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Urban Future Lab: Civic Engagement & The Future of South


David Robinson Jr.
Weston Urban, Development Manager
Nicole Chavez
Urban Future Lab, Public Relations Coordinator
Dr. Antonio Petrov
Urban Future Lab at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Associate Professor and Founder
Dr. Alberto Gomez Isassi
IRYS, Co-founder & COO

Since 2015, the Urban Future Lab has operated in partnership with UTSA’s College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, functioning as an applied research, experiential learning, and engaged scholarship lab and interdisciplinary think/do-tank lab to engage the brightest design-oriented students from UTSA and beyond. 

In this session, the Urban Future Lab team will discuss past and ongoing research projects centered in civic participation and engagement. Additionally, we'll introduce the Future of South project, which focuses on our region's future, carefully exploring it from both sides of the border, connecting, rather than separating, previously hidden, yet geographically, economically, architecturally, and culturally logical relationships. 

In collaboration with scholars from both sides of the border, the goal is to create awareness for “seeing” South, not in the form of vision or imaginaries, but how it manifests in how we connect. While the idea is to activate the palpable absence of the geographic, which is currently abbreviating the flow of social, economic, and environmental systems between San Antonio and Northern Mexico. 

In the big picture, we imagine forming a new megaregion “South” of the existing Texas Triangle, which currently connects Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. The South Triangle could connect Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, and Monterrey, combining two triangles and forming a megaregion of more than 35 million people with the San Antonio-Austin area at its center.