Megacities pp 291-310 | Cite as

Mexico City: Power, Equity, and Sustainable Development

  • Alfonso Valenzuela-AguileraEmail author
Part of the Library for Sustainable Urban Regeneration book series (LSUR, volume 10)


In the summer of 2002, a failed attempt to build a $2.5-billion international airport in the outskirts of Mexico City caused social upheaval. Originally framed as a sound environmental decision to replace the old and limited infrastructure in the central city, the project was later marketed as a way to boost the real estate market. When the affected peasants of the municipality of Atenco realized that the airport project would generate more than a $100 billion in business revenues and increase the land value up to 500%, the $0.65 per square meter offered by the government for their land seemed inconsistent with the projected profits. The economic model behind the project was characterized by Harvey (2003) as a process of “accumulation by dispossession,” since the venture followed extensive privatization the financialization of the economy, the management and manipulation of crises, as well as state redistribution of wealth. The model had been challenged since the insurgency of the Zapatistas in 1994, and Atenco’s mobilization followed a similar resistance to the concentration of power and wealth.


Public Transport Mexico City Federal District Real Estate Market Social Upheaval 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosEmiliano ZapataMexico

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