Seam and Border
The US-Mexico Border is 1989 miles long, with 14 sister cities and 42 official crossing points along the border. In the most representative pair, San Diego and Tijuana, the growth of the medical tourism industry have been an abiotic form that cannot be neglected. Every year there are 952,000 California citizens who use medical services in Mexico, which majorly would happen in Tijuana. When healthcare services are mapped out, we find them either near the ports of entry or near the trolley and greyhound stations. The growth of Tijuana is partially equal to the growth of medical infrastructures. According to the increasing tendency, we predict that the number of medical tourists in Tijuana will soon reach 5.1 million in 2030. City governments of Tijuana, as representatives of Tijuana citizens, may want to find a way to both support the medical tourism industry to keep developing and maintain the quality of citizens’ daily lives. The best image of short-term tourists is that they come for one-stop service and directly leave. Third governance grows inside the border where patients from the US side and staff from the Mexican side can meet without crossing the border, but entering the border is one option. An NGO will take charge of this grey zoon and manage this medical town. Healthcare staff certified by FDA can make appointments with this NGO and used the shared space to offer services to patients from the US side. The development process of the medical town can be seen as an experiment of where Tijuana will go. We try to push this process to the extreme and predict what will happen in the future. Maybe at the beginning, this third governance seems quite organized and efficient. But in the end, the inevitable result is new congestion and chaos. This virtual experiment and the predictions about the near future aims to criticize the existing health care system in the United States: the most powerful country in the world, with the best medical technology, their citizens’ ill, but they choose to go to a country with much lower GDP to seek for treatment, which is ironic. We can foresee that healthcare services will grow around the valley. Then what happens when a valley fills up? Maybe the next valley will be opened, filled, and so on. And maybe one day the border will no longer be a line, but a real third country. But is this really what the American government and the American people want? We hope that such a critical project will resonate with people and that the American health care system will be soon fixed.