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Spatial Inequality in Mexico City
Transcript of Spatial Inequality in Mexico City
Why does spatial inequality exist in Mexico City?
It began in the 1950's when rural migration into the city caused a rise in population from 3 million in 1950 to 5.1 million in 1960 to 8.7 million in 1970. Nowadays it has a population of over 21.16 million (It was 19 million in 2011; the data and information we analyzed in the Spatial Inequality Lab was from 2011).
First, let's take a look back at what we learned about rural decline and migration into the city. We know that farmers in the face challenges that drive them to leave the countryside (rural areas).
Not much land is suitable for farming, and most of it is taken by rich land owners. To compete with larger commercial farms, they must increase production. But we know that most can't afford the materials and equipment to keep up with the competition, so many either lose their job or become so poor that they must move into the city for a better job and opportunity.
However, when they do move into Mexico City, not everyone is able to find a job. This is due to the fact that so many people are moving into this city at a rapid rate, competing for the same jobs. With so many people moving there in such a short time span, city planning and management had trouble keeping up with the demands of the growing population.
Rural migration into the city and construction of many settlements were made on an unordered fashion; many colonias or boroughs were settled almost overnight, so basic services such as electricity, water, social and security were not available until several years later or never at all.
Note that if the city government was able to carefully meet the needs of everyone moving in, there wouldn't be spatial inequality issues. Everyone would have the same access to basic services, education, more police and firefighters to keep ALL neighborhoods safe, etc. Unfortunately, like many large cities, some neighborhoods have more than others, and overtime they get better while others get worse.
Problems caused by Spatial Inequality
- Unequal distribution of space for homes and businesses
- Pollution (littering, smog, clogged sewer systems)
- Increased crime in neighborhoods affected by Spatial Inequality
- Lack of access to basic services and needs
Of course, people affected by spatial inequality will have a lower Standard of Living. Stand of Living is measured by life expectancy, level of education, and per capita GDP.