In Mexico City, as in many other large cities worldwide, contemporary modes of urban governance have overwhelmingly benefited affluent populations and widened social inequalities. Disinvestment from social housing and rent-seeking developments by real estate companies and land speculators have resulted in the displacement of low-income populations to the urban periphery. Public social spaces have been eliminated to make way for luxury apartments and business interests. Low-income neighbourhoods are often stigmatized by dominant social forces to justify their demolition.
The urban poor have however negotiated and resisted these developments in a range of ways. This text explores these urban dynamics in Mexico City and beyond, looking at the material and symbolic mechanisms through which urban marginality is produced and contested. It seeks to understand how things might be otherwise, how the city might be geared towards more inclusive forms of belonging and citizenship.
1. Introduction: Producing and Contesting Urban Marginality, Tom Slater
Part 1: Conceptual Terrains
2. An Explanatory or Mystifying Concept? The Use Value of Gentrification Theory, Edwar Calderon, Neil Gray, Hamish Kallin, and Ebru Soytemel
3. Oscillations in Housing Policy: Comparative Urbanism Across Delhi and Rio de Janeiro, Héctor Becerril Miranda and Kavita Ramakrishnan
4. The Calais Jungle: A City In-between Urban Worlds, Oli Mould
Part 2: Everyday Marginalities
5. Contrasting ‘Ghetto’ Pride: A Comparison of the Sense of Belonging for People who Live Outside of their Local Neighbourhoods: London and Mexico City, César Rebolledo and Joy White
6. Music Neotribes: Moving from the Margins, Catherine Wilkinson and Joseline Vega
7. Popular Religiosity and Struggles for Urban Justice in Mexico: A Decolonial Analysis of Santa Muerte, Julie Cupples and Kevin Glynn
Part 3: Marginality by Design and Designing out Marginality
8. Cultural Marginality and Urban Place Making: The Case of Leicester and Ouro Preto, Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos and Tom Hulme
9. Marginalized Development and Ad-hoc Tactics for Growth, Lucía Martín López, Christoph Lueder, and Almudena Cano
10. San Miguel de Allende: Tackling Marginality in the False-Utopian City, Mario López González Garza
11. Conclusion: Urban Research and the Pluriverse: Analytical and Political Lessons from Scholarship in Varied Margins, Julie Cupples
Julie Cupples is Professor of Human Geography and Cultural Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Tom Slater is Reader in Urban Geography at the University of Edinburgh.
Critical, wide-ranging and committed to theoretical and epistemic openness and plurality, this insightful book is more than a collection of essays about urban marginality. It offers a refreshing contribution to the North-South debate in urban theory, and exemplifies precisely the kind of approaches we need to develop theoretically-open, critically-informed and politically-engaged scholarship. This book should be read by anyone interested in and concerned about the present and future of urban lives.