The sustainable architecture of Arroyo Alamar, in Tijuana, will be accomplished through interdisciplinary planning, analysis, and design, including consultation with local stakeholders. The study comprises hydrology, hydroecology, architecture, landscape architecture, geographic information systems, and related socioeconomic aspects. The Arroyo Alamar is part of the binational Cottonwood Creek - Arroyo Alamar watershed, itself contained within the Tijuana River Basin. The study will be fully compliant with the "Master Plan for the Development of Arroyo Alamar," a document recently released (2002) by the H. XVII Ayuntamiento of Tijuana.

Sustainable architecture encompasses the spatial design of the 10-km reach of Arroyo Alamar, seeking a compromise between hydroecological requirements and the proposed uses of the river and its flood plain. The hydroecological requirements include groundwater replenishment, preservation of the riparian corridor, and flood mitigation. The proposed uses include recreation, landscaping, and aesthetics. The recreational features include pedestrian walkways, exercise tracks, children playgrounds, soccer fields, tennis/basketball courts, rollerskating and skateboard parks, and golf courses. This study will build on a current study entitled "Hydroecological characterization of Arroyo Alamar" (2002-03), which will determine alignment and design cross-sections in the 10-km river reach. An earlier study (2000-01) entitled "Hydrology and hydroecology of the Binational Cottonwood Creek - Arroyo Alamar" provided design flood levels on which to base the hydroecological characterization.

In the framework of stream rehabilitation, the concept of sustainable architecture comprises the geomorphological, hydrological, ecological, architectural, and related socioeconomic aspects that contribute to the spatial design of the river and its flood plain. Its objective is to provide a sustainable habitat where plants, animals, and human beings can coexist in harmony.

The sustainable architectural design will be coupled with a GIS system to assist in the management of the hydrological, ecological, and socioeconomic spatial relations. A Citizens Involvement Program will be planned and executed to secure local support. Local support is necessary for the success of this project, since the proposed rehabilitation will directly impact a host of parties currently inhabiting the Arroyo Alamar and environs.

The Alamar project will benefit the city of Tijuana by empowering it to undertake an architectural and landscape rehabilitation design that is fully responsive to the hydroecological requirements and the socioeconomic constraints. Perceived direct benefits are the maintenance of natural environmental services, including groundwater replenishment, riparian systems, and flood mitigation, increased recreational opportunities (parks, green space, sports fields), and substantial improvements in public health (due to the elimination of illegal garbage dumps), all of which contribute to enhance the quality of life for border residents.