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Jan 25 2024

From small border towns to global connecting hubs in the Americas: the socio-spatial impacts of transit migration through Meteti and Necocli

The Many Urbanisms of the Global South: Policy Nuances and Particularities

January 25, 2024

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM




412 S. Peoria St., Chicago, IL 60607

Celebrating 50 years of excellence, the Department of Urban Planning and Policy (UPP) at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA) is excited to organize a seminar series featuring cutting-edge, campus wide urban scholarship and research on the Global South. A program for the series is available here.

In the wake of the pandemic and post-pandemic crisis, thousands of migrants have intensified their crossings via the migratory corridor connecting the Andean Region with Central America. According to data collected by the International Organization of Migration (2023), more than 250.000 migrants were travelling through Panama only during the first semester of 2023, mostly migrants coming from Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti, China, Brazil, Afghanistan, Nepal, Peru, and diverse other African countries who intended to reach the United States through Panama. Colombian and Panamanian border towns have thus become global hubs, connecting migration routes from south to north. This paper is based on exploratory ethnographical fieldwork and seeks to analyze three interrelated complex socio-spatial processes: 1) the urban transformations that Necocli and Meteti, two small border towns located at the foot of the Darien jungle, are
experiencing as an effect of those intensified global transits; 2) the new urban illegalized border economies that have been built around those mobilities; and 3) the ecological impacts that these mobilities have produced in both border towns.


David López-García, PhD

Date posted

Sep 1, 2023

Date updated

Sep 7, 2023