Canal Nacional is located along three city borough in Mexico City (Coyoacán, Iztapalapa and Xochimilco). With a length of approximately 7.5 miles (12 kilometers), it is an artificial open water channel built in Pre-Hispanic times.
Created with the purpose of joining together various channels or bodies of water, such as the lakes of Xochimilco, Chalco or the lagoon of Mexico, thus allowing the transit of people and products along that route. Named as Monumental Open Space in 2012, today it is the subject of an intervention for its rescue and rehabilitation by the Government of Mexico City.
Within the framework of World Design Capital CDMX 2018 in collaboration with Design Week Mexico, Design Your Action and Fundación López de la Rosa, the program Residencia Semilla was carried out with the aim of promoting dialogue and collaboration between citizens and experts from various disciplines.
A group of 30 residents, architects, designers and urban planners from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil were brought together to work on-site in a system of short, medium and long-term projects to rescue and safeguard Canal Nacional.
On July 28, 2019 the 1st Canal Nacional Festival took place in which different activities were carried out: unveiling of a 1x1 model of the section of Eje 2 Oriente towards the Colorines bridge with safe steps, totem of the history of the canal and the Residencia Semilla, urban furniture, pollinator garden, murals, children's activities and boat rides.
The work that has been done with the residents of the canal contributes to the conservation, dissemination, and enjoyment of this valuable water canal in Mexico City. Understanding the importance of the participation and involvement of the communities that inhabit it, as well as civil society organizations dedicated to its conservation, the program Residencia Semilla is an essential reference and example of what can be done to help preserve our heritage.
The result of these projects has been awarded several national and international recognitions, among which are the 2019 Merit Award by the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU), 1st International Forum of Placemaking Latin America Mexico 2018, Detroit Design 139 and World Monuments Watch 2020 in which Canal Nacional has been included in a list of 25 heritage sites in the world to be supported for two years by the World Monuments Fund.