Urban Political Ecology in Mexico: Metabolism, conflicts, and the need for transformational pathways in the Valley of Mexico, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.

Delgado Ramos, Gian Carlo., Jiménez Caballero, Ana Karen., Vidal Origel, Diego Sebastián. 2023.
Journal of Political Ecology. 30(1): 716 - 742. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.5221


This article analyzes urban socio-ecological conflicts in the Mexican metropolitan areas of the Valley of Mexico, Guadalajara and Monterrey from an Urban Political Ecology (UPE) approach. We identify the main triggers of such urban socio-ecological conflicts and the causal links between actors, resources and spaces which make up the uneven production of urban space. This focus includes unequal access to resources, uneven distribution of environmental impacts, and the rise of contestation. We outline UPE theoretically and conceptually, and delineate what is meant by urban socio-ecological conflict. UPE is then contextualized within Mexico's contemporary urbanization process as a prelude for characterizing case studies (including their metabolic profiles) and the analysis of prevailing socio-ecological conflicts. For the latter, we identify the main urban conflicts in the years 2012 and 2022, highlighting some of the main characteristics, similarities, and discontinuities across three metropolitan areas. In the face of an increasing metabolism of contemporary urbanization, we conclude with a brief consideration of the potential role of socio-ecological conflicts for enabling alternative forms of urban space production, particularly through the agency of social movements, including their capacity to propose and build "urban spaces of hope."

Keywords: Urban Political Ecology, urban socio-ecological conflicts, urban metabolism, Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico, Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, Metropolitan Area of Monterrey, urban political ecology, urban spaces of hope.