Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Reverberations: Mexico City's 1985 Earthquake and the Transformation of the Capital

03/18/2002, 5:30, 10-485
Diane E. Davis

In this lecture, Diane Davis examines the impact of Mexico City's 1985 disastrous earthquake on the social, spatial, and political character of Mexico's capital city. Davis discusses the earthquake's implications for social movement, the character of land use and property ownership, and the legitimacy of the capital city's political leaders and major construction contractors and argues that sometimes physical disasters such as earthquakes can produce profoundly unanticipated beneficial effects.
In addition to empowering urban citizens to organize on their own behalf to challenge a corrupt and highly bureaucratized local government, (and thereby accelerating the urban democratic transition) Mexico City's earthquake also helped expose the political biases of government authorities and weakened the strong hold of street vendors and the informal sector on the local economy and land use. As a result, Mexico City now is governed by a democratic and more socially responsible government committed to fostering citizen participation, building new low-income housing projects, and "rescuing" Mexico City's historic cultural heritage, all with the aim of recapturing the social and symbolic centrality of the downtown area, where the earthquake produced most damage.

School of Architecture and Planning, Joint Program in City Design and Development

T11119

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated over 1 year ago

Created
November 07, 2011 13:17
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
8662 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

Creativity: The Mind, Machines, and Mathematics: Public Debate

Creativity: The Mind, Machines, and...

Added 5 years ago | 00:59:27 | 5550 views

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Added 5 years ago | 00:56:49 | 4830 views

Excellence is a Shared Path: Working Together for Justice and the Quality of Life

Excellence is a Shared Path: Workin...

Added 5 years ago | 01:12:00 | 22152 views

Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinki...

Added 5 years ago | 01:24:00 | 8928 views

Innovation at the Interface: Technological Fusion at MIT

Innovation at the Interface: Techno...

Added 5 years ago | 01:29:00 | 4293 views

The War in Afghanistan: How to End It

The War in Afghanistan: How to End It

Added 5 years ago | 01:11:00 | 8672 views