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Old Posted Apr 5, 2017, 6:44 PM
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Inside the plan to replace Trump’s border wall with a high-tech ecotopia

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The year is 2030. Former president Donald Trump’s border wall, once considered a political inevitability, was never built. Instead, its billions of dollars of funding were poured into something the world had never seen: a strip of shared territory spanning the border between the United States and Mexico.

- Otra Nation, as the state is called, is a high-tech ecotopia, powered by vast solar farms and connected with a hyperloop transportation system. Biometric checks identify citizens and visitors, and relaxed trade rules have turned Otra Nation into a booming economic hub. Environmental conservation policies have maximized potable water and ameliorated a new Dust Bowl to the north. This is the future envisioned by the Made Collective, a group of architects, urban planners, and others who are proposing what they call a “shared co-nation” as a new kind of state.

- At a time when policy proposals should be taken “seriously but not literally,” and facts are up for grabs, Otra Nation turns the slippery Trump playbook around to offer a counter-fantasy. In the words of collective member Marina Muñoz, “We can really make the complete American continent great again.” If nothing else, the Made Collective’s members — who say they’ve delivered their Otra Nation proposal to the US and Mexican governments — are ambitious. The proposal calls for an agreement that would turn the border into an unincorporated territory for both nations.

- The new territory would stretch for 2,000 kilometers, covering 20 kilometers on each side of the border. (That would bring Tijuana, El Paso, and San Diego, among other cities, into Otra Nation.) Residents of the co-nation would retain their previous citizenship, but they would be granted a new ID microchip and could rely on Otra Nation’s independent health care and education systems. Once established, Otra Nation would supposedly produce enough energy to power itself and neighboring areas, thanks to 90,000 square kilometers of solar panels.


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