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Investigaciones geográficas

On-line version ISSN 2448-7279Print version ISSN 0188-4611


ALVAREZ DE LA TORRE, Guillermo Benjamín  and  AYALA MACIAS, Elvia Guadalupe. Evolution, similarities and differences in the urban structure between mexican border and colonial cities. Invest. Geog [online]. 2018, n.97, 00006. ISSN 2448-7279.

This article aims to contribute to the generation of knowledge about the urban expansion of medium -sized cities -defined as medium-sized cities that can have a density of up to one million inhabitants-, for this, in first instance, it was necessary to understand the main theories and explanatory models that have been generated to explain this phenomenon.

In this sense, the contributions of González (2009) and Munizaga (2014), who review the classical postulates and highlight the main contributions to understand the organization and distribution of the cities, and at the same time, those morphogenetic contributions that come from the hand of the German School promoted in 1899 by Schlüter are remarked, whose contributions are positioned as a pointer for the analysis of the evolution of cities, being taken up by various schools -for example, the North American Cultural School and the School of Anglo-Saxon historical geography, among which the English School stands out -or also called Coenziana School-, which focused on studying the transformations that arose in the urban landscape and that overlapped in a cumulative manner. Based on this theoretical framework, it was decided to carry out research that takes into account the genesis and historicity of the city, a factor that according to some authors (Carballo, 2007) can still be studied in order to determine what is the role of time in architecture of the city.

In this tenor, the objective of this text will be to verify how the urban structure of the medium cities and their evolution take on meaning from the positioning of a temporality that impacts its conformation in an indistinct manner. To do this, we seek to understand the evolution of the urban space of 6 Mexican cities from their growth zones, in order to identify the similarities and differences in the evolution of three border cities in northern Mexico established in the XIX century and Early XX -Ciudad Juárez, Mexicali and Tijuana- and three cities of colonial origin -Guanajuato, Mérida and Morelia- founded in the sixteenth century.

To achieve the aforementioned objective, a methodological design has been implemented, based on the statistical data of the XI, XII and XIII General Census of Population and Housing of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI, 1993, 2002, 2012), for which four indicators have been revisited for its analysis: population density (inhabitants per hectare), percentage of population under 12 years of age, percentage of population over 65 years of age, percentage of migrant population from another state and percentage of uninhabited housing.

The census information recorded by Áreas Geoestadísticas Básicas Urbanas (AGEB) has been analyzed and interpreted with the help of cartography that testifies to the historical growth and allows the identification of the growth stages of the aforementioned cities. From the data and the establishment of temporary divisions, data has been manipulated and aggregated, in order to calculate the indicators previously indicated by growth period, in search of a spatial distribution pattern.

It can be assumed that the central spaces of colonial cities retain a different function in the urban structure than the centers of the cities located on the northern border. Affirming the above, the data provided allow us to verify that there are significant differences between intraurban zones in medium-sized cities according to their period of urban growth, likewise, in light of the data collected we can affirm that urban spaces in Mexican middle cities evolve -progressively- depending on the period of growth of the city to which they belong; instead, the urban space of a certain period presents an evolution and characteristics similar to intraurban spaces of the same period in other cities, in other words, the results of the research allow us to identify that the spatial behavior of the selected variables is similar regardless of the colonial or border character of those cities. On the other hand, based on the indicators studied, it has been identified that the evolution of the intraurban space of the six cities analyzed shows close similarities since 1990.

All this seems to confirm the use of temporality as an alternative factor that allows us to identify the general characteristics of the urban structure of Mexican middle cities, which could be consolidated as a key element to explain its functioning and evolution, therefore, it is proposed to continue exploring its impact on national phenomena and contemporary urbanization, without neglecting the multifactorial and dynamic nature of cities.

Keywords : morphogenesis; growth periods; urban heritage; urban structure and Mexican middle cities.

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