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Nov 16 2023

Urban Growth Machines with Latin American characteristics: ad hoc coalitions and the governance of urban spatial structure in Guadalajara, Mexico

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

November 16, 2023

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 full program for the series is available here.

Understanding the politics behind the trajectory of urban spatial structure is relevant because urban form has important implications for livelihoods and overall urban equity. This paper looks at the politics behind such structuring. By analyzing the case of Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (GMA), Mexico, the study asks: what governs urban form in a region that, despite a clear intention to advance a polycentric urban form, still trends towards a monocentric urban spatial structure? Based on sixteen semi-structured interviews with key informants the study finds that it is the aggregation of the individual actions of rentiers that is unintendedly shaping the trajectory of urban spatial structure in the GMA. Such rentiers engage in urban politics to advance their individual investment projects in a way that resembles an urban growth machine, but with Latin American characteristics. The findings allow to propose the concept of ad hoc Urban Growth Machines, which we define as a logic of action through which rentiers assemble and mobilize a short-lived and fluid collation of urban actors to influence policy in ways that will support their investment projects.


David López-García, PhD

Date posted

Sep 1, 2023

Date updated

Sep 7, 2023