Social conflict in response to urban sprawl in rural areas: urban reconfiguration of the Mezquital valley as influence area of the megalopolis of Mexico City


  • Brisa Carrasco
  • Edel Cadena
  • Juan Campos
  • Raquel Hinojosa



The urban sprawl of metropolitan areas involves complex processes of coexistence between urban and rural dynamics, the functional redefining of central urban areas and rural areas or urban-rural surrounding transition generates land conflicts. In this paper the context of Mexico City megalopolis and its expansion process, will be discussed in the new specialization of the central city to tertiary services and increasing the value of land, it has resulted in the expulsion of the industry and social housing to the increasingly distant urban periphery. The urban development by strength of small towns that surround Mexico City, has generated various social conflicts that claim the right to a healthy environment and territory. The aim of the paper is to analyze the process of urban expansion of the megalopolis of Mexico City to the region of Mezquital Valley, with main emphasis on urban and industrial growth and the emergence of social conflicts in response to these territory changes. The research method is the quantification of urban growth detected by statistical data and monitoring social conflicts related to urban expansion in Mezquital Valley. By the work has been revised three emblematical and recent cases of this social movements: the Ciudades del Bicentenario project, movements against cements industries and the MSW management project SIGIR: Valle de México. The main conclusions were that urban expansion has generated social and environmental impacts, for populations that are exempt from the benefits of central urban areas. These new peripheries require a comprehensive urban planning, which are considered social needs and environmental rationality. Otherwise they become bonded areas that grow in marginal conditions and are affected by the progress that generate them benefits away from them generates new problems.