Torreón, Coahuila. / 20.02.2021 08:00:02
Newly his position was made official at the head of the Municipal Institute of Planning and Competitiveness (Implan), after the sudden death of Eduardo Holguín.
With all the support of your work team and the municipal authority, José Antonio Ramírez Reyes, today occupies this position with the idea of following up on the work carried out by Holguin, but setting his own strategy for the planning that the city requires, with an inclusive touch and close to citizenship that strengthens the identity of the lagoons, the place where it was born in 1985.
How do you like to be called?
They usually call me Tony, but since my name is José Antonio, Some of them call me Pepe, others Pepe Toño, but I like to be called Tony or Toño.
Born in Torreón?
Yes and here I have spent most of my life, though for study reasons I have also lived in Madrid and Mexico City.
What did you dream of as a child as an adult?
I grew up to 11 years old in Las Alamedas and from that age we moved to New Los Angeles. As a child I always dreamed of cities; When the Christmas tree was up, I would get up at five or six in the morning and pretend that the tree was a city, where the spheres were like floating houses, the garlands like highways. Since then I was struck by understanding why there are streets, houses or buildings. Later already in primary and secondary school, I got the tickle of designing buildings. My goal was to design the first skyscraper in Torreón. That is why I decided to study Architecture at the Autonomous University of Coahuila.
What strikes you about skyscrapers?
When I was a teenager, it caught my attention that here I saw everything very even, on one or two levels, but When I went to Mexico City a lot, I saw these 20 or 30-story monsters and wondered why there were no buildings like that in Torreón.
Any favorite skyscrapers?
The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai; and the Twin Towers of New York
What is identified that Torreón lacks in terms of urban planning and development?
The reason why I studied a master’s degree in Urbanism, is because I wanted to understand why if you already have a Center where there is work, places, shops. I have always liked urban life, so he did not understand why people did not want to live in the Center and preferred to go to the periphery.
Economic aspects, housing policies, the fact that people want a new house that in the center there is not as much offer. What Torreón needs is an intense policy to promote the center so that real estate investors will bet on investing in this place and that there is a supply of new housing.
Any characters that you admire?
He admired Alejandro Aravena, a Chilean architect, among others.
And personally who has marked you?
In addition to my parents who have trained me, the architect Enrique Arroyo, who designed the Parque Fundadores, with whom I understood why parks have to be inclusive.
One person who has left a great influence on my professional training was definitely Eduardo Holguín Zehfuss, which to begin with gave me the opportunity to direct the Sectorial Competitiveness department first, it was in that direction where I learned the discipline and rigor with which He knew that things had to be done within IMPLAN, especially the issue of negotiating and always seeking to bring together the different actors, I came from a technical background and with him I learned how to sit at the table, reconcile objectives for a common good, which is our city and then he gave me the opportunity to be in charge of the Sustainable Urban Planning department, that was when I learned from he the vision he had of the city.
How do you define yourself as a person?
You have to be empathetic with everyone. I define myself as a person who tries to put himself in the shoes of others, to add rather than confront. We must generate the means so that we all respect each other.
Beaches or metropolis?
Metropolis, I am an avowed fan of Mexico City, from the touristy parts to the unknown to try to understand the behaviors. I don’t like taking taxis, I prefer to take the Metro to have the full experience, or to walk a lot. Read cities with your feet, as Francisco Careri said in his book WalkScapes, where to know the cities you have to walk them. I like flânerie (concept in French), wandering around cities without going to a museum, discovering experiences.
What do you like to know about cities?
The traditions of each site.
Do you consider yourself a critical, analytical person?
I do consider myself a very analytical person, questioning or trying to understand the why of situations.
Political or nonpartisan?
Nonpartisan. I think the reason for the city is due to three factors: The population density, the mix of activities and the public space where diversity of thought is built. I believe that society is changing, there are some party platforms that respond well to a reality at the time, and others that respond in another way.
What do you like to eat?
I’m super lagunero. I love burritos and gorditas, any of the beans with cheese or pressed pork rinds.
Coffee or red wine. When it comes to socializing, I do go for tequilas and mezcals.
Movies or series?
I am more of series, I like to get into suspense and terror. My favorite series is The Curse of Hill House, on Netflix. I’ve seen her six times. They know how to combine fear with nostalgia and sadness, in a very human mixture of feelings
What makes you afraid?
It is to miss opportunities. The fact of living in an urban dynamic, that being busy, the opportunity to drink a good wine, with a good talk, is missed. Leaving the possibility of hugging my mom. Stopping reading a good book. I’m afraid that time passes and you turn back and realize that time has passed.