Article

Urbanization and Environment in Mexico since 1521

Matthew Vitz

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History


Published online July 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199366439 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199366439.013.323

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  • Latin American History
  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
  • Environmental History
  • Urban History

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Urbanization and environmental change have worked in tandem over the course of Mexican history. Hinterland production, the establishment of market economies, and the intensive transformation of nature have fueled urban growth. The concentration of capital and expertise in cities has, in turn, enabled urban elites to rework the urban environment by creating industrial centers, executing technical-heavy infrastructure, building new subdivisions, and regulating hygiene. From the beaches of Cancún and the air and water pollution of Tijuana’s industrial parks to the prolific silver mines of Zacatecas and the henequen monoculture surrounding Mérida, Yucatán, rapid urban growth and profound changes to the environment within and outside cities have depended on and intersected with each other.

Keywords: environment; urbanization; Mexican Revolution; water; mining; oil; Mexico City; infrastructure; commodities; demography

Article.  9232 words. 

Subjects: Latin American History ; Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; Environmental History ; Urban History

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