To be fair, recently we saw more preservationist groups organize to defend public space, such as the group that camped in the Benito Juárez Park to stop the construction of a large concrete square plaza (known as Zocalo 11 de Julio) by private entities. Yet, these groups are small and lack credibility with the rest of the population, even if they mean well. Recently, Mayor Bustamante evacuated the occupying group, and now the future of the park and its public space are uncertain.
Tijuana is lacking a cohesive social culture, one that defends public space and its right to shape the city’s future. Currently, we are witnessing a revival of certain parts of the city and a gradual economic growth in the service sector. In the past five years, we have seen the resurrection of the nightlife in downtown Tijuana. Our middle class that fled the city during the past three years has returned from San Diego. Yet, our understanding and desire of public space is still just a vision that we find difficult to grasp or defend. I hope that soon we will have had enough of “the business as usual” politics and, like in J.G. Ballard’s novel Millennium People, we will at least aspire to be like every obedient professional and arrive punctually for our appointment with a revolution.