Community mobilization and ecological outcomes in peri-urban Mexico City, 1989-1992
Author(s)DuBroff, Nicholas (Nicholas Jarad)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Diane E. Davis.
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Beginning in the 1930s and continuing through the 1970s, Mexico City developed swiftly, thus engendering rapid urbanization and a demographic boom. The majority of population growth occurred on peri-urban agricultural and ecological conservation lands and manifested as irregular settlements: illegal and structurally precarious urban developments without well-defined property rights. Today, almost a third of the metropolitan area's population-5.1 million people-continues to live in irregular settlements. Because irregular settlements are not legally recognized they do not receive urban services such as sewerage, and are forced to release their effluent haphazardly, often contaminating the groundwater that supplies 57% of the city's water. And this is where the problems begin. The continuous and illegal urbanization of peri-urban ecological conservation lands has bedeviled planners in Mexico City-in an atmosphere of opaque government, political clientelism, and unique ecological conditions in the Basin of Mexico, how can urbanization be controlled and how can environmental planning be implemented?This thesis examines the processes and conditions that enable environmental planning in rapidly urbanizing cities by studying the Project for the Ecological Rescue of Xochimilco (PREX), a government environmental remediation project in southern Mexico City in 1989 that was intended to halt widespread environmental degradation.(cont.) Based on the PREX case, this thesis has two key findings: First, environmental planning in urbanizing locales requires a regional approach that incorporates the overarching political and ecological factors that coalesce in irregular settlements. Although environmental degradation is experienced locally, it is connected to environmental degradation of the watershed and the metropolis as a whole. Without considering the metropolitan region, narrowly focused environmental planning projects will only provide superficial remediation. Second, perfunctory citizen participation in environmental planning is ineffective and public participation for the sake of being democratic is Sisyphean. As such, government planners must work to incorporate purposeful citizen participation into conclusive environmental outcomes.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2009."June 2009." Page 107 blank.Includes bibliographical references (p. 100-106).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.