Puntos de Reunion

On almost every block you can find a painted green square with four white arrows pointing at a white dot in its center. At first we thought these were cute, generic landmarks created to help tourists meet (although “at the green square in front of the gas station” seems redundant). Later we figured out that they are congregation points in the event of emergencies, possibly part of a program implemented after the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico City in 1985. Their sheer quantity led me to believe that every building with more than some minimum number of occupants was required to provide one of these. Similar to “areas of refuge” in NYC fire code. However, many of these reunion points are located in busy zones or under fragile canopies or at circulation bottlenecks, so it remains to be seen how they perform. I imagine the general attitude towards them is the same unsettling (no pun intended) attitude towards the next earthquake: when we asked if any codes had been updated to require new skyscrapers to dig better and deeper foundations, the most common answer was a shrug and a “I guess we’ll see.”



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