Where grassroots place making and urbanization meet : stories from La Campana

Date
2020-05-08
Authors
Garcia, Camille Nicole
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Abstract

Located atop a large hill just south of downtown Monterrey, Mexico, the informal community el Cerro de la Campana sits in the middle of various urban development plans for the city. Its scenic views and proximity to the city center, a private university, and the wealthy municipality San Pedro Garza-García has drawn attention from developers and city planners who have envisioned new possibilities for the area. But some La Campana residents have place-making and community development projects of their own, and have been implementing them over the years. This thesis discusses the crossroads where these different plans meet, and their potential implications for La Campana, a low-income community that, though resilient, is vulnerable to displacement. I use interviews with residents to portray the neighborhood’s evolution and demonstrate the ways neighbors assert their agency through place making. I also use housing/planning officials, planning documents, and scholarship about producing and negotiating urban spaces to explore how modernist ideals inform outsider’s development plans in and around La Campana. These development plans - created with little or no community consultation - could undermine neighborhood plans for the community, gentrify the area, and threaten residents’ livelihoods and housing stability. My analysis adds to a wealth of scholarship on urban development and its implications on vulnerable communities, but provides an intimate insight into the ways spaces are made and negotiated at both the grassroots and state level.

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