Informal Mexican Urbanity and Subaltern Knowledge

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Abstract

In the peripheries of a Mexican metropolis, urban spaces are subject to endless processes of informal material and immaterial changes due to complex networks of local social-cultural performativities, urban tradition, and transnational cultural influences. The urbanities of these subaltern territories have for long been considered by official city planning as irrelevant for urban knowledge. This research is a diagnosis of those urbanities and of the production of nonhegemonic spatial knowledge in marginalized urban zones through the case of the barrio Xonaca in the city of Puebla, Mexico. Our project proposes to reconsider a cultural and phenomenological understanding of territories, not as undefined human experiences of occupying places but as processes of production of urban meaning through the cultural collective body and its senses. The objective is to work for socially, culturally, and technologically sustainable urban solutions that respond to the local and postcolonial conditions of cities in developing countries.