development. “Y” Shape Jetty could be a typical module for further coastal sustainable development along the whole Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.