With the U.S. government taking the first steps to turn Donald Trump’s promised “beautiful” wall along America’s border with Mexico into a reality, a New York architect has an idea for clearing the small hurdle that Mexico has so far resisted Trump’s insistence that it pay for the barrier.
“His plan: A 1,000-mile-long border wall equipped with solar panels and wind turbines that will generate more than US$1.2 billion per year in electricity,” the Houston Chronicle reports. “With an estimated US$25-billion cost, the wall would be paid for in 25 years.”
According to the Texas paper, the idea “is the brainchild of Vijay Duggal, a New York architect who has sent the proposal to the White House” and several members of Congress, claiming that such a wall would be “the largest green project of its kind in the world.”
But Duggal’s claim of paternity to the idea may be challenged. Homero Aridjis, a former Mexican ambassador to UNESCO, and James Ramey, a Mexican researcher, have already proposed a similar alternative to Trump’s barrier: a wall of solar panels running just south of the U.S. border, and generating power for export to cities like San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso, and San Antonio.
In its call last week for bids on prototype wall sections, however, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency conceived the barrier more prosaically—and passively—as “a 30-foot-high edifice of concrete or some other hard-to-penetrate material.”