Urbanization in Mexico: Responding to Challenges

December 12, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Room C201 (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

Urbanization in Mexico: Responding to Challenges

With Mexico now nearly 80% urbanized, Mexican urban planners and citizens face immense challenges from over-congestion of roadways to providing basic services. Although Mexico has generated innovative responses to such challenges, such as creating “double-decker” transit routes for cars and shutting down major portions of the capital for pedestrians and bicyclists, what are the implications of an increasingly urbanized Mexico?  What does this means for its citizenry and the nation’s political discourse? How are politicians and urban planners seeking to respond to these challenges?

Policy Paradoxes: The Case of the Double-Decker Transit Routes for Cars in Mexico City
David López, The New School
How is it that a progressive government like that of Mexico City in the early 2000s supported privatizing the city’s roads system? By studying the case of the double-decker transit routes for cars in Mexico City, this presentation will discuss the interests and pressures at work in the privatization of a public good.

In the Shadow of the Metropolis: Informal and Public Housing in Mexico City
David Yee, Stony Brook University
A mounting housing crisis in 1950s Mexico City forced architects, politicians, and residents to develop new forms of housing and urban planning in order to confront the challenges of modernization. This presentation will discuss the cultural and socio-spatial dimensions of Mexico’s attempts to find housing solutions for the millions of migrants who arrived to Mexico City in the middle of the twentieth century.

Moderator: Eric Zolov, Stony Brook University
Co-organizer: Araceli Tinajero, The City College of New York, CUNY

David LópezDavid López is a Mexican Ph.D. student in the Public and Urban Policy program at The New School. His research focuses on the political economy of infrastructure in capitalist societies, socio-spatial patterns of infrastructural inequality, the infrastructural lived experience of city dwellers, and the role of the state in infrastructure redistribution.

David YeeDavid Yee is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at Stony Brook University. His current research explores the historical ties between housing and inequality in 20th century.


Eric ZolovEric Zolov is Associate Professor of Latin American history at Stony Brook University and editor, most recently, of Iconic Mexico: An Encyclopedia from Acapulco to Zócalo (ABC-CLIO).