As part of our sessions on Contested Urban Territories on April 9, 2017, I will present our paper Transposing territory to the urban scale. Contestations over land use in Mexico City’s periphery at the AAG in Boston.
Following authors such as Carlos W. Porto Gonçalves, María Clara Echeverría & Analída Rincón, and Rogerio Haesbaert, we understand territories as being produced when subjects struggle over the practices, meanings and tenures of urban space. The urban can thus be analyzed simultaneously through three aspects of power relations in the process of its production. Such a socio-territorial approach asks how power relations unfold in the material conditions of urban territory, how they frame territorial regulations defining the production of territory, and how they shape the layers of meaning inscribed in it. The paper addresses contestations over land use change related to recent plans for Mexico City’s new international airport to illustrate the manner in which territory becomes both the site and stake of social struggle. This also provides a starting point for a discussion over what the analytical concept of territory may contribute to a further decentering of urban studies.
[Image: Destruction of the mural ‘Alerta mi general Emiliano Zapata en la lucha de Atenco’, December 2013. Image: Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, 7.12.2013]