Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino
Chapter 1: City makers, federal interventions and territorial organization: the case of Mexico
Mexican cities today are the result of the intervention of too many government and business actors and partners to list. Their distribution throughout Mexico sometimes appears random or at least the result of the overlap of divergent even contradictory logics, interests or concerns. In order to clarify the logic underlying the production of cities and their distribution, this chapter analyses the activity of one of the stakeholders in these processes: the Federal Government. This apparent chaos, sometimes characterized by the lack of planning, questions the role of the state in the regulation and production of cities and territorial organization. Some researchers query the Federal Government’s efforts at planning, arguing that its role in urban planning was negligible until the 1970s when the category of public actions known as Human Settlements was adopted (Ward, 1991:161 and Ruiz-Massieu, 1981). Others argue that the action of local governments is similar: slight and somewhat authoritarian since it suffered from discretionality and the absence of a legal basis until the legislation of the 1970s (Duhau, 1994:72– 73).
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