Edited by Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer
Chapter 13: The US–Mexico transfrontier metropolis: Theoretical and empirical explorations
Since the middle of the 20th century, there has been a geographic shift of population toward international frontiers, especially in Europe and North America, but also in parts of Asia. In some cases, significant urban agglomerations of half a million or more inhabitants have come to occupy regions on both sides of an international boundary, creating what can be termed a ‘transfrontier metropolis’. Much of the growth of these international boundary urban spaces has been the result of globalization forces including the emergence of global manufacturing (or ‘offshore”) enclaves, cross-border labor markets, trade, tourism, technology transfers, and the evolution of digital communication. This chapter seeks both to outline the contours of the transfrontier metropolis, and explore its evolution over recent decades, leading up to current debates over the building of border walls and the future of cross-border cooperation. It reviews examples of emerging cross-border metropolitan spaces in the context of globalization, with special attention to the example of the United States–Mexican border. Macro- and micro-forces transforming international boundary regions are outlined. The chapter then analyses the processes of ‘rebordering’ (reasserting the need for traditional national frontier barriers such as walls and fences, in an era of global terrorism, transnational smuggling and perceived insecurity) and ‘debordering’ (relaxing old border paradigms in favor of more open borders to allow for cross-border trade, culture, cooperation). Using the example of the US–Mexico border zone, a case study of the Tijuana–San Diego metropolitan region offers empirical examples of the interplay of debordering and rebordering dynamics in the first decade-and a -half of the 21st century. Three specific case studies in Tijuana–San Diego serve to illustrate how debordering and rebordering mediate the changing nature of urban space in a transfrontier metropolis. Those examples include: planning for ports of entry, the building of a fence through a national environmental sanctuary, and the redevelopment of downtown Tijuana.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.