The Ciudad Jardín light rail station is located in the neighborhood of the same name. On the Xochimilco light rail line, it’s not one of the most notable stations. But perhaps it should be. The station is practically co-terminous with the Parque Xotepingo, which runs practically straight into the west side of the station. It’s just one of the “gardens” for which the neighborhood is famous.
The neighborhood is also well-regarded for its church, the Church of Divine Providence. It’s a masterpiece of 20th century modernist architecture. The Mercado Xotepingo is right next door to the church. But the actual colonia Xotepingo is a few blocks to the south. Most of the land here was historically part of the Xotepingo Ranch which was only later subdivided.
But long before that subdivision, the farmland here began to be taken over by workers. First there were those maintaining the Xochimilco aqueduct that ran along the División del Norte Avenue. Later, workers were needed to man the pumphouses and the waterworks that had become increasingly important to the City water supply. The center of the neighborhood and its many gardens is still the old pumphouse, today called the Antigua Planta de Bombeo Xotepingo.
Housing demand then led to the formal development of the historic Colonia Ciudad Jardín. It’s well regarded even today as an early attempt at decentralizing the City on the Garden City model. This was all based on theories of urbanism and city planning from the late 19th century. But when ground broke here in 1948, workers moved into a modern and thoroughly innovative neighborhood. Some 70 years later, it’s still loaded with eye-catching residential architecture, and of course, the many gardens for which it’s named.
It’s not a neighborhood likely to attract a lot of tourism. But for those in the know, the Ciudad Jardín is a good place to start off on a walk to the historic Candelaria neighborhood or even to the Huayamilpas Park.