Duke University Press Books
In A City on a Lake: Urban Political Ecology and the Growth of Mexico City (PDF) Professor Matthew Vitz tracks the environmental and political history of Mexico City and explains its transformation from a forested; water-rich environment into a smog-infested megacity plagued by environmental problems and social inequality. Vitz shows how Mexico City’s unequal urbanization and environmental decline stemmed from numerous scientific and social disputes over water policy; forestry; housing; and sanitary engineering. From the prerevolutionary efforts to create a hygienic city supportive of capitalist growth; through revolutionary demands for a more democratic distribution of resources; to the mid-twentieth-century emergence of a technocratic bureaucracy that served the interests of urban elites; Mexico City’s environmental history helps us better understand how urban power has been exercised; reproduced; and challenged throughout Latin America.
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