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Chapter 7 - From the imprint of history to the history of a brand: the case of the city of Puebla (Mexico)
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Thomson Reuters Aranzadi
Manero Miguel, F.; García Cuesta, J. L. (Coords.) (2017): Territorial Heritage & Spatial Planning. A Geographical Perspective. Ed. Thomson Reuters. The Global Law Collection. Navarra. 327 págs. ISBN – 978-84-9152-762-6
Disagreements in the city of Puebla’s life are endless. Misunderstanding has been present since the city was founded until today1. This situation has been getting progressively worse and a crisis is now unavoidable. Without doubt, we are facing a crisis of communication and social harmony; the crisis of a concept and its implementation. The city is suffering from territorial segregation and social exclusion. Human interaction is fragmented by the polarisation resulting from the concentration of wealth and its correlation: poverty. The breakdown of the productive bases has generated very particular hotspots of physical degradation in the city: the historic centre and the irregular slums in the urban periphery. Poverty and mismatch is the principal image of this city in its historic settlement, as well as in the city that has been developed after. The old city, today’s historic centre, was a misplaced idea, a recipient with the wrong contents. Its foundation and growth were not the result of an organic process defined from within. It was an a priori response, rather than a social result (cf.: Patiño, 2001: 32-73). For this same reason, the functionality of the city’s new activities is costly, inadequate and insufficient. The relationship of the old city with the new is arbitrary and not necessarily the best. Official plans were made to regulate the growth of the new city, but the old city is not included. In any case, this is not a serious problem, as it is only a political discourse. The necessary investments to reverse the accumulated lag over centuries of segregation are not being made. The new city does not compete with the historic centre, yet it is the pretext to ignore both new and old. What is important to highlight, is the fact that the new city is not the result of the evolution of the old city. Quite simply, it is another city with a different concept, under different precepts, yet maintaining the dynamic of inequality. Thus, it can be understood that the old city centre has, consequently, become isolated and that, despite everything, has for a long time continued to be, of itself, a better city than the new one. The delimitation of a historic monuments zone2 and the later declaration as a World Heritage Site3 has not greatly modified the dynamic already described. On the contrary, it has been an instrument of reinforcement.
5403.01 Geografía Cultural
This activities are included in the objectives and results of the Research Project CSO2013-47205-P «Culture and heritage as territorial resources: sustainable development strategies and spatial impacts», from the State Programme to Encourage Scientific Technical Research of Excellence, Sub-programme of the Generation of Knowledge from the Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The coordinators are featured as Principal Investigators.
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