The Historic Centre Of Mexico City Case Study

Pages: 6 (1344 words) Published: June 30, 2015


The Historic Centre of Mexico City (hereafter referred as HCMC) is the biggest in Latin America. The city was founded in 1521 after the Spanish conquest. It was built over the ruins of the Aztec Empire (1325-1521), which was grounded on the lake Texcoco (UNESCO-WHC, 2014). The HCMC combines elements of pre-colonial, colonial and modern period. Currently, the area includes more than 1,600 monuments and historical buildings; this means the biggest concentration of architectural patrimony in Latin America (Mantecón, 2003 in Crossa, 2009). It includes the central plaza (the Zocalo), La Alameda Central, the Cathedral, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the National Palace (UNESCO-WHC, 2014) [Appendix 01]. In 1987, UNESCO listed in the World Heritage Sites...

Some academics argue that sense of time affects how people create attachments to home, neighbourhood, nation, and feelings about space and place, and this process is clearer in historic areas (Tuan, 2001; Lowenthal & Binney, 1981). These forms of attachment can take place in individual and societal structures. Moreover, human geography, urban and architectural studies have explored human love of place, sense of place, environmental perception and values of place-people-time at different levels, using a strong influence from environmental phenomenology (Tuan, 1974; Seamon, 1979).

Environmental phenomenology let the understanding of memories, experiences, spatial behaviour, habits, and historic values in the built environment (Tuan, 1974). Furthermore, phenomenology in urban areas explores social conducts that offers the possibility to analyse the interactions between people, perception, and place, in a defined time (Seamon, 1979). Thus, this approach will help to understand the emergent dynamics in the HCMC and the transformed sense of belonging in La Alameda, where informality and law struggle to control the public park and new uses are...

Firstly, it will analyse historically the context and transformation of the HCMC. Secondly, it will evaluate the last urban regeneration in the area and the current socio-economic and political context, for this, it will consider urban policy analysis and interviews to key actors, such as local authorities, developers and local users. Thirdly, in order to understand people’s attachment, social interactions and emergent uses in the La Alameda, this research will use empirical methods of observation and registration developed in environmental phenomenology, such as photography of situation or behaviour of people, movement patterns, psychological and cognitive maps, environmental experience groups (Seamon, 1979), surveys and questionnaires in the area. Additionally, this study will consider contemporary data and methods, such as maps, models and...
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